Public or Private: Who pays for college?

Recently in The Daily Iowan, it was announced that the University of Iowa Student Government was able to petition the board of regents to approve a new fee for students. This fee, approx. $12.50 in value, will be charged to students to help fund the UI Counseling center. Hopefully, the new fund will allow up to 8 new counselors to be allocated. Iowa is currently one of the most understaffed in terms of counselling services. UIC is led by Barry Schreier, who is the Counseling service Director, is an amazing professional that is needed at the University and has been a catalyst for change at Iowa. While this is great and also helps to draw attention to mental health on college campuses, I argue it is also hurting an important cause: the public benefits of college.

Currently, most politicians (specifically the right but known on both sides of the isle) would argue that college is more of a private than public good. Not only is this fallacy incorrect but problematic. While UISG is doing great things, this new initiative is creating an even larger burden on students to pay for college. Currently, the student debt crises is a hot topic and will continue to be as states slash education budgets (because education is “discretionary”) and pass the burden to the students. I could spend all day telling you about students who are predispositioned to not being able to afford college and the social oppression in our society, however I will save that for another time. What I will tell you is that cost to attend college have increased and what is the easiest thing to do in order to raise funds: charge the students. State governments – and even institutions of higher education – are to blame.

College not only benefits those who obtain the degree, but also society. Through positive externalities, college attainment improvements society in numerous ways. Having a better educated work force decreases unemployment, increases spending, and strengthens the economy. However, due to the lack of funding (federal, state, and even institutions such as Iowa) I argue that education is not properly valued, is neglected, and is a missed opportunity for bettering our society. I praise UISG and their efforts to better support their constituents. I praise those who work to improve the living conditions of all those who are oppressed due to our fucked up system. However putting a band aide on a gash the size of Texas will not heal the problems we face. What needs to be done is reevaluation of education: increased paid for K-12 teachers, increased pay for student affairs professionals who are overworked, increased resources for special and developmental education, increased money for all of education. We will never make true change until we attack our problems head on and actions needs to start with education.

Relationships are for the Birds

So here I am, age 23, no long-term relationship, at grad school, yet I’m suppose to be in a committed relationship? Looking a lot of social media, Hollywood, and other various things, I apparently have fallen behind in life. Everywhere I look, someone is moving in with someone, people are getting engaged, and my God the amount of children being born. I have obviously missed some kind of memo.

Now and days it seems we are pushed to new channels of communication to interact with potential partners. Now we have things like tinder, farmers only, and whatever website or app you can find by typing “relationship” in the search bar. We are now the generation where we don’t marry the girl/guy next door but rather the girl/guy one state over, 10 hours away, or with a different citizenship. IT BLOWS MY MIND. I’m over here just trying to survive school, have some sort of fun, and decide if my pants match my tie.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have the typical southern idea of finding a belle of my own, having 2.5 kids and a huge yard to mow 2-3 times a month. But come on, can’t we hold off for a little bit? Everywhere I turn there is a couple on a date, someone posing for engagement photos or someone telling me where their registry has been set up at, it’s so draining.

It seems relationships are now a dime a dozen yet marriages last half as long as they did 50 years ago. Is it technology to blame? Is it because we are just becoming more good looking? Who knows, but I do know I am not close to calling it quits. I mean everyone has at least one person on their minds. Whether its the cute waitress, your fitness instructor, or some person you met in college you still are in contact with yet for some reason relationship is not what is happening. I guess the thing now to complain about is how to make “relations” happen, but that’s another blog for another day.

Keep living your life happy couple people, I’ll just be over here stuffing my face with Chunky Monkey ice cream and spending all my time with my lovely tv.