Category Archives: Opinion

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I took great care to oppose tuition hikes whenever they arose during my six wonderful years at Central. I believe investing in state higher education is absolutely essential to our future success. However, the individuals that hijacked the tuition hike rally on Monday to parade their irrelevant political beliefs around the Student Center Circle should be ashamed of themselves. For those that could not attend, here is a sampling of the more, shall I say, extreme signs to be found:

“Free Education Now”

“Drop Knowledge Not Bombs”

“Tax the Rich”

“$ For Education, Not War”

The terms illogical, unreasonable, and idiotic all come to mind. For someone following the events unfold on social media, I couldn’t have been more embarrassed.

There was a real, tangible, defensible idea at stake before the rally began: students shouldn’t be the target of yet another tuition hike. This is a sympathetic position that can yield influence and inspire change. Yet again, though, the anti-capitalist, anti-war, anti-‘the man’ crowd succeeded in distracting the masses from the issue at hand.

To the hijackers: I congratulate you on further entrenching yourselves and distancing your camp from any real victory. If your goal was to spread the message, recruit people to the cause and rally against authority, you’ve failed—again.

Social movements require focus, patience and persistence. They require leadership and measurable milestones towards progress. Above all – and contrary to popular belief – not all press is good press. The people that underwrite and subsidize your education, including taxpayers, policymakers, private endowment-holders and scholarship-givers, sat down Monday night to watch the local news. And all they saw were a bunch of knuckleheads down at CCSU protest against the war.

To the students that are serious about reform, including the host of student leaders who organized and spoke at the rally: I hope your fight is unaffected by the distractions created by your colleagues. Your message is true, your voices are strong and you will always have the support of reasonable minds that once walked in your shoes. Carry on and keep up the good work.

Regards,

Matt Clyburn

Class of 2011

Letter To The Editor: Why We Are Worst The Investment

The difference in median annual earnings for those with a bachelor’s degree and those with a high school diploma is $21,528, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. People with a degree earn over $55k per year compared to those without who earn less than $34k.

In Connecticut, tax revenue to the state for those earning $55k per year is between 5 and 5.5% of taxable income. Based on info on the CT Board of Regents website; Central, Eastern, Southern and Western Connecticut State Universities graduate 7,475 students this year. If everyone is counted in the lower of the tax brackets, and with 90 percent of our graduates staying in-state, each graduating class generates more than $18.6 million in state revenue based on income taxes alone, per year.

With just a high school diploma, those same 7,475 students will contribute only $11.4 million, a difference of $7.2 million dollars per year. Assuming completion numbers stay the same, the difference has exponential effects every year that are easy to calculate.

By the time CSU grads entering the workforce next year retire (if retired at age 65, having entered the workforce at 25) there will be a difference of $5.9 billion more that CSU grads will have contributed – in just that year – to the state of CT. That is roughly the difference that CSU alone makes to CT revenue.

However, the total state contribution for the entire ConnSCU system is less than $457 million next year. That’s a return on investment of 1072 percent of the contribution, or 10.7 to 1.

Part of the reason why higher education is worth the investment is because of the large return on that investment. If it weren’t for the revenue generated, it wouldn’t be worth the state appropriation. However, the state could still receive the benefit of a 10 to 1 return on investment if the appropriation to higher education were increased to $590 million.

The extra $133 million would allow for the state colleges and universities to continue to operate at their current level without any increases in tuition or decreases in operating budgets. With about 96,000 students, the investment could save each student over $1,385.

So I ask members of our legislature and our Governor, why do students living on-campus have to pay upwards of $800 more next year?

It’s time that students take a moral stand on this issue. The numbers work, so why are we paying companies tens of millions each to bring in 200 jobs at a time? We have an excellent system here capable of growing with the right investments.

The Governor’s budget needs to lose the fluff and invest in the basics that guarantee a stronger workforce, with more skilled labor, and a stronger economic future for Connecticut.

 

~Eric Bergenn, President of SGA


 

Residence Life Needs To Change Alcohol Sanctions

By Christopher Pace

Alcohol has been deemed a conventional party staple in college.  It helps students relax more which leads them to thrive better in social situations. But some students react differently to alcohol than others, leading to fights and arguments. Some may drink too much too fast and if they get caught sick, could be transported. Both of these situations lead to disciplinary action or sanction.

