When major changes are planned for your university, you are normally made aware of those changes well in advance. However I, along with a majority of the students in the classroom, learned of a major proposed change during the first week of classes this semester.
Before the fall semester began, the students of CSU-Pueblo were made well aware that their tuition would again increase; a trend that while unpopular, was announced and accepted by those students who continue seeking their education from the university. However, the current proposed extension of CSU-Pueblo’s calendar year from 15 to 16 week semesters has many students caught off guard.
Students have already seen a steady increase in tuition costs over the past few years, so if the semester does extend to 16 weeks, will they also be responsible for the extra costs to run the university longer? In a perfect world, it would be covered by the university; in the real world, students will be fitting the bill.
It’s hard to imagine such a huge change to the university calendar going unnoticed. However, when more and more facts started being explained as to why the change was brought forth in the first place, it became clear that this idea was not well thought out or organized.
Rumor has it that a survey was taken by former Associated Students’ Government President Steve Titus, which asked students their opinion on whether or not they would like to have their semesters extended to 16 weeks. Apparently, the results of that survey were presented to CSU-Pueblo’s interim administration and it was found that the majority of students were in favor of an extended semester.
Here’s where it starts to get tricky.
There were two open forums to discuss the calendar extension. The first of these two forums was conducted by a committee of faculty members formed by CSU-Pueblo Interim President Julio Leon. The point of this forum was to get a grasp of what students thought of the possible week extension.
What the committee heard from students that day was a resounding opposition to that idea. What seemed to irk the students in attendance even further was the fact that the results and proof of the survey given by Titus was nowhere to be found.
None of the students present had ever received such a survey. It seemed to be was another forced, yet unwanted change.
To gain a better grasp of student opinion, the committee posted a link in students’ university emails to a survey that would allow students to give their insight on the semester extension. A problem with the survey was the lack of detail used to explain how the costs of running the university longer will be paid for, and by whom.
How much more will students have to pay? That hasn’t been figured out yet. So what interim administrators are asking students to do is make a decision without having all of the facts presented to them.
It’s hard to imagine that any student would agree to it because of this fact.
Though the interim staff will only remain with CSU-Pueblo for a short time, the effect a change like the one being proposed could lead to the end of CSU-Pueblo being considered an affordable place to receive an education.
If feelings of negativity and deceit are the lasting effects that the interim administration wishes to leave as their stamp for their time here, then they better make sure this extension happens. But hey, it would be what we asked for, right?
The fact that it seems like interim administrators want it to discretely pass is an idea that would not please the CSU-Pueblo community. A major change should not be a decision that an interim administration is capable of making.
Students really do need to consider if that’s what they want or not, and if not, we must strongly voice our opinions against this idea because the process behind it has been disturbing.