Here at The Fox Journal, we have covered budget cuts quite a bit since fall semester began. We have mostly looked into the administration side of things as well as taking a look at how the cuts would affect students. What we haven’t done is show how exactly the budget cuts have impacted students, nor have we had anyone come forward with their experiences as a student. This is my experience with the budget cuts.
Recently, I have been unfortunate enough to experience the rough end of budget cuts. More specifically, actually having to deal with the program and department cuts due to Gov. Walker’s irresponsible budget that cut $5 million from education and decimated public colleges throughout the state. Five million dollars divested from education; $5 million cut from investing in the future of Wisconsin and the nation.
The cuts made to IT departments have meant significant local hassles. My student email account was hacked mid-February. No one on campus was able to help due to cuts in staff; I was directed to the Central IT department in Madison. From there, it took weeks of phone calls to even get my email back up and running.
That was just the start of the problem. Because my account was compromised, I am now locked out of all school computers as well as D2L and PRISM; both sites are crucial to performing well in class. As of writing this, I am still waiting on a call back from the mess that is Central IT who, I am assuming, are extremely overworked and understaffed. It’s been six weeks and counting without being able to get anything solved. Budget cuts are here to stay; just hope you don’t need the help of a department that’s been cut.
Next, something equally as troubling—classes being cut. Want to get a start toward a journalism degree at one of the two-year campuses? Tough luck. After the 2016–2017 school year, that’s most likely meeting the chopping block. Yes, as a journalism major, administrative choices imply that I have no business attending UW-Fox. How many other students wanting to pursue journalism will look at UW-Fox and realize that because of budget cuts, they have no place here? How much money is that going to cost an already small and financially lean school? How many other important classes are being cut aside from journalism? How many future students will be turned away by the ruins of Walker’s drastic cuts? Even one is too many.
So what can be done about the dilapidated education system in Wisconsin? Voting. This year will be a crucial election year as many representatives and a new president will be elected. Put education first. Beware of those who place private wealth aggregation over the public good. Support those who are striving to radically improve education in America, those who push for increased budgets and free public college education. Remember this as well; the Wisconsin gubernatorial election is in two years. Vote out Walker; save our schools.
Editor-in-chief, The Fox Journal