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Sweepstakes Winner 2006 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Staff Editorial THE WICHITAN VIEWPOINTS Finalist 2004 Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award Oct. 24, 2007 Higher costs increase debts Students are already struggling to pay for college, often graduating with mountains of debt from student loans hanging over their heads. The price of a college education has been on a steady rise, and this year is no exception. On Monday, the College Board reported that tuition and fees at public and private universities have risen at more than double the rate of inflation. The cost of public institutions is rising more drastically than at private schools. The rate of fee increases outpaces the rise Parking lot closing causes more problems in prices of other products and services. In the past three years, consumer prices have only increased by about 3 percent annually, while public university fees and tuition have jumped by 6.6 percent. The result? Students and their families are taking out more loans, resulting in more debt to pay off post-graduation. The culprit? State governments. Over the past seven years, state and local support for colleges and universities has faltered, leaving the institutions in a bind. Instead of wasting our tax dollars with petty disputes in the Texas State Legislature, our elected officials should be spending their time making sure that higher education stays affordable. The Project on Student Debt, a nonprofit organization financed in large part by the Pew Charitable Trusts, stated that while there is financial aid out there, it doesn’t always go where it’s needed. Student debt is up by an even greater level than tuition, which is disconcerting. The average Pell Grant last year did not increase in response to rising costs. In fact, it declined for the second year in a row. Congress, however, has taken a step in the right direction by promising over $1,000 in increases over the next five years. That alone isn’t enough. The state needs to take an interest in higher education and make an effort to keep the cost from continuing to rise. 3410 Taft Blvd. Box 14 • Wichita Falls, Texas 76308 News Desk (940) 397-4704 • Advertising Desk (940) 397-4705 Fax (940) 397-4025 • E-mail Web site: Copyright © 2007. The Wichitan is a member of the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. The Wichitan reserves the right to edit any material submitted for publication. Opinions expressed in The Wichitan do not necessarily reflect those of the students, staff, faculty, administration or Board of Regents of Midwestern State University. First copy of the paper is free of charge; additional copies are $1. The Wichitan welcomes letters of opinion from students, faculty and staff submitted by the Friday before intended publication. Letters should be brief and without abusive language or personal attacks. Letters must be typed and signed by the writer and include a telephone number and address for verification purposes. The editor retains the right to edit letters. V e r y few students would argue with me if I say that parking is a problem on our campus. SHINICE CURRY So as a remFOR THE WICHITAN edy to this problem, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I come to campus 20 minutes early, park in the parking lot of the Mercantile Building and walk to the Dillard building so I can be on time to class. Most students just circle the parking lot for hours trying to find a closer space and still end up late for class. I’d rather come early and walk. This past Wednesday, I came at 9:40 a.m., bypassed the Dillard Building as I routinely do, and pulled into the Mercantile Building parking lot and to my amaze- ment, there were orange street cones blocking every entrance of the student parking lot. I find out that the bonfire for Homecoming week is being held in the parking lot on Thursday. So I circle the campus one time hoping to find an empty space, but as anyone who has a class at 10 a.m. knows, that is near impossible. Outraged, I park in a reserved spot and start my walk to the Dillard Building. On my walk across campus, I see MSU’s finest circling trying to find cars to ticket, so I flag them down and ask where they would suggest we park. The officer tells me, “Anywhere that is not resident or reserved parking.” I explain that the parking lot is closed and tell him what kind of car I drive and he says he will try not to give me a ticket. I go to my two classes and hur- ry to my car, and sure to his word, my car has no ticket, but I can’t say the same for every other student car parked around me. All of those cars had tickets blowing under the windshield wipers. Outrageous! I began research to find out when the students were notified that the parking lot would be closed for those two days. My first call was to the Student Activities office. The impolite response when I asked if arrangements had been made was that there are never very many cars in the parking lot. So the following Monday, I counted the cars in the parking lot and there were at least 40. That may not be many, but enough to show that closing the parking did affect students. After the person I spoke with in the Students Activities office and received a perfect answer, I called the police station. I was told that to their knowledge, there was no notification that the parking lot would be closed. Parking has been a problem at MSU since I started in the fall of 2004, so closing a parking lot, even for just 2 days, may have not been the best administrative move. But, since they felt the need to close the parking lot, students should have been notified in a proper amount of time and arrangements should have been made with the police department to let them know that there may be some illegal parking for those two days. Students pay over $30 to park in the parking lots on campus, and its our right to know if changes are being made, and it would be nice to know that before we get to campus for class. I sat down to write my column for this issue and never in my life have I REBECCA FERGUSON felt so unAD MANAGER inspired before. None of my usual muses seem to be working. My “fav songs” play list isn’t doing its job. Neither are the people in my life. (And in case you haven’t noticed yet, the people I associate with are normally the subject matter of my random babblings.) There could be just too much going on in my mind right now that I can’t sort it all out. Or maybe I don’t want to take the time to. Actually, you know what? I’ll take the easy way out and blame the weather. I think it’s a pretty reasonable excuse. I rolled out of bed the other day and my excuse for not putting on make-up was that it was way too cold outside. If only I could use that excuse to not study and to not go to class I’d be in business. There are few things in life that I hate, and the cold, and the things that go along with the cold, are some of them. I loathe it; I despise it; I detest it. My fingers and toes won’t be warm again until April. There’s no point in fixing my hair because I’m always wearing a hat. I don’t like getting all bundled up in a coat, hat, gloves, and scarf just to run to the store. I don’t like how everything is dead and brown and crunchy. Overcast and rainy days are just depressing to me. It always seems to be super windy in the winter time, which means I have to basically walk sideways in order to maintain any form of balance. The cold weather just makes me cranky and very anti-social. A word of advice - don’t talk to me until it warms up. Seriously. I can tolerate the cold when I’m curled up in a big blanket, with a good book in my hands, and a cup of cocoa on the coffee table next to me. There is one good thing about the cold though - it means that The Nutcracker is just around the corner. (You’ll hear more about that one come closer to December, don’t worry!) On a completely different note, I think “snow-cold” is an entirely different level of cold. I actually like “snow-cold.” I might even enjoy “snow-cold.” For some reason, I don’t think it’s quite as cold. Maybe because at that point I feel the need to get so bundled up for such a strange phenomenon. In my girly mind, snow is fun. I like reverting back to childhood days where having snowball fights and making snow angels were the cool things to do. Forget bulky sweaters and jackets – I live for cute sundresses and strappy tank tops. For as long as I can remember I’ve been a summer girl. I love the sun and getting freckles on my nose. I think my love of summer comes from my dad’s line of work. It’s not every day some one prays for temperatures to be in the high 100’s, is it? In some weird way, I’ve grown to love the heat just as much as he does. We covered our pool at the beginning of October and I’m already counting down the days until we uncover it. I miss my lounging days terribly. I’m about to retreat into my hibernation stage. I’ll emerge again when it’s warmer and the sun is warm and shining. As of now, I’m just biding my time until April when I can finally unearth my cute summer clothes again. Chilly weather freezes out creativity THE WICHITAN Reporters Richard Carter Rachel Tompkins Courtney Foreman Advertising Manager Rebecca Ferguson Managing Editor Brittany Norman Photographers Joel Abeyta Lauren Williams Copy Editor Haley Cunningham Op-Ed Editor Christian McPhate Graphic Artist Robert Redmon Adviser Randy Pruitt Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief Krystle Carey Entertainment Editor Konnie Sewell Sports Editor Josh Mujica Photo Editor Patrick Johnston

Oct 24, 2007

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