Feb 152009
Authors: J. David McSwane

I’ve definitely got a case of winter depression.

It could be the fact that I’m nearing graduation to find work in the dying field of journalism, in a growing recession, with a degree from CSU, which let’s face it, isn’t quite what it used to be.

Or maybe it’s that awesome Armageddon series I watched on the History Channel. We’re all going down in December 2012, by the way, and President Barack Obama will reveal himself as the Antichrist.

It seems morbid, and maybe I’m just a sick, demented and jaded product of contemporary secular society. But I find solace in the idea that we’re all going to die in just four short years. Evens the playing field, really, but still allows us time to get a master’s or juris doctorate, to experience the horror of childbirth and, for those elfish-looking Honors Program dweebs, to find someone desperate enough to sleep with them.

Of course, I do not actually believe this superstitious lore, though the honors kids could use a little divine inspiration.

But the idea of us all being together in the same boat — it’s not too far-fetched with context to the economy, which is spiraling about in a vortex of hubris-induced collapse.

I guess it’s just what I do best — try to find the humor in a terrible situation. And it is a terrible situation right now.

If you have been waiting for the recession to hit home, wait no longer.

Last semester, across campus, departments and colleges identified areas — we’re talking classes, professors, programs of study — that could be cut if things got really bad. This semester, the university’s worst fears have come true and many of those, I would venture an educated guess, will be cut.

That means no American Sign Language classes to name just one, fewer experienced professors, more undertrained graduate teaching assistants (knock out your undergraduate teaching while bolstering your graduate program simultaneously, quite the scam) and a degree worth even less.

If you’ve had enough and think it’s time to bolt, I’d recommend phonydiploma.com. I’ve used them with great success. Seriously, give yourself an extra major.

Let’s put this in perspective, Colorado was already faced with something like an $832 million shortfall in funding of higher education. CSU, the state’s bastard stepchild, is grossly under funded compared to its “peer institutions,” and students are already paying a disproportionate amount to keep this school afloat. Now, multiply that times 10 and flail your arms in panic while screaming, “We need a higher education stimulus!”

What was a weed in this foundation’s mortar has grown exponentially to become quite the hideous beanstalk. How’s that for “green university?”

Now, you might see why I’m a little depressed. It’s a dynamic problem caused by myriad unforeseeable screw-ups in the legislature on down. And there is no immediate and viable answer to this problem.

But while I dabble in pessimism and cynicism, I believe that pessimists are nothing but wounded optimists (or skeptical journos). Not all is lost.

CSU Interim President Tony Frank knows he’s got a tough job ahead, but he points to an engaged and persevering community as an eventual remedy to this problem. I see his point.

In retrospect, the main reason I chose CSU to study “technical journalism” (still don’t know what the hell that is) wasn’t our tiny little department in the Clark building. It was a mixture of our rich Student Media offering and the people I met while visiting here, across campus and into town. We’re like the antithesis of Boulder, and we know how to work together when it matters.

It’s quite the challenge, but as long as we’re all in the same boat, I say we as a university and community ought to look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel.

I don’t see it quite yet, but at least there is booze in this ominous tunnel. Hooray!

I swear to Obama if anyone tries to cut the Ramskeller pub (the Collegian Brewsroom) there will be Armageddon on campus.

Enterprise Editor J. David McSwane is a senior journalism and technical communication major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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