Thursday, April 21, 2011

tent city #2

This speaks for itself.   And its message was amplified a little later in the day, when I met with a student about their final paper - a student who's been mystifying me a little this semester, since they are clearly very smart, but at the same time I've had a hunch that they've been under-performing.   Turns out that they've been taking 18 credits, AND working flat out waiting tables - fees went up, of course, 10% this year; parents "not willing" to help out; landlord has just hiked up rent 30% - which he can do, it would seem, because of a loophole in the original contract saying that he was letting the apartment at a 30% discount.   Youch.   It saddens me that it's so hard to get to know all but a few students here, except in a superficial way in class - and as soon as one scratches the surface, stories like this emerge, and the stories sadden me, too.   And they really, really offer very eloquent testimony about why we really must stop putting fees up - they are already so high for a state university.  And yet, the state - even if, at present, they haven't taken a sharp scythe to this year's Higher Education budget - seems to have its ears sewn shut on the issue, and, indeed, the commissioner on Higher Ed stated again, today, that he wants to see the cap on fee increases removed.

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