The following 500 words are probably useless. The audience I'm trying to reach won't take the time to read this, and if they do, they won't care. So why even bother?
Frankly, I'm sick of hearing about the State University of New York budget crisis from the same handful of dedicated individuals on campus, and I'm sure they are even sicker of screaming about it. I've written about this topic before, and the lobbying trip to Albany that occurred on March 1 was covered in two sections in the March 3 issue of The Lamron, but I think it's time to be blunt: Students and faculty of Geneseo need to be held accountable for the budget.
The lobbying trip to Albany lasted from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on March 1 and included a free bus ride (Wi-Fi included) and a pre-scheduled meeting with at least two elected members of the New York state government. Over 5,000 students had the opportunity to meet one on one with their representatives, yet 76 kids made the trip. Only 76 out of more than 5,000.
I know for a fact that there are more than 76 student leaders on campus. Where were you guys? Resident Assistants? Club presidents? Student Association has been hot and heavy into public relations lately, where were all of those standing committee members? Oh yeah, and how about all of the candidates who expect to get elected to the SA executive board? Please, enlighten me as to what you were doing that was more important than advocating for the very institution that is allowing these positions to exist. Really, I'm interested (not enough to vote for you, though, so don't get your hopes up).
Get money from the Tuition Assistance Program? Missed you. Your club sports team doesn't have a field, the dance studio is too small, you can't register for your class, and … oh wait, you weren't there either. Even if you are completely uninvolved in campus life, don't you respect your education and the opportunities it will provide for you in the future?
It's worth defending.
Now for the excuses. A ton of people didn't go because they didn't want to, or couldn't miss class. Hey, faculty members, you do know where your paycheck comes from, right?
Some students didn't bother asking to be excused and that's their fault. But for all of the professors who gave students crap along the lines of, "Well, isn't it ironic that you're missing class for this?" or simply, "Hmm, this is not an official excuse. You're choosing to skip, tough," I am appalled and simultaneously amused at the thought of said faculty members literally painting Xs on themselves for the next round of cuts. There are more important things than listening to yourself drone for an hour; maybe we can make up the class in the unemployment line after graduation.
And then, there was the best excuse of all time: "I was playing Frogger." Ironically, he's probably better off than most, paying thousands of dollars to invest time in what we're all going to end up doing anyway if we continue not to care.