Disaffection direction: Editorial
blog by UB Spectrum • February 14, 2012 @ 2:23pm
At the beginning of fall semester, we reported that UB had changed its financial aid policy in such a way that blatantly screwed us over.
On top of that, it became painfully clear that our problems weren’t much of a concern to the school.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, around two-thirds of students in America use some sort of financial aid. Considering there are roughly 30,000 students that go to UB, that’s roughly 20,000 people affected.
Somewhere around 60 people attended the protest.
That particular instance isn’t a fluke. Take for instance the now infamous tattoo columns published late last month. The response on our website was incredible, albeit heavily driven by sources outside campus.
Yet leading up to this, our Senior News Editor Luke Hammill had been working on and publishing a number of articles showing bizarre and alarming transactions that were tantamount to campaign contributions.
Also, Hammill showed how our university president is on the board of a non-profit organization that directly endorsed a political candidate, and joined the board without required SUNY approval.
Again, we as a student body let loose little more than a whimper.
None of this is new. For years our student body has been apathetic and disaffected.
Even when it comes to fun, we hardly get involved. Our attendance at sporting events is embarrassingly low compared to other MAC schools. It seems like we only care if our teams are undefeated.
It’s not completely our fault.
Our school is built to be isolated. Anyone living in the dorms need not leave for anything; the place is like a self-contained prison. Even if you live in the on-campus apartments, the farthest you need to travel is to Wegman’s.
If you’re a commuter, it’s hard to get involved in campus life because most of the events happen well after your classes end, and it’s difficult to just sit around waiting all day.
Our distance from the local community becomes a problem for the area. None of us have any significant extra incentive to stay here after we are gone. We feel like we’re here to get the degree and get out, that’s it.
Why cause problems when we’re just going to leave anyway?
Hopefully the new downtown medical campus will help bring students closer to the community, but it won’t solve the problem of engaging undergrads.
The biggest factor isn’t our physical barriers, but our mental ones. The school has programmed us like borgs into thinking any resistance is futile. Long gone are the days when administrators feared us, and in are the days where we are so beaten down and ready to leave that we’ll simply accept any garbage the school tries to throw on us.
We need to take back our school. Tell the administration that we won’t be walked over any more and get involved on campus. The only way things will get done is if we do it ourselves.