Find the facts: move past the partisan fights

Feb. 18, 2015

The UW System will potentially see $150 million less per year for the next two years due to Gov. Scott Walker’s currently proposed cuts.

There it is my fellow Warhawks.

The line has been drawn in the sand. You must pick your side and go to battle.

This is politics and if that one uber-political friend you have met since starting college has taught you anything, there is absolutely no middle ground in politics.

MichaelRileyWEB
Commentary by
Michael Riley
Editor in Chief

Red or Blue. Left or Right. Liberal or Conservative. Friend or Foe.

This is not the place for a partisan rant, but it gives me a preface to talk about the cuts everyone has been worrying about.

On one side, you have the “Walker hates teachers, but he hates the UW System more” crew and on the other you have “our fearless governor is giving more freedom and autonomy” squad; and guess what?

Each side will argue until they are blue (or red) in the face explaining why they are right.

You need to really sift through the rhetoric and understand what this means for you personally.

So, that is what I did.

UW-Whitewater will have to cut $7 million to $8.5 million in the first year of the proposed budget. For students, I believe we will see fewer courses to choose from, taught by fewer professors.

Students may even see new professors or deans because they have moved on to work in a state that values education.

It honestly would not surprise me if almost 100 percent of non-tenured academic professors actively started searching for a new job outside of the state when this was announced.

First, it puts me in existential crisis that Gov. Walker would put his personal stamp of approval on this.

I feel like growing up, all you hear is the glorious wonderment of a college education and how
anything is possible if you do well in school.

It’s as if Walker just told all of us that Santa isn’t real, but instead of a fictional holiday character, this is our future and the state’s untapped resource of intelligent young adults will only go elsewhere if the cuts pass as is.

Next, I can only think of Walker’s personal agenda. This might be the “House of Cards” talking, but any publicly elected official can’t help him or herself but to think about holding the highest possible spot in American government.

How could he possibly run for president if he has a gigantic deficit in his home state?

It is absurd to think about a circumstance where Walker and his staff put the UW System on one side of the table and a presidential bid on the other side and said ‘Choose!’

It is even more absurd to think that Walker would pass up the POTUS for some silly education thing, right?

Nonpartisanship and presidential aspirations aside, I think one thing is clear:

The discussion has just begun.

What Walker’s administration is planning and discussing now is not what will be on the table when it comes to the governor’s desk in the final rounds.

It is naive to think that there would not be a decrease in UW System funding, but not to this extent.

It will take hard work, but politically, Wisconsin has made its mark for being progressive.  I can only hope for the next few undergraduate classes that it does not mean disaster.

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