Tag Archives: college

Colleges afraid of budget transparency; students ask why

Columbia College Chicago students stage a sit-in.

According to The College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges, the average tuition, fees, room and board for a private nonprofit four-year school is a whopping $42,419 for the 2014-2015 school year, a 10% increase from 2009-2010. Assuming nothing changes in the next four years, a current college freshman will have to pay $169,676 on average for an undergraduate degree and no one seems to know why.

Those financially crippled by private higher education are slowly beginning to close their wallets and open their mouths.

The New York Times recently ran an article regarding tuition hikes asserting “a major factor driving increasing costs is the constant expansion of university administration. According to the Department of Education data, administrative positions at colleges and universities grew by 60 percent between 1993 and 2009, which Bloomberg reported was 10 times the rate of growth of tenured faculty positions.”

Columbia College Chicago is just one of many private liberal arts schools across the nation whose administration may be capitalizing off of their students’ loans. Next semester, tuition and class sizes will rise and courses, student jobs and scholarships will be cut as part of a newly implemented “strategic plan”.

On May 1st, while the president of Columbia College Chicago sat quietly in his office, students protested for a response to concerns about the strategic plan, demanding budget transparency. The president did not respond, the issues weren’t addressed, and the #saveColumbia coalition vowed to stage more protests and social media outcry until they are met with answers.

A former Student Government President tried their best to work with administration, but was met with difficulty after successfully capping annual tuition increases at 3.3%.

“There is a lack of communication and a lack of information on who to communicate to,” she said. “Our college’s president is seen as the guy who can solve all the problems when in reality he should be raising money and doesn’t necessarily have a lot to do with the day to day.”

Despite the questionable power of the president, students sat outside his office from 11am to 11pm, originally denied further access to food or water outside of what they had stashed in their backpacks. Eventually students were able to convince the guards to let their friends slip boxes of food and water bottles through a cracked door in the stairwell. Security threatened to call the police and press charges for trespassing, and protestors were promptly escorted out of the building at 11pm.

Afterwards, it was implied by administration that many students didn’t support the movement, although the stairwells and first floor of the building were filled with supporters. Funded by the college, the school’s journalists failed to report this.

The people nearly arrested were active students in their fields of study, not angst-driven half-adults. To afford tuition, one student had to sell her car and another works full time, picking up classes when he’s able.

Tori Torres, a former Musical Theatre student at Columbia College Chicago, is already $40,000 in debt after one year of enrollment, and she has to repeat a year since her credits won’t transfer.

“The college certainly made promises that they couldn’t keep about the quality of their programs. They made it seem much more prestigious than it actually is, and I never would have paid for such mediocrity. When I first heard of the high drop out rate, my professors assured me it was due to students not being passionate enough to stay. As it turns out, they’re the smart ones for escaping,” Torres explained.

Torres, like many others, are left wondering why their tuition is rising and drawing parallels toward the increasing administrative roles. This is not an issue of politics, but one of consumer rights. Students should be able to know exactly what they are paying for and spending records should be made public. Ingredients are listed on packaged foods so that the buyer is aware of what they are putting in their bodies, so why shouldn’t a similar measure by required for colleges? Consumers should be given access to the components of their education upfront and shouldn’t be shamed for demanding so.

“For starters, it would certainly be nice to be more in the loop per say when it comes to decision making, especially when those decisions are directly tied to our grossly inflated tuition dollars,” said Corey Cole, a senior Business and Entrepreneurship student. “We have a right to know exactly what we are paying for with regard to the school and its expenses.”

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Unbiased Bitch Coverage: Presidential Debate no. 2

Photo Credit: http://www.policymic.com

Debate on higher education:
Both want to make sure that jobs are created for America’s young. Neither pose a straight answer to the question.

