Although it may be nice to grab coffee between classes at Starbucks in the LBJ Student Center, students must be conscious of the potentially negative effects corporations could present on campuses.
The expansion of corporate influence on college campuses is a double-edged sword. Take Wal-Mart for example. The largest retailer in the world announced earlier this year they will open up shops on the Arizona State University and Georgia Tech campuses. These stores are not going to be like normal local Wal-Mart Supercenters, which on average are 185,000 square feet. In fact, a Jan. 21 Huffington Post article stated the Georgia Tech store could be the smallest Wal-Mart in the country, slated to be between 2,500 and 5,000 square feet. Likewise, the one planned at Arizona State will be approximately 5,093 square feet, according to a press release by Wal-Mart.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s proposed plans for attack on the City of Austin will likely not be actualized, but the reasons behind the specific target warrant some questioning and discussion.
A photo released almost two weeks ago by North Korean state media officials showed Kim working on plans for potential American mainland attacks. The map present in the picture, provided by NK News, appears to display possible targets in places such as Washington, D.C., Hawaii, San Diego and Austin. As irrational as it seems, Kim is supposedly planning to attack the city about 30 miles northeast of the Texas State campus, a seemingly nonsensical target. What could Austin possibly possess to make it seem like an important target for North Korean leaders?
As more states permit bills granting in-state tuition and higher education opportunities to undocumented residents, students need to push legislators to pass the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.
The DREAM Act would cancel the removal of certain undocumented students if they met a series of requirements, according to the text of the bill. The eligibility criteria includes entering the nation at or under 16 years old, a U.S. high school diploma, equivalent or college education and living in the country for at least five years. The bill would allow states to determine residency for higher education and military purposes. In addition, undocumented students would be eligible for federal work study and student loans. States could decide whether to provide financial aid to the students, according to the Immigration Policy Center. Above all, it would provide a way for undocumented students to become legal permanent residents with citizenship.
Texas State should seriously consider utilizing student-run farms to raise educational opportunities and research, better establish the brand of the university and increase profits.
Primarily rurally-located universities throughout the nation have supported student-run farms as businesses on their campuses. The most notable one is the Berkey Creamery, which is run by Pennsylvania State University staff and students. The ice cream, sherbet and cheese are made in conjunction with the College of Agriculture Sciences at the university. Half of the milk used comes from a 225-cow herd at Penn State’s Dairy Production Research Center. Students are involved at the storefront with sales and production and on the farms and laboratories with research. There is even a hands-on ice cream making class in the agriculture department. Not only is this business sustainable, but it is the largest university creamery in the nation.
The state legislature needs to re-evaluate and approve the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and stop the industry from having free reign over students and residents in critical situations.
Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured residents in the nation, according to a March 9 Texas Tribune article. A Medicaid expansion would drive down the amount of money students spend whether through healthcare costs for those on Medicare or state taxes. Legislators should not beat around the bush with the issue of Medicaid and should focus on re-evaluating the issue with the goal of providing more with health coverage.
The overall economy of the state would benefit significantly if the Texas Legislature passes a law to extend liquor sale hours.
According to a Feb. 20 University Star article, two legislators recently filed bills designed to abolish the state’s “blue” laws that limit Sunday alcohol sales. The bills known as Senate Bill 236 and House Bill 421 are expected to expand the hours of liquor store operation each week.
A law altering the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Code could have added $7.4 million in general revenue to the 2012-13 biennium budget, according to a Feb. 7 Texas Tribune article. More money at the state level means more to distribute to services, like higher education.
Texas State officials must ensure the value of a bachelor’s degree remains relevant even as a record-high amount of students are heading out into the workforce with higher education experience.
The economic recession that took place from 2007-2009 pushed student enrollment to new highs at colleges across the nation. This is beneficial for the local economy and social environment. However, with more people attending college, questions are raised about the value of a degree. In the long-term, a bachelor’s degree could be devalued because of the high numbers of college graduates.
Two-year college enrollment rates increased 12.7 percent in 2010. This occurred because of predicted results based on unemployment percentages from 2007, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. At four-year public schools in 2010, enrollment was about 5 percent higher than previous projected models from 2007, according to the same study.
Texas State officials should avoid implementing a plan some universities across the nation have discussed that could abridge degrees and restrict some students from double majoring.
Administrators at Ohio State University and University of Texas discussed banning students from earning two degrees at once unless they could graduate within four years, according to a Jan. 31 Time Magazine article. Lagging graduation rates and internal pressures at many institutions have fueled many similar discussions in the country.
In the same article, it’s said 58 percent of students who enroll in bachelor’s degree programs at four-year institutions in the United States graduate within six years. In addition, statistics from U.S. News & World Report indicate Texas State’s four-year graduation rate is approximately 27 percent. With this in mind, simplifying degree paths and restricting students to only one degree could be a possibility for Texas State administrators in the future.
The San Marcos Police Department must find ways to ensure that safety is maintained within the community amid a recent spike in the city’s historically low violent crime rate.
A violent crime like a stabbing or a hit-and-run may come as a shock to many residents in a relatively peaceful town. Three residents were injured Sept. 2 in a hit-and-run in downtown San Marcos, and a stabbing took place Feb. 3 resulting in the death of a man at an Allen Street party. It should be a priority for SMPD officials to amplify and ensure residents’ sense of security, with special regard for these recent events.
A potential proposition to station armed guards at Texas State and other campuses across the nation would be an extreme measure that could have negative effects on students and financial budgets.
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, discussed stationing officers during a Dec. 21, 2012 press conference in response to the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. He said, “I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school—and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January.”