The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Staff editorial: Public education’s crumbling down

We can’t afford health insurance, so we can’t get sick. We can’t keep up with the cost of living, so we go without electricity for a little while. Now we can’t afford tuition. Is the Gap still hiring?

Most of us came to this school because it’s affordable. As coveted and prestigious as Harvard, Stanford and  other elite schools are, I’m quite sure most of us don’t have the trust funds to go to those universities.

Truth is, the CSU system was among one of the best institutions in the country where students had an opportunity to get an affordable, quality education. However, due to the inefficiency of the people supposedly running our state, us students, faculty and staffers must suffer the consequences of their bad judgment calls.

Classrooms are filled to the max. Professors have to cut their curriculum in half or simplify it because it is not humanly possible to grade several hundred term papers during the course of the semester. And remember the days when crashing a course was simply a matter of getting a permission number?

Now, everytime a student comes in with pleading eyes asking the professor if there is any room on the roster, the response is “no sorry, I can’t take anymore.”

Students are enrolled in school, but can’t take classes. Faculty are taking mandatory unpaid days off, leaving many students unprepared for the “real world.” Staffers are worried the furlough days are going to evolve into the unthinkable – unemployment.

To further illustrate the problem, college-aged students now have no other option than to join the workforce. But with no qualifications, the only jobs we can fill are dead-end service sector jobs, usually with little to no benefits.

With the rare exception of a few lucky individuals, most of us will not be able to walk into our dream career and say to our potential employer, “I am an almost-graduate from a Cal State school, but didn’t finish my degree because I couldn’t afford it.”

I’ve heard the argument that even though our tuition has gone up, it’s still cheaper than other schools. Be that as it may, it doesn’t mean everyone can still attend. This means we will have a less educated workforce and more need for welfare programs to support people who won’t have the means to support themselves.

Our generation, the Millenial Generation, is setting themselves up to be the first generation since the Great Depression to experience sky-rocket unemployment rates according to a recent report released by the Pew Research Center.

Public education is supposed to be accessible to everyone, no matter what your background. But with tuition rising and the ever-widening class gap, public education is becoming more of a joke.

Students need to take back our right to an affordable education. We need to figure out what we can do to prevent it from getting worse. And believe me, it will if everyone is complacent and lets the situation run their lives.

Education is one of our most sacred and respected institutions. Education not only ensures financial stability, but also provides the knowledge that we need to realize when we are being exploited, robbed, or lied to. Write the governor, the secretary of education, or even the Board of Trustees. Let them know that you’re not going to pay for their bad judgment calls.

Although, if we decide that inaction is the best course of action, we may be coworkers in the near future. Imagine, you, an almost-engineering graduate, and your friend, an almost-journalism graduate, side-by-side, folding polo tees at the Gap.

Unsigned editorials represent the majority view of the Sundial editorial board and are not necessarily those of the journalism department. Other views on the opinion page are those of the individual writer.