As another week of Winter Quarter 2010 rolls towards the weekend, I cannot help but realize just how tired I am. I am tired of overcrowded classes. I am tired of lines outside of Letters & Science’s Academic Advising. I am tired of university administrators treating my wallet like their professional line of credit. Most of all, I am tired of decisions that have direct impacts on students being made without student input.
This campus’s latest attempt to help mitigate the budget cuts, the Instructional Technology Enhancement Initiative, lovingly referred to as collaborative effort by its creators, once again passes the budget cuts squarely onto the backs of the student population. Once again, we are left holding the bill. Once again, vague possible outcomes are used to put lipstick on a pig. The College of Letters and Science has passed a fee within itself that has been approved by everyone except for the people paying for it, the students. I find it to be a blatant abuse of the student body that the deans of the college find it permissible to levy a fee against students without gathering input from the students.
When students try to pass a lock-in fee to generate funding, we need to amass large numbers of signatures to merely place an item on the ballot, let alone the campaigning for its approval by vote. Why, then, when the College of Letters and Science places a fee upon every student on this campus — remember College of Engineering and College of Creative Studies students take Letters and Science classes — they merely need the approval a few campus administrators? Am I the only one that sees the double standard?
However, let me be perfectly clear about this: I believe the giant leaps towards bringing our instructional systems into the 21st century that this fee proposes are promising. What I do not believe in is a group of administrators that pass a fee without student approval; especially a fee that, according to Letters and Science administrators, apparently bears so many pedagogical and financial benefits to students. I do not believe in passing a fee that will generate almost $2 million without having a student forum for input prior to its passage. I hope the Letters and Science deans are ready for tough scrutiny on the way this money is spent and that they are able to produce on their extravagant promises. If they are unable to provide results, I am unable to provide payment; let them fund empty promises on someone else’s dime.