The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Rob’s reckonings

Scott Hansen

At first, the proposal of the Blugold Commitment didn’t sit well with me.

It’s not that the goals of the proposal were terrible, in fact, they made sense. However, as someone who works two jobs and handles a full credit-load and still only has $2.73 to my name as I write this, it was just the thought of dishing out any more money to this university that made me sick.

But as time went on and I heard more and more cries from the Student Senate and the administration for student input on the plan to no avail, something else bothered me even more: the fact that the majority of the students on this campus really don’t care about anything.

After the Blugold Commitment was unveiled, our editor-in-chief and I walked around the campus mall to get a feel for what students thought about the plan. As expected, about one out of 10 people asked hadn’t even heard the term ‘Blugold Commitment’ before.

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A listening session held Tuesday night for students to educate themselves on the plan produced and equally pathetic display. Five students showed up, two of which were required to be there because they work for The Spectator and a third student present was the roommate of a senator. To top it all off, just five senators graced the session with their presence.

The other night I heard a Spectator reporter complaining that they had used the same technique of asking random students to try to get feelings about the Fort Hood shootings and experienced the same result that I had with the Commitment.

What exactly is going on on this campus that the people who are supposedly the educated members of society have absolutely no idea when one of the biggest shootings in our country’s history occurs?

I mean, I guess people dying is one thing, but the university wants to take your money and still nothing? Is it just that looking away from your Facebook profile long enough to turn on the news or pick up a paper might cause you to lose some crops on Farm Town?

Or is it that more than 140 characters is way too much information to digest? Maybe it’s just that mommy and daddy’s checks always cover enough for rent, tuition and booze regardless of what the chancellor is asking from you?

Just to quit picking on college kids for a while, I will admit that apathy also plagues the general

public as well.

In fact, the thing that really got me thinking about this column was an experience I had while covering a local budget meeting a while back.

The issue was whether or not to raise a tax levy in nearby county by nearly six percent.

Though six percent doesn’t seem like much, it could mean quite a bit depending on the value of the property one owns. And regardless of how much property you own, it is still a tax increase.

A public hearing was held and of course, no one spoke out against the increase. A few people showed up to voice their opinions on the fate of a few county programs, but even those people ignored the issue of the tax increase as if it were inevitable.

How is it possible — especially in a time when all people talk about is how hard up they are — that local governments and universities are saying ‘We want to take more of your money … but we would really like to hear what you have to say first’ and no one bothers to say anything?

The administration has finally set the tuition increase at $1,500 over the next four years under the Commitment. Thankfully, that’s the low end of what was initially estimated.

However, that number could have been even lower had students taken any time at all to speak up.

The goal of this column is not to preach but more to try to wake the sheep.

There is an unfortunate and ugly trend of indifference in our generation, and it certainly won’t get any better until we all realize that we are now adults. We now have the ability to control our environment, and if we simply choose not to, we are setting our community, country and world up for epic failure.

I’m not saying you have to stand on the campus mall waving signs and chanting all day, but do something. Anything.

Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities for the student body to redeem itself.

Another listening session will be 7 p.m. tonight at Hilltop. Be there.

A campus-wide survey will be circulate the first week of December. Do it.

I can honestly say that as more details have come out in the open I’m not exactly sure what I think about the Blugold Commitment just yet.

However, I do know that as upset as I was when I heard about the tuition increase, I have definitely settled down after seeing how important student input is to this administration.

Regardless of what side of the fence I eventually fall on, I also know I will be taking campus surveys and anything else I can do voice my opinion.

Because after all, I am a journalism major and in a year-and-a-half when I’m living on a reporter’s salary, those student loans are going to be more than just numbers on a piece of paper under my stack of Rolling Stones.

Consider the dead horse beaten.

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Rob’s reckonings