Upon arriving to campus for this semester, throngs of students, both new and returning, were greeted by an uncharacteristically modest amount of work study money on offer. As a result, far fewer of us Leos are able to work in the various departments that hire student workers.
So what’s the deal, you ask? Well, from what we’ve been able to gather from our moles (the spy kind, not the skin defect kind or rodent kind), it seems that the federal government decided to slash its work study budget for scores of colleges and universities in hopes of – get this – getting the country out of debt, despite the fact that the odds of India becoming the world’s largest consumer of beef are better than those of the national debt being anywhere near paid off during our lifetimes.
Granted, work study is still available to those who absolutely positively need it and have proven that on their FAFSA, and said recipients still have to take a minimum number of units per semester and maintain a minimum GPA. But up until this semester, work study funding was also available as a sort of bonus to a large number of students who didn’t necessarily have the money to pay their way through ULV, including at least two members of your beloved Campus Times editorial board.
Now, a long list of departments, including honors and photography, are faced with half-day employment vacancies as a result of this massive reduction in the size of the student workforce. That means that these departments, along with the resources housed within them, are forced to operate on considerably shorter schedules. Need to finish a project in the photography department’s computer lab but you aren’t free until tonight?
Then woe is you, bucko.
Oh, and those of you who are willing to work in this department or that department for peanuts? Fuhgeddaboutit; in this, the most litigious society since, well, ever, professors and other staff members wouldn’t dare smuggle one of their spare keys to you. After all, what if the toilet in the Honors Center exploded while someone was using it? The University would be slapped with a pile of lawsuits standing taller than Everest! It just isn’t worth the risk now, is it?
Perhaps if the beancounters from Washington could come here and see the chaos that their little idea is causing, then maybe they would step up to the plate and rethink their decision. Nah. They’d probably just laugh and flash the loser sign before hopping back on their private jets to get back to the Hamptons in time for the monthly bagel tasting.
Seriously, why should we, the future leaders of this great nation, be the ones suffering for the indiscretions of a clique of graying, filibustering blowhards based thousands of miles away. Sure, cutting work study funding will save some money up front; the only problem is, it might cost all of us a lot more than mere dollars and cents in the long run.
Posted on September 16, 2005