For a college student, signing up for classes is one of the most stressful situations you can experience. I have been doing it for the last three years, and it has yet to get any easier. The goal for most students at Cal State Monterey Bay (CSUMB) is to graduate and get on with their lives, but it seems the university has other plans for the students. I understand the budget is being cut, and universities are having a tough time. This is why, throughout the last couple years, CSUMB students have experienced increased tuition and much needed classes being cut. This makes a four year plan an extremely difficult feat to accomplish.
As if students weren’t having enough problems already, a 17 unit cap is now being implemented for all students except for Business and ESTP students and graduating seniors with 90 units or more. According to the Office of the Registrar, they are “working closely with the academic Deans to assure they offer as many classes as possible and students will be able to make steady progress toward their degrees.” Steady is correct. In fact, so steady it will most likely take the four year plan and throw it out the window. “I think it’s ludicrous! What about the kids who don’t have jobs or who want to graduate in three and a half years? Now they can’t,” said Miranda Squires, freshman, Communication Design .“That’s what I wanted to do; now it’s impossible.”
I couldn’t agree with Miranda more. While I was signing up for classes for next semester, I had a difficult time finding classes that were offered and would count for my major. All but three of the classes I need in order to graduate are offered once a year, meaning, because of the unit cap, instead of graduating in the Fall of 2012 I now have to wait another year just to take one class. “I think the 17 unit cap is a back way of raising tuition,” said Rafael Gomez, President of the California Faculty Association (CFA). “Now, when people come to school with the knowledge of Spanish we can only give them four units, instead of units for all the classes they skipped.”
I believe the university has their priorities turned around. Instead of wasting money watering the grass every night in a place where it rains and mists half the time, or painting the buildings again when the old paint hasn’t even worn down they should be focusing on the students.
CSUMB has been complaining for the last couple years about the lack of housing, and doing everything they possibly can to get one more room for one more student. Now, with this unit cap and classes being canceled or offered only once a year, students are going to have to stay longer. This uses up valuable housing space which could have been offered to an incoming freshman. What does this mean? Either the university is going to have to build more housing using more money that could have been put to better use, or kick students out of housing who may not be able afford anything else.
Students are having enough trouble paying for the four years they need to be here without the added weight of financial aid, classes being cut, the unit cap and the possibility of housing being cut.