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Letter to the Editor – Spartan Daily (Published Version)

March 8, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Student protesters don’t know full story

On Thursday, students and staff demanded more money for SJSU. For most, the issue seems like a no-brainer: budget cuts suck, so throw some money at the problem. They fail to recognize that what the government gives you it must first take away from someone else. SJSU faces trade-offs because the resources necessary to run a school are scarce. There is no free lunch. But school leaders feel no shame in wasting money while the quality of education declines.

The school will spend $90 million 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 job, nor does mine make you smarter – and yet most SJSU students are aghast at the prospect of paying for their school. Tuition is rising, but we will still only pay a fraction of the cost. Students should worry about having to pay higher taxes the for rest of their lives. Education may be a right, but school is not. All life experiences are educational, but the resources necessary to operate a school require the cooperation of others. To declare my right to taxpayers’ income is to declare my right to the sweat off their backs.

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.

Rick Weber

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