SA President informs students about budget lapse
By Rhys Kuzdas
There are significant threats to the value and future of your education.
This may be an ominous way to start a contribution column, but it is appropriate.
I wrote last month about the opportunities for you and the student body to participate on this campus in student life.
There is a myriad of ways of increasing the impact of your stay at UW-Fox not only for yourself, but for others.
However, the academic aspect of your college experience is facing a crisis.
A series of trends has led to an alarming realization that we are being hit by a one-two punch of absolutely gouging slashes to public funding for our university (as well as the public system as a whole) and the ever increasing secondary costs of our education, namely rising textbook costs.
Your Student Association is trying to tackle these issues the best way they can, but we believe the first step is to inform you, the students, about the problems facing all of us.
For the current, as well as the next issue of the Fox Journal, I will use the space given to me to highlight these vital concerns.
The first and most time sensitive is that, we are in a budget crisis.
As many of you already know, just over the last year the UW System had its operating budget slashed by 250 million dollars.
Now, we face the hatchet again, but not because of a bill that is being debated, discussed, and contemplated on the floor of the state legislature... no, it’s because the State failed to collect an estimated 174 million dollars in revenue that they thought they would get.
The hole of this “budget lapse”, though it seems more appropriate to call it “Well, we screwed up the budget again!”, now needs to be filled from money already given to institutions statewide, such as UW-Fox Valley.
However, instead of making it an even spread across the state for all entities to give back a portion of their funding, the Wisconsin Governor’s office has narrowed the burden and in the state’s infinite wisdom, placed it on the backs of us.
A little number crunch will show just exactly how we are losing out.
The UW System as a whole receives roughly 7 percent of general purpose revenue to run 26 campuses and to help provide higher education to over 180,000 students.
However, we are being asked to pay back a whopping 38% of the lapse.
In other words, we are losing another 65 million on top of the 250 million we have already lost!
What is even more infuriating is that technical colleges are completely exempt from this payback.
What does this mean for you? Most likely reduction in courses offered, tuition hikes across the system and possibly even staff losing their jobs.
This will make it more difficult for you to get a quality education that will have real value after you wear your cap and gown.
This is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue, this is a student issue and as students we should be angry that we are seen as having no potential to help turn our states faltering economy around.
The question now is, “What can we do about it?” The first step is to talk to us, your Student Association.
Come to our office and speak to your representatives.
We already have a task force in operation to act as a voice for students.
We are located just behind the student union and soon you will be seeing us in force, offering ways for you to express your own discontent.
We have an opportunity to make sure this doesn't happen again, and unless we actually are willing to fight for our own future, it sure as hell will.
Sophomore Rhys Kuzdas is Student Association president at UW Fox Valley.