Even though the budget impasse, which starved higher education for nearly two years, has come and gone, it is evident that public universities are still suffering in its aftermath.
Unfortunately, Eastern has not been left out of this equation.
At a Feb. 2 meeting of the Council on University Planning and Budgeting, representatives from the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union and the Textbook Rental Service highlighted the cutbacks both areas have made as a result of the impasse.
These cuts are not surprising. In fact, it seems as though the entire campus has become numb and submissive to the news that more entities on campus have to succumb to cuts directly resulting from the state’s incompetence.
The situation was, and still is, disgusting.
As a result of the state holding the university hostage, textbooks had to be renewed less quickly, which naturally led to a shortage of textbooks for some students.
However, the situation continues to fester. Now, since professors decided to keep up with the times and request online supplemental materials to help improve their courses, it is almost as if the university is being punished because everyone has to figure out how to pay for it.
The ridiculous impasse had caused enough suffering, and just when we thought we were in the clear, we are hit with damaging effects during the aftermath that are making it difficult to receive an education that is up to date with universities nationwide.
We agree that something needs to be done (actually, we believe something should have been done in 2015 before this mess happened), but the university cannot do it alone.
We understand that the leaders holding the university together are doing all they can and we continue to ask for their cooperation, support and hard work.
However, we are all adults and therefore we should stop acting like everything is OK.
It is like we are sitting in a burning room, smiling and claiming “everything is fine.”
Everything is not fine, and as soon as we recognize that the better off we will be, because then we can then come together and challenge our representatives in Springfield to do their job and support our campus.
That is the most important factor in this situation. There is only so much awareness we as a campus can raise; there is only so much planning the administration can do to ensure we are secure for the future. It is up to the legislators to make sure they are doing their fair share and fighting for Eastern.
So once again, we, the staff at The Daily Eastern News, call on Representative Reggie Phillips and Senator Dale Righter to do their job and remember Eastern when the governor presents his “balanced budget” on Feb. 14.
Two years later and we are still talking about the budget impasse. When will it end?