Tuition increase tirade

Okay… so here's the deal: Tuition's going up by the maximum possible amount for the coming year. Comment: I am not terribly pleased. Sure, I can probably afford it (heck, if I absolutely couldn't, I'd take some time off before plunging into an arts degree), but heck! You know how many people I know struggling to pay? And it's not just that either… so many friends/acquaintances who either never made it to higher education due to finances, who quit due to finances (dratted student loan system in some cases), or who have asked me rather depressing questions re: basic needs. Sure we'll continue to pay the money… but we lose out too.

$228 is more than a week's pay for a part-time employee at many (if not most) part time jobs students undertake during the school year. It will hit the pocket book hard. Afterall we're one of the most debt-ridden generations. How does one get the 'whole University experience' if one is constantly haveing to say no to participating in a social life of sorts due to work obligations… following the mighty dollar. Let alone getting into the amount of debt that those student life conscious ones must amass to compensate for the lack of such jobs in some casese. Sure, this may cut down the demand in some ways, but who will be barred from the doors of Alberta's institution(s) of higher learning? Who will be put on probation due to not studying enough because they had to PAY for their darn education? I know we live in a capitalist society… and I DO somehow see the point of view of the institution: afterall if we pay more for it, it may just have more worth… maybe… and there's other good points brought up as well about building maintenance, hiring and paying instructors etc.

But If I think about it, the quality of education that I'm paying MORE for every year — EVEN if you account for inflation — is actually worsening. Profs constantly alluding to how they used to have this course taught or how they'd like to teach it but how they can't due to class sizes and other restrictions, changes in lab space (eg. Organic Chem) even in the time since I took those classes… The classes may be getting easier, but doesn't that cheapen my degree rather than make it more useful?

I dunno. I don't actually have anything against a University education costing me money. But I do have something against the fact that it's becoming this unattainable dream for so many people. Not because it's just expensive, but because it's becoming so GOSH DARN more expensive with every coming day WITH WHAT BENEFITS???? We lose more of our green space every day, our facilities continue to become more and more outmoded… more behind the times… yet new buildings are continued to be built rather than having the old ones maintained and improved sufficiently… The hours of operation of many services could use some improvements… profs remain mediocre (or worse) in many areas, [Sure there's many stellar ones, but who doesn't have stories of the horrible monsters?] partly due to the fact that some don't even WANT to teach us… the University gets the greatest reputation for research excellence, but where do we students stand?… We run into technological glitches too often to have the best learning experiences… reading rooms are closed or have crappy hours of operation and so on and so forth. It seems to get worse every year.

I used to think university classes were what was supposed to be hard. But I was mistaken. They may be tough (really incredibly difficult actually sometimes)… but it's the real life that surrounds them that makes things increasingly hard.
(and yes, I know my rant is rather flawed… but I wanted to rant…!)