So. Today was the sit-in at my college. While they did blurb about it on the news, which you can reach here (click on today’s broadcast and drag the curser in the video to a little later- and I’m even in it! ;;; ) and watch here. I thought I’d put up something about it myself. This video and the pictures are low-quality, as they’re off my phone, but they’re mine. First pic is a dorky friend of mine with a sign, second is a shot of the crowd, third is our president and two of her Deans, and fourth is some members who organized it, along with the SGA president.
This really meant something to me and, while several of my teachers (including my Life Drawing teacher, much to my disappointment) didn’t give me permission to skip class, I did so anyway. I missed two normal classes and a once-a-week class. And you know what? I don’t regret that. Because this was about my future.
It’s rare to feel this kind of comradery in my school, as I’m usually on the unpopular side of an issue (i.e. on the side of someone who dared speak out against authority, for good reason. It’s funny that THIS time the coordinator of the event was praised, while another guy I know was called down for daring to bring up similar issues in the past- but since I like both of them, I can’t really say anything.) I wasn’t very impressed by the fact that only half of the expected 200 showed up, but … oh, well. Better than nothing.
Either way. This was definitely more peaceful than something I would’ve organized, so it’s a very good thing I’m never in charge of these things. XD We discussed different ideas for bringing down the deficit, from big to small, and actually worked on expanding those ideas later on. Two of the Deans, as well as the college’s President, showed up and were asked many insightful questions (though of course they evaded a great many of them.)
What I got out of today was both encouraging and incredibly depressing. The truth is, the college both does and doesn’t know what it’s doing- it didn’t even start making long-term plans for its future until a few years ago, but it has implemented a lot of measures to reduce cost as far as fuel, electricity, and the like go. The college was short-sighted and we’re having to pay for that; but the truth is also that Vermont is one of the states that is in dire straights right now. As a result, its colleges are some of the worst-funded in the entire country.
So the college should have looked ahead, and is now focused on bringing in profit rather than what the students want. In one way I can understand the necessity of that. But on the other, I can’t. Some of these teachers that risk being lost are the ONLY ONES WHO CAN TEACH THAT SUBJECT. There is only one physics professor, and he’s not the only one carrying a department by himself. Huge chunks of majors would get taken out, like half the psych professors and so on.
My department’s professors have tenure, for the most part, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe by any means. There are a scant handful of classes available for English next year. The upper-level ones I NEED to graduate on time are few and far between, and there is little to replace them with. I refuse to take classes for the sake of taking classes- If I’m going to pay $23k+ I’m going to take my major courses, thank you very much.
I didn’t attend the last few hours of the sit-in. I only had two hours of sleep last night and hadn’t had a legit meal all day. Moreover, when the group got up to sign the three petitions being passed around, I got incredibly frustrated. ALL THREE petitions were being passed around in the tiny space near me, surrounded by tons of people who were just milling around like cows. I have a few traits of claustrophobia, not to mention the fact that I’m naturally anti-social to the core. It didn’t help that, when I suggested that the people holding the clipboards move to different parts of the room to help clear up congestion, they just looked at me like I was a piece of skum. And they walked all over my friend’s stuff. By the time that was over with, I was literally within moments of screaming “GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME” at them. I can be pushed only so far.
So I left. And now I’m not sure what to think about all this. Technically I could stay, as my entire department is essentially safe- but is it worth staying, if a huge chunk of our professors are cut simply because this college was too shortsighted to plan ahead? I don’t know. It’s a hard subject. All I know is, I’m exhausted and need to do the homework I’ve been putting off all day. I could very well skip another day of classes next Wednesday and go with the student government to the state capital, where they’re going to apply for more aid to the governor or whatever, but right now I’m too exhausted to think about that. We’ll see. For now, I’m both hopeful and totally depressed. If that makes any sense at all. ;;;