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At his State of the University speech last Wednesday, President Mark Becker shoveled out the praise for the apparently “excellent” progress across “all aspects” of the university’s mission. Our benevolent leader lauded numerous accolades the university has received for raising graduation rates among minorities, providing new services for veteran students and new student advisory reform. The average student would think that all is well at Georgia State University. 

Nested among the back-patting and sycophantic praise about the university’s new property acquisitions and improved programs, President Becker managed to gloss over and sugar coat some of the most immediately pressing issues that students are facing here at the university.

Although Becker did not deny the financial troubles facing the University, he did somehow manage to shoehorn in praise for the University while teachers face frozen salaries, and we spend beyond our means. Becker mentioned that he is “not optimistic” about teachers receiving a pay raise.

Master of Science in Management at Wake Forest

Although some of our scientific research facilities are making great strides in attracting funding for their projects, the opposite is happening to our State-level funding apparently at no fault of the university. Blame the economy.

While the University continues to lose funding from the State level, our spending does not seem to reflect a school that should be looking to be more fiscally conservative. The university continues to enter into deals for downtown property to expand our campus, while students must increasingly come out of pocket to attend classes.

That’s right, going to school may cost you more money next semester. Becker’s attempt to dodge criticism from the student body about the increased cost of attendance is that he will “not request any new student fees or fee changes for the upcoming year.” What he will do is request a tuition increase from the Board of Regents. You may have forgotten this Becker, but to a poor student, a dollar is a dollar is a dollar, no matter where the money is going.

At the end of the day, Georgia State is making great strides to expand as a university. The problem is that when the students listen to the President give an address on the state of the university, we need to hear more than just praise for the university’s accomplishments. The only time Becker directly addressed the university’s direct shortcomings was about the lack of facilities in the Petit Science Center. Most other shortcomings seemed to have the blame delegated to the weak economy. When the students listen to the leader of the university, it is important to honestly and directly address the problems facing the university and not use the platform as an opportunity for public relations.

Talk to us President Becker, not our financial backers.

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