Wednesday, March 3, 2010

you say you want a revolution

Let me begin by saying, I really don't have time to write this. I have a HUGE midterm tomorrow that I have not studied for, but I am so full of angst right now, I need an outlet, and talking with my drunk brother did not sate my desire for outrage.

The Georgia government has demanded that several of the Georgia University System schools cut budgets, DRASTICALLY. After UGA cut their budget drastically recently. They want more.

Of all the things to cut the budget of, EDUCATION IS YOUR CHOICE? Georgia already has such a poor education system and you want to take money away from people who have made the decision to get a HIGHER education? Made the decision to learn more about the world and people around them, which makes them not only more educated, but better people overall? People who sacrifice their time and money to spend four (+) years in order to become better people? It is already super difficult to get by in college, the government wants to make it more difficult?

How does UGA propose to cut costs? By firing professors, cutting programs that would force some students to transfer to other schools and by potentially closing the Botanical Gardens and cutting the budget of the Georgia Museum of Art so drastically that it could barely stay open. Oh, and possibly hiking tuition by over 70% and limiting the incoming freshman class.

No where in the proposal is anything mentioned about athletics. OK, I know, this is such a touchy subject, and I know I have very angry feelings about UGA's emphasis on SPORTS, but think about it for a second. Ok, so the UGA athletic department is primarily funded by revenue generated from those sports (how much did you pay for a Georgia/Florida ticket?) and whatever money is leftover goes back into the university system (however, I can't really tell after looking over their budget where exactly this money is being funneled into, all I could get is that UGA has an airplane), so I can't really say, "oh, let's cut out the athletic programs to save money", because they're pretty much self sufficient.


Think about those athletes. They are students. They have their education paid for and are pampered for four years (unless of course they get drafted early. Please see my previous blog about Matthew Stafford not needing a dictionary). Some of those athletes were admitted to UGA with a three digit SAT score and a 2.1 GPA. Why? Because they can throw a football/dribble a basketball/hit a volleyball/etc.

Where is our emphasis? If the freshman class is cut, who are we cutting? The kid who desperately wants to make a change for herself, learn more of the world, become a doctor/lawyer/teacher/etc? OR the boy who can throw a football and will look good in tight silver pants and probably won't even graduate? What about the people who choose to stay an extra fall semester just to have another football season? Those hungover jerks are taking up room (physical ROOM) that could be filled by bright young minds who are actually eager, yearning to LEARN.

THIS MAKES ME SO ANGRY. What does my education mean now? Am I lucky that I got in when I did, with the HOPE scholarship and my program still intact? I already don't have access to the Georgia Museum of Art (because it is being renovated, which I'm sure cost millions of dollars which seems ironic now), meaning I don't have access to works of art and many many books that would further my education. What happens if that is taken away completely?

What is it going to take to make people stand up for education? People are ok with cutting art and music programs, and have been for a long time, will it just be when we stop teaching history and math that people will get angry enough to make a difference? What does this mean for my brothers and sister? What will their college experience be like, assuming that they will be able to have one? If I have children, what will be available to them? Will Mommy have to tell them stories of the days when I sat around all day, learning of Venetian art and dinosaurs? My opportunity to LEARN is a luxury, it is time that I stood up and defended that luxury.

Whew. I feel a little better. I may not even study for this art history midterm. If the government of Georgia doesn't want to support my education in art, why should I even bother?