By Stan Diel -- The Birmingham News
October 22, 2009, 9:59AM
MONTGOMERY - The Alabama Board of Education has voted to increase tuition at the state's community colleges 27 percent to help make up for revenue lost to state budget cuts.
For the typical student the change will mean a 15 percent increase -- about $420 -- in the total cost of one year of community college, bringing the year's total bill to $3,120.
I am a community college student and this makes me very unhappy. This is outrageous! I attend Central Alabama Community College in Alex City and the place is falling in. The library building is in such bad shape I am sometimes scared to be in it. The columns out front are cracked and large chunks are falling off. The third floor has huge cracks in the floor from one side of the bldg to the other. When it rains the librarians have to set out buckets to catch the water. The elevator safety certification is out of date by over a year and the elevator is more like a coffin with sliding doors that will often miss matching up to the floor by one or two feet.
The computers and printers often don't work, the temperature fluctuates madly, the bookstore rips off students and the president Dr. Stephen Franks, who was also Mike Huckabee's campaign manager, is non-existent on campus. In fact, most students think the president is female because all they have ever seen outside the President's hidden office is his secretary. The President has never walked the halls and engaged with students. I couldn't pick him out of a line up.
The only nice building on campus is named after AEA water carrier Rep. Betty Carol Graham, who resigned as Dean of Students when the double dipping investigation got hot. She was responsible for a lot of contracts that should have been bid out that were not bid out. Personally, I don't think buildings or anything else should be named after people until they are dead. I'd guess 10% or less of the student body at CACC uses the Betty Carol Graham Technology Center building on a regular basis.
And now we have to pay more for these shit services?
I'd like to ask Bradley Byrne, who was the two year college chancellor and is currently running for Governor, why my school is falling in under his watch. I'd also like to ask Rep. Betty Carol Graham why the only building fit for habitation on campus is the one with her name on it and why exactly the decision was made to build that building (and put her name on it) when the rest of the campus is in such unbelievable disrepair.
This increase comes at a time when the fastest growing segment of the student population is non-traditional students who have been in the workforce for years and have lost their jobs due to the economy. These students have families to support and many of them are supporting their families on the paltry sums they receive in unemployment compensation. We can hardly afford to pay more for the incredibly sub-standard services we are already receiving.
Somebody's got some splainin' to do...and what do you know...election season is almost upon us.