As a student and a young person I am constantly being challenged to accept the world I live in. With issues like climate change, war and the general failures of government it becomes hard not to sink into the apathy many of my peers accept willingly.
This week has been one of those weeks. Not because of the environment (which is always a depressing issue) or the full on corruption of our financial system. This time it hits a little closer to home.
Gov. Steve Beshear’s new budget plan should be enough to cause a full on student strike across the Commonwealth. Although unlikely, it is certainly a necessary action. The plan proposes a 6.4 percent cut in all higher education, excluding financial aid.
This cut would be enough to make our higher education institutions raise tuition across the board for students, making the already difficult task of attaining a higher degree in this state even harder. For Murray State this has major implications in recruitment and retention, not to mention many other initiatives on campus, including sustainability.
Our ability to cater to out of state students, a major draw for the University, is already a concern for many of those students.
But once again the University is going to be put up against the wall. Our higher education institutions need to find a better way of organizing and fighting back against the state. It shouldn’t be hard to bite a hand that isn’t feeding you anymore.
Of course, this should not only be an effort of our state’s University administrations. All students and parents or whomever is footing the bill for the higher edication of young people in this state need to stand in solidarity across the Commonwealth to send this sorry excuse for a state government the collective message that we will not budge.
The rhetoric we keep receiving about the recession is not an acceptable answer for those of us who constantly see the mismanagement of our government. We can no longer confuse their excuses for their reasoning and hold the state accountable to the most important institutions to our society.
The actions of the citizens of Wisconsin last Winter should be a model for all of us. Whether it is a petition, an occupation, a march or tens of thousands of concentrated voters calling their representatives we need to make Frankfort shake in fear of our wrath.
As a 23-year-old young man I am tired of being tired of my government. These men who care more about their titles than their responsibilities are keeping our state from fulfilling its civic purpose. It is now our civic duty to give it purpose once more.