Tuitions rising, quality of campus services falling

Having a college education has been the American ideal since the 19th century. Many parents without college degrees save up in efforts to send their children to college. With the cost of college tuition rising, savings just aren’t enough anymore.

Loans must be taken out in order to pay for four-year schools. The cost varies for in-state and out-of-state schools as well as private schools, but enrollment in any of these schools means paying a debt upon graduation for many students. A college education is necessary for most careers but are we really paying for a better education?

When I entered college in the 2011-12 academic year, the average net cost for a full-time student at an in-state public university was about $15,000 for tuition, fees, room, board, books and incidental expenses, according to the College Board.

The average net cost for a full-time student at an in-state public university in the 2013-14 academic year is $18,000, according to the College Board in March 2013.

But of course, no student or college is exactly “average.” Most colleges quote several different prices, depending on whether they include fees beyond tuition in the total, for example. Depending on the college we pay different prices depending on majors, courses and income.

Here at Buff State we pay tons of fees including a mandatory student activity fee, athletic fee, health fee, technology fee and more. Of course, as students we want to be able to have certain things for the organizations that we are a part of. But what bothers me is when I see my money being used for unnecessary things.

Recently, flat screens TVs have been placed throughout the student union. Some are for watching, others are for…well that’s just it — we don’t really know yet.

Two flat screens have been placed at every food place on the retail side. None have been turned on yet, but common sense would lead me to believe that they’re being used for menus. Although flat screens aren’t on the “expensive” side, it’s mind boggling that Buff State chooses to throw away our valuable dollars to purchase pointless televisions.

Was it really a problem to read the menu on cardboard? I think not. For students who’ve been here for longer than one semester, we pretty much know what they have to offer. The menu doesn’t change much for most of the food places so why waste our money? The lights that heat the food at 2.mato are blocking the TVs, so why are the TVs there anyway?

Shouldn’t we have a say in the departments our money is funding?

Spend our hard-earned money on employees who work on the retail side in order to have access to food during late nights of studying. There’s nothing like a hot meal to keep you energized during late-night homework in the library.

Spend our money on better heating systems in the dorms. This winter has been brutally cold and for many people living in the towers it’s been a nightmare. I’ve had to call maintenance numerous times before the heat in my room started working.

We’ve had bad snow since the beginning of the semester and the walkways on campus were just completely cleared out a few days ago. Why not spend a few dollars on better snow plows or more people to operate them?

A plethora of students have complained about food costs, quality and quantity. I hear many students asking, “Why does it cost nearly $10.00 per meal to eat on retail when I’m only getting a small portion?” When we ask for more food we’re told we will be charged extra or that they can’t give us more. We should be allowed to choose the kind of food we want in our student union as well as the costs. After all we are paying for it, let alone consuming it.

The list of student complaints about Buff State’s spending habits can go on forever, and yet nothing is being done about it. As students and as a generation of smart individuals we need to voice our opinions if we want change.

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