Erica Hudson is a journalism junior and Mustang News columnist. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints and editorial coverage of Mustang News.
This column references a newly proposed CSU financial plan called the Sustainable Financial Model. If passed, this model would implement annual tuition raises and fees across the CSU system to help maintain purchasing power during a time of decreased state funding.
May the CSU, as well as my future, rest in peace.
What have I learned here? I’ve learned that I’m absolutely fucked.
I’ve watched my student loans soar into skies I’ll never be able to skim the surface of.
Every day I spend here, I have this buzzing in the back of my head, a ticking time bomb of impending financial doom. And I find myself wondering, “Was this worth it?”
In attempts to minimize the impact after I graduate, I’ve worked two jobs, while going to school, while trying to get good grades, while trying to have a social life, all while trying to be a functioning member of society.
How is that going, you may ask? Well, it’s not really.
You see, every year I have the same crisis. I find myself at my computer screen in a panic, googling, “How much money can you make by selling your eggs?”
And I’m not talking about the eggs you find in our perfectly cared-for and prioritized agriculture unit, I’m talking about my eggs.
And this might come across as humorous to you, and it kind of is, but I’ve genuinely contemplated this as a resolution to my debt when I should be focusing on my education. But how can I focus on an education that I can’t pay for?
I can tell you that there are a lot of requirements to sell eggs, so I’ve moved on to easier ideas: selling a kidney, maybe a tendon that I don’t need, maybe a pinky-toe….
All so I can go to a school that, one, was built on the idea of free tuition, and two, has not been worth my money.
Each year spent here, I’ve found myself lost.
Lost as I see where the priorities are here, in our wallets and not our minds.
Now, if the money from my wallet was going to our teachers, it would make sense. But instead, it’s going to an endless list of administrative positions that we simply do not need.
I’m lost because I’m at a university that hardly acknowledges, or cares for, my queer existence, as reflected in our curriculum, campus climate and administrative support.
Lost attending a school that claims to care for diversity, but shows little-to-no meaningful support in facilitating a diverse learning environment, and either tolerates hate-filled opposition to diversity or allows it to be swept under the rug.
Because this is San Luis Obispo, right? The happiest city on Earth. More like the straightest, whitest, frattiest, ignorant, hegemonic city on Earth. But hey, be happy! We have theFarmer’s Market and Spring Stampede to look forward to.
I’ve brought a lot to the table today, but let me leave you with a few things.
Before I was admitted, I would tell people I wanted to go to Cal Poly and they would say, “Oh that’s a really conservative school, good luck.” I didn’t really think much of it, but three years later I can see that they were wrong. It isn’t just a conservative school, it is a dead one. Dead because our money isn’t going to our teachers; our money is not funding our education. Dead because the students here don’t care about diversity. And if they do, they are either passively sitting along with the oppressor or they are silenced and ridiculed.
No one is too busy for diversity because it applies to us all.
Do you think once you leave here with your increasingly meaningless college degree that suddenly the understanding of how fundamental diversity is just going to punch you in the face? So you don’t have to think about it now? That isn’t how the world works.
Support diversity. Support our teachers. Support your fellow Mustangs. Oppose the Sustainable Financial model.