With Utah Legislature looking to exact another 5 percent budget cut in higher education, Utah colleges and universities could see drastic changes. The proposed cut would trim away $35 million in higher education spending in efforts to avoid an increase in taxes. Colleges and universities hope to minimize an increase in tuition but the trimming would result in SLCC laying off newly hired adjuncts, condensing programs and even a possible enrollment cap. Students in Utah continue to attend state colleges and universities, enrollment is up 16 percent at SLCC, but higher education once again faces budget cuts.
Attending a state university is more affordable than attending a private university partially due to the financial support of tax payers. Without the support of tax payers and other state funding, intuitions like SLCC would not exist. But due to recent budget cuts institutions can’t heavily rely on state funding. Since cuts in funding seem to be the answer why don’t we consider taking a look at some of the other services SLCC offers? Are there existing programs students don’t take full advantage of, could you do without those services? If the majority of the students at SLCC only attend to earn an associates degree or transfer to another university then why aren’t we solely focused on education?
Sure campus activities are fun but do they really support us in the college experience or most importantly the achievement of a degree? Most students commute, work part or full time and have a life outside of school. Of course health and wellness are important but do you really need these additional services? You may have your own insurance or another opportunity for coverage under another form of an insurance provider. Would you like to have some of these services or would you rather have the opportunity to get into a class which is a requirement for our major? Would you rather sit among a class of twenty or a class of forty? These are all tough questions to propose and even more difficult questions to answer.
Overall there has to be an increase in tuition and fees or a decrease in services to help offset the lack of state funding. Some say it is important to remember that a secondary education is not necessary a right but a privilege. Those who have the will and desire to advance themselves usually work to find a way. I think it is fair to say that everyone should be grated the opportunity for secondary education and therefore supports reasons why state colleges and universities exist.
The final decision relating to the allocation of funds is left to the recommendation of the legislature but in the end will voted on by lawmakers. If proposed budget cuts take affect campuses across the state could be at risk. Our wallets are empty but the costs continue to rise and so is the world of a student.