Unemployment

Romney: can create jobs

Obama: Romney “has the rich playing by another set of rules”

(again not a straight answer)

Gas Prices

Obama: Alternative energy resources are increasing. Fuel efficiency on the rise. Has allowed us to lower our oil imports and will keep them lower. Romney wants the oil companies to just lower the gas prices, but not with energy efficiency. “We are using oil more efficiently” but we are “drilling more on our lands”. Romney shut down a coal plant but wants to bring one back. Cleaner energy, cheaper energy. Romney wants to use an old plan, need to use alternative energy (wind power in Oregon/Iowa)

Romney: Oil production down because drilling is not coming from federal lands. Coal country, want people to save their jobs. But EPA keeps limits. “Abundant energy” by more drilling. More jobs for middle class. Obama hasn’t
Tax Code

Romney: 1. Want to bring Middle Class taxes down, give them tax break. 2. Bring rates down for everyone, but want high income still paying. 3. Balance budget, reduce middle class taxes. 5 point plan. Poverty increase in the past four years. Credibility: balanced the budget in Massachusetts. The President has doubled the national debt, and he will continue it.
Obama: Middle Class relief. Cut taxes for families “3600 dollars” on average the past few years. Income tax reform for first 25,000 dollars. Romney holding back the bill. Wants the rich to pay more. Brings up Romney’s 60 minutes interview about rich not getting tax breaks fueling out economy. Who is going to pay for the 7-8 trillion dollars of the five points plan?

Women in the work place

Obama: Talks about his mom. Women are becoming the bread winners of the family. Young people need to have an accessible education: poll grants/student loan program so many have been able to afford college, allowing women to compete in the market place. We can not tolerate discrimination, we haven’t. Contraceptive coverage counts economically – includes mammograms and cancer screenings too, which are expensive. Not just women’s issues, family issues. Women need same opportunities as men. Brings in daughters.
Romney: All the men have qualification. Went out to look for women in his cabinet, had more women and seniors in cabinet than any other state. Flexible schedules for women. Women have lost 580,000 jobs in the past four years. Women need a stronger economy. All women should have access of contraception.

Romney being a republican, what is the difference between you and Bush

Romney: 5 point plan much different. Energy security. Trade in China and latin america, adding more free trade. Balance the budget. Championing small business, contrary to party beliefs. Obama care keeps small businesses from hiring more people.

Obama: “digging ourselves out” – 5.2 million jobs created. Romney a pioneer of outsourcing. Signed trade deals already. Leveled playing fields and unfair trade practices by American workers in Bush term. Immigration reform and Planned Parenthood show that Romney more extreme than Bush.

What has Obama done?

Obama: Jobs, End war, Osama Bin Ladin dead, Wall street reforms, 5 million jobs created, saved auto industry, education, reducing deficit, putting people back to work, energy reform. Kept my commitments, not a lack of trying. Romney will keep his too – cut of obama care, education, planned parenthood. Whose promises will help your kids go to college, get you a good paying job?

Romney: These past four years have not been good. We can’t afford it. 9 million American’s still without work. Medicare and Social Security not reformed, no proposals. Immigration same thing. Didn’t cut half the deficit but doubled it. Middle class taxes have gone up. It’s just going to keep going. Middle class is getting crushed because Obama doesn’t understand how to reduce employment. More people on food stamps..how about the growth of the economy? Uses Reagan recession recovery program as the ideal solution. Median incomes down. Who can get the middle class a better economy?
Immigrants

Romney: We welcome legal immigrants. Uses family as an example. We should give green cards to graduates. We need to stop illegal immigration, but put in place a legal work code. Military service to become a citizen. Obama didn’t do anything with a democrat senate/house. Romney admits to liking aspect of the Arizona law that determines whether an immigrant or citizen. Let people make their own choice to go somewhere else, not in favor of rounding up people. Criminals need to be rounded up.

Obama: Everyone wants to come to America. Need to fix the system. Made it easier for people to come and contribute to our country, create jobs. More border control, lower than it’s been in 40 years. Go after criminals, not students or families. Those who live here feel they are citizens, and they should have access to citizenship. Romney wants Arizona law nationwide. Republicans don’t support immigration.

“Mr. President have you looked at your pension?”

“It’s not as big as yours.”
National security/Benghazi

Obama: Close to those overseas, personally. We need to go after people who threaten Americans. Romney making political security an issue in the heat of the moment. Decreasing war, retreat from foreign issues. “I have to greet the coffins when they come home, I mean what I say.” Hilary Clinton works for him. Afterwards, told the American people he was going to figure out exactly what happened, and do what he could. Romney being offensive and insensitive after the attack.

