As graduation approaches, seniors anticipate walking to the stage and grabbing that much-deserved diploma that symbolizes the hard work they’ve put in to receive it. Everyone knows that every year there will be a commencement speaker to give a motivational and eye-opening speech for the seniors to take with them into their careers, but along with that, seniors expect someone who is worthy of giving that speech.
As I’m sure everyone has heard, Governor Tom Corbett will be the commencement speaker for this year, which has caused, to put it mildly, a stir amongst students, faculty, and alumni. A response to be expected from the people who have been affected perhaps the most by the Governor’s budget decisions.
In Corbett’s last budget cut he proposed slashing aid to state universities by 20 percent. In case that doesn’t sound bad enough, he originally wanted a 50 percent cut from funding but had to compromise with other officials. As a result, we have seen class sizes become larger, classes become more difficult to obtain, the men’s track and field teams completely cut, and I’m sure we all have seen or heard of someone leaving college because they can’t afford it any longer.
Someone who does not attend or know someone who attends Millersville would think we as a university are doing quite well. Every year we have new renovations such as the proposed dorms that should be completed in five years, our library that will be finished in the fall and our past renovation of the SMC and added parking. Yes, these are great additions and will continue to make this university grow each year, but it doesn’t mean the academic side is doing just as well. Sure we’ve been able to push through the difficult obstacles that Corbett has thrown at us, but his budget cuts have made it increasingly difficult to maintain the level of academic excellence our school is known for.
Since it seems as though Corbett will be coming to Millersville no matter how many objections we raise, it is most definitely an appropriate time to raise the issues that Corbett has caused and bring them to his attention while he is here. He hasn’t made the best decisions and he should know it from people who were affected by them.
I really hope Millersville takes into consideration making something like this a part of Corbett’s plans for the day it would prove many things about the student body, not just concerned students but people who want to see the time and money they are spending for their education along with the quality they are receiving.
No matter the stories we are hearing and the stories we aren’t, it still wasn’t the best decision to have Corbett as the commencement speaker this year. I’m sure many wouldn’t mind having him completely replaced by a more admirable person, but realistically it won’t happen.
I hope that the student body and officials of Millersville communicate more thoroughly this topic so we can all share opinions and let our voices be heard. I also hope that the governor does not simply use this occasion for a convenient political photo-op. If we as students have to accept Corbett coming to the university then he should know why we have so many issues with him coming in the first place.