Letter to the Editor – Spartan Daily
Hundreds of students and staff showed up to the protest on Thursday demanding more money. For most, the issue seems like a no-brainer: budget cuts suck, so throw some money at the problem. They fail to recognize two essential points: 1) What the government gives you it first has to take away from someone else. 2) There is no free lunch.
There is no “bad guy” cutting the budget for kicks; the budget is being cut because there isn’t enough money to go around. SJSU faces trade-offs because the resources necessary to run a school are scarce. But School leaders feel no shame in wasting money while the quality of education declines. The school will spend $90M to renovate the student union leaving students with furlough days! By cutting more intelligently, the school can “keep the doors open” without begging for more tax dollars.
Students alone will benefit from their education–your degree doesn’t get me a high paying job, nor does mine make you smarter–and yet most of the students at SJSU are aghast at the prospect of paying for their education. Tuition is rising, but we will still only pay a fraction of the cost. Students should be concerned with the prospect of having to pay higher taxes the rest of their life. Taxpayers who aren’t using the CSU system should be angry that they’re paying for something they don’t benefit from.
Education may be a right, but school is not. Noting the difference is important. All life experiences are educational, but the resources necessary to operate a school require the cooperation of others. If I have a right to school, someone else must have a duty to provide necessary resources. To declare my right to taxpayers’ income is to declare my right to the sweat off their backs.
One student was quoted as saying “I’m here because I have to be here…The state depends on students.” The students depend on the state, not the other way around. The world was not chaos and terror before the CSU came on the scene. Even if we didn’t have subsidized schools, people would still go to school in much the same way people eat, buy books, shave, buy cars, pay rent and everything else we do in life.
While several students at the protest were willing to actually talk with me, other students showed their narrow-mindedness by jeering. One student went so far as to physically attack me because he was too short to cover my sign. If the school’s mission is to teach students to think critically and keep their minds open, it has failed. Too many of our students believe in a free lunch and too few are tolerant of dissenting opinions.