Romney: Obama takes responsibility. There was a terrorist attack in Benghazi, not a demonstration. President flies to Las Vegas day after. Not a spontaneous reaction.
Gun Control

Obama: Our nation believes in the 2nd amendment for sport and protection. But people lose lives because of weapons. Colorado shooting example. We need to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Military weapons don’t belong on the streets. Need an assault weapons reform. Need a comprehensive strategy in communities to catch violent impulses. Romney endorsed by NRA. Skilled worker training. Millions of young people can get education needed before. Teachers will grow our economy.

Romney: Don’t need to make more gun control, but enforce the gun control we have. We need less violence, more education like in Massachusetts. Need family base. “Fast and furious” – weapons given to Mexican drug lords by the government. Massachusetts pro and anti-gun people come together to create gun reform. Need to work on a bipartisan basis.

How to brings jobs back

Romney: Make America a place for entrepreneurs, small businesses. Need fair trade with China who is manipulating currency for profit. On day one, Romney wants to put a bill in place to limit China. Need to be competitive to keep more jobs. Obama care deterring people from being hired.

Obama: Wants to close loopholes to allow businesses to profit offshore. Romney wants to expand tax breaks. Need to change tax code and double exports, on pace. Trade deals make sure that country is getting a good deal. Reporters call Romney’s outsourcing “pioneers of outsourcing”.
Macs and Apple, bring to America

Romney: China is cheating by keeping currency down and stealing technology. Fake Apple in China. “Government doesn’t create jobs.”

Obama: Some jobs will not come back. Low skilled jobs. Need high skilled jobs. Need high science and research in world. Can’t cut funding to research, or we will lose technology race. Those investments will propel us into a better economy.

You as a Man

Romney: Campaigning attacks people. I care about every American. I spent myself in private sector, not in government. I believe in God and we have to care for each other. Pastor, family man, missionary. Schools in Massachusetts number one in the nation. We don’t have to settle for gas prices, food stamps, unemployment, college kids with out work. I will reform, change what Obama didn’t. I have done these things as a governor.

Obama: Free enterprise, self-reliance, individual, risk takers. But, everyone should have a fair shot, everyone should play by rules which created the middle class. Romney a good man. But, country does not view itself as victims. GI bills. Need similar opportunities.
Fact check to come.

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Bitch Exposure: Feminist professor encourages gender inequality

Allow me to self-indulge today with an editorial involving the mistreatment of women by women. I was utterly appalled by how I was treated this morning by my speech professor, an astute and beloved woman who has taught at my University for over ten years.

A friend who I play tennis with sits next to me and she assumed we would be in the same group and told the class so… calling me “his girlfriend”…repeatedly.

I asked her if she knew my name and she looked right through me as the class laughed. I can’t believe that a woman who considers herself as an animal rights activist and feminist would diminish me to a “girlfriend” aka something owned. My friend, who is married and has a child, was also very uncomfortable.

I left my class completely enraged, wondering why it upset me so much. It could have been just an off the cuff remark… was I looking too hard into it? I couldn’t help but wonder about the way I conducted myself. What left me looking like arm candy?

I would consider myself an independent woman. I am currently in a committed relationship, with a boyfriend in Chicago. We’re both going to different colleges and pursuing different career paths. He doesn’t define me in the slightest. I would never allow myself to be defined by a man, or anybody for that matter.

Women are so quick to judge each other. No wonder gender equality is still a problem. What is the solution to this social issue? This isn’t unlike the girls who I wrote about supporting a rape case: https://notyourcoffeebitch.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/girls-rally-behind-alleged-rapists/

Especially among women, there will be no social advancement in terms of gender equality, if females cannot look past their preconceptions/ misconceptions.

It is important, especially as a professor, to value a person by the contents of their mind and encourage it’s further development. I thank her for giving me the opportunity to expose the injustice of solely defining a woman by a man, a belief I thought she held.

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