Let’s revolt: Drop your spring classes

Ryan Alan Carlson, University student

The University of Minnesota is a cesspool of fraud, waste and abuse, both economically and educationally. Now, I know that might seem a little harsh, but looking into the facts, it becomes completely clear that this University is failing its students.
 
Tuition at the University has doubled since 2001, and that’s adjusted for inflation. The University of Minnesota’s mission should be educating students, not enriching its bank account on the backs of those students. But in 2012, there were more than 353 University employees who made more than $200,000. Adjusted for inflation, that was up by more than 50 percent in the last 15 years. The University can do that when it doubles tuition.
 
Furthermore, many students have no idea where their student service fees go. Even more despicably, the University has essential services funded by these fees. Boynton
Health Service, Student Unions and Activities and the Aurora Center are just some of those services. 
 
Student fees also fund student groups. Many students at this University are struggling to make tuition and rent payments, but they are forced to pay for student groups. 
 
At this year’s rate of more than $430 dollars per semester, student service fees would cost us more than $3,440 dollars over four years. I can only imagine how much that money would help a student over the course of an undergraduate career. 
 
The University needs to stop backdoor taxing the students and forcing us to subsidize other students’ personal agendas.
 
Now, I have to be honest and admit that I do not pay one nickel of tuition. I am a veteran and use my GI Bill. I am only writing this because I am sick and tired of talking to students who are single mothers and students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are $30,000, $40,000 or even $80,000 in debt. 
 
They will be paying their loans for the next 10 to 30 years of their lives while University employees sip cocktails on the beach with their fat pensions. 
 
We need to demand more teachers, more diverse classes and cheaper tuition. Remember: the students here at the Twin Cities campus fund this place. We can demand change. I call for all students to drop their spring semester classes and hold out until changes are made. We deserve a better education. 
 
If today’s political climate has shown us anything, it’s that we can make a difference — but only if we are united.