The day after the Super Bowl, my dorm had fire inspections to make sure there wasn’t anything hazardous in the rooms. I had two visible beer cans next to my desk and my RA noticed them. He told me what I needed to do, which was to take all alcoholic beverages in my room and place them in front of him so he could count how many there were.  He totaled ten and told me I would be receiving an email from my Resident Director (RD) later in the week.

I went to my meeting with the RD about a week later and talked about the situation. I was completely honest and then went on my way waiting for the email with instructions for my sanction.

I received the email shortly after and was taken aback by the amount of work I had to complete.  By Feb. 28, I had to complete Part I of the AlcoholEdu online course which all incoming students are required to take. I had to attend CHOICES, a self reflective course designed to make students aware of the risks of drinking and doing drugs on campus.  For Part II of the sanction, I had to attend a BASICS program (Brief Alcohol Screening Intervention for College Students), a two-session program where advisors review the reason why you are there. Then I had to write a two-page reflection paper, stating what I did wrong and what I learned not to do in the future.

Since I transferred here two years ago, I’ve known the consequences of bringing alcohol into the dorms on campus.  I understand what I did was against campus rules and I should be disciplined.  I knew if I were to get caught, whether 21+ or underage, there would be consequences, but my sanction is a bit much to require.  The AlcoholEdu class takes a minimum of three hours to complete, and then I had to take time out of my schedule to attend the other meetings.

The amount of work I had to do was astounding.  The AlcoholEdu program was extremely time consuming, and while I was taking it, I realized how little the program has to do with what I did.  I had empty beer cans in my room. I do not need a lecture on sexual assault, how to tell if your friend has an alcohol/drug addiction or what to do if someone has alcohol poisoning.  I’m 22 years old.  I had a few drinks during the Super Bowl; I did not get drunk, I did not vomit or cause a disturbance.

I’m a full-time student taking five courses this semester.  I have books to read and papers to write, and this sanction was too much to handle on top of my work.  I should not have to attend any classes about controlling my alcohol or making better decisions.  I come to college to learn and have fun, just like the rest.  About a month after I received the list of my sanction, I received an email stating that I was over sanctioned and I did not need to complete the CHOICES program.  This is proof that ResLife needs to change and be better organized.

So as I started the AlcoholEdu program, I opened a beer and drank a few throughout the three-hour course, and exercised my legal right to drink alcohol.  “Maybe I’ll drink before BASICS,” I thought to myself.  This just shows that even after you are of legal age to drink, you still have to follow rules that the college permits upon us.

You aren’t in college forever, so do me a favor.  Have a drink, relax and enjoy yourself. Cheers!

Editor’s Column: Journalism: A Constant Journey

By Kassondra Granata

I did not go to San Francisco with the same mindset as I did with Seattle or Chicago. Everything came up so suddenly so I wasn’t able to get excited about the trip or hype it up until three days before. Usually I have a countdown, do research on the city and all other preparations. This trip, however, was a little different. Don’t get me wrong, once I landed, I was beyond excited; even beforehand I was. These trips to the conferences are the most rewarding, privileging trips I have ever been on. To be in the same environment with those who share the same passion and interests is a blessing, and being able to learn more and network with other journalists is a dream come true. I always leave these conferences with more wisdom, and it is always a great pick-me-up as a reminder to why I am studying in the field.

There is nothing better than having the ability to write. Being able to write with ease is something that I am sure many envy of journalists and other writers. I have absolutely no issue sitting down and writing a five to ten page word document on anything, whether it be schoolwork or free writing. Free writing is by far one of the best skills you can have.

It is keynote speakers like Michelle Quinn that give me that boost of motivation when she talks about her experiences in journalism and the advice that she wants to give us as we carry on through this journey.

According to Politico.com, Quinn has been a technology correspondent for POLITICO Pro. For the past 15 years she has covered Apple, Hewlett-Packard and digital entertainment for the Los Angeles Times, The San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle. Recently she wrote a general news blog for The New York Times and worked as a media adviser to Jerry Brown. Quinn graduated from the University of Delaware and the University of California, Berkeley. She currently lives in California.

Quinn said that when it comes to covering a story, take it seriously.

“If you ‘poo poo’ your work, you never know what it could potentially lead to,” Quinn said. Besides the few laughs that erupted from the audience at the term ‘poo poo,’ Quinn’s message was positively received. Twitter was full of tweets from those at the convention with Quinn’s speech. There was a lot of conversation between those at the convention throughout the week that reflected on these topics.

Another piece of advice that she gave was to be good to your colleagues and other journalists. The reason why we attend these conventions is to grow as journalists working together and having conversations about each other’s publications. After spending a week conversing with other editors about a variety of topics, it seems that a lot of publications have the same problems that The Recorder does. It was refreshing and interesting to hear other Editor’s advice and methods they take to improve their publications. There were definitely a few things that I plan on taking to the publication. Quinn is right to always be good to the people that you meet. In the future, you can possibly work with them and benefit from them. Networking is an absolute key. As soon as you come to terms with an issue, and you know a source, you can contact them and get what you need. This factor stands for all occupations, not just journalism.

Quinn said that it was essential to always be in the mindset as a student in the journalism realm. There is never a time when you will not learn something new in this field. I just learned how to use outlets such as Spotify, Twitter and WordPress within the last few years for media coverage. With a field that is constantly revamping itself to perform to the readers expectations, it is crazy to say that there will be a time when you won’t have to adjust to something new. With the turn of the digital age and different social media networks and other gadgets developing, we are always learning new things. Look at this field as a student, learn and keep an open mind. Things could and most likely will be different 20 years from now.

Read. Write. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Make friends. Keep in touch. Network. It’s an on-going cycle as a journalist. You never break the cycle. You make a mistake? You’re deathly embarrassed for a day, then you learn from it and never do it again. You read other writers, you develop your own style and you talk with other writers about their style. This is the most competitive, yet collaborative field. Hearing Michelle Quinn as a keynote was definitely one of the highlights of the convention. Her speech was motivating, and it was encouraging to hear that someone of her professional status has made mistakes before. A writer is never perfect. They are always learning, always improving.

Tuition Rises, Jobs still on Decline

By Bryan Morales

America is perceived as being a country where anyone who wants to attend college and receive a degree can do it.

I’m starting to realize that this American “dream” is a nightmare come true. As a senior with graduation around the corner, I’ve begun paying some of my loans back with monthly payments. I prefer not to say exactly how much I owe the banks, but I can say I’m going to have this burden for a while.

With tuition going up next year, it frustrates me to see that nothing is being done. Having a younger sister who is entering her first year of college next semester, I don’t want to see her struggle with higher interest rates and higher tuition rates. This only means more borrowed money.

According to an article from the Hartford Courant, “Proposed Five percent Hike in Tuition and Fees for State Schools on Hold,”

“Under the proposal, Connecticut commuter students at the state’s four regional universities would pay $434 more-a 5.1 percent increase-next year for a total of $8,990 in tuition fees.”

I’m attending college because I want to better myself as a young adult and receive my bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in political science. I have come to find out that entering the work force won’t be easy. Finding a job in today’s economy is a challenge. With that being said, the Connecticut Board of Regents Finance Committee still wants follow through with this five percent tuition increase.

Not only will state university tuition go up, but so will community colleges, so those who think they can always turn to a community college tuition, think twice.

“Community college students would pay a 5.23 percent more in tuition and fees-a $188 increase-for a total of $3,786 in fees and tuition,” the article stated.

I believe that the more tuition rises, the more likely state and community colleges will face a decrease in enrollment.

“For the coming year, Central, Southern and Western are all projecting decrease in full and part time enrollment, while Eastern is projecting flat enrollment for the next year. Western in Danbury  foresees the most dramatic declines in enrollment; a  4.2 percent drop for in-state undergraduates,” said the Hartford Courant.

This government system is taking advantage of us. As students, we need to become more aware and express interest in this serious issue. Here are some ways to  participate  and make a difference: attend SGA meetings here on campus more often and an upcoming event in March or attend the rally on March 11  in the  schools Student Center Circle  from 2-3 p.m.