2 CAMPUS NEWS
Last day of Finals Week is December 18 - School will resume on January 11, 2010 - Journalism Boot Camp will take place on January 16, 2010 from 1 to 7 p.m.
ithout a doubt, thefuture of higher education inWashington State is gloomy. Alooming state budget cut thisspring, in the wake of a nearly$9 billion state budget cut lastspring, cast a dark shadow over all state funded institutions— especially higher education.Last year, the state legislaturecut its funding for public higher education in Washington by $617million, while simultaneouslyallowing universities to raisetuition up to 14% each year for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 schoolyears. At WSU Vancouver,this equated to an $827 tuitionincrease for 2009-10, and a proposed $943 tuition increasefor 2010-11.This year, facing an additional(estimated) $2.3 to $2.5 billionrevenue shortfall, the state legislature willmake additional cuts. Being discussed are anadditional 20% cut to higher education, andthe possibility of allowing institutions to raisetuition by nearly 30%—or just over $2021 atWSU Vancouver—in one year. It is not out of line to say that there are discussions of closinga university.Two realities accompany this frighteninginformation. First, there just isn’t enoughmoney. Tax revenues are not meeting estimateswhile case loads are increasing rapidly—in part
due to the aftermath of our national nancial
crisis. Second, students have not raised their voices in opposition. While ASWSUV isactively involved in Olympia, a handful of students are not enough to affect real change.This is especially true now, as other interests areactively mobilizing to compete for funding.Some students in other parts of the countryare hearing the wake-up call. Two weeks ago,we saw students in California mobilize to protest tuition increases of 32%. Withholding judgment of their means, the fact that thousandsof students mobilized to oppose budget cutsand tuition increases is phenomenal. Had theystarted earlier, they may have been successful.That is why we are starting NOW.We need students. We need you. We needletters, and phone calls, and rallies. We needfellow students to stand up and protect our right—and the right of our brothers, sisters,friends, and children—to go to school.Legislators must know that students are payingattention, and that students care, and thatstudents will vote to protect higher education.ASWSUV is currently conducting a letter-writing campaign, aimed at persuading our legislators in the 17th, 18th, 49th, and 15thdistricts (primarily) to vote to shield higher education from crippling cuts and to protectstudents from exorbitant tuition increases.We are visiting classes, asking for student participation in this campaign. We urge youto participate, and to encourage others to participate as well. If we have not come to
your class, please stop by our ofce (located inthe Firstenburg Student Commons) to ll out aform letter and nd out other ways that you can
participate.If the information in this article makes younervous, irritated, agitated, or just plain upset,GET INVOLVED. Call, e-mail, or just stop by;our doors are always open.Peter Sterr Director of Legislative Affairs, ASWSUVaswsuv.firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Legislative Affairs
Tuition on the Rise
A call to action from Peter Sterr
SUV students may have noticed—nowis a popular time to be in the library. However,it is not just the end of the term that is forcingstudents into the library. The library has actually
seen an increasing amount of trafc this year as
compared to other years.Almost all of the statistics provided bythe library show an increase in library usage.In August, the number of seats occupiedin the library throughout the day increaseddramatically from 2008. Noon and 1:00 p.m. showed increases of 179% and 156%respectively. Seat occupation was monitoredon an hourly basis for one day a week in themonths of August through September 2009.This data was compared to the 2008 data. Outof all the hourly observations for each month,only two time periods showed decreased seatoccupation, one time period showed neither increase or decrease, and the others all showedincrease.The gate in the library, that counts when people enter and exit the library, has shown anupward trend of people coming into the libraryfrom 2002 to 2009. In the month of October alone, there were over 10,000 visits to the
library, the second highest library trafc during
2002-2009. The highest amount of library
trafc was in April 2009.
Observations of computer usage in thelibrary show that during all hourly slots, theaverage usage of library computers was over 50% of the computers available. In the majorityof cases, over 70% of the computers availablewere being used.These statistics may not be surprising for many students who use the library. During busy
hours, it may be impossible to nd an empty
computer, and students have to go other places.If you go into the library during these times,you can see students milling around, waitingfor someone to be done with the computers provided in the middle of the library.“Students like using the library’s workstations because they have everything they need close by – space to study, access to resources, access
to help, access to Microsoft Ofce, and larger
workstation carrels that make it easier to spreadout all of their stuff,” explains Karen Diller,Associate Library Director, “We have frequentreference librarian feedback on students not being able to use a computer workstation in theLibrary, including in the computer lab in theLibrary.”Library staff is doing what they can to
ease the ow of trafc. Librarians are also
collecting data about library usage so they canmake informed decisions about where morespace could be useful to students. Students areencouraged to go to the other computer labs oncampus, MMC 110 and CLS 218, if they are
not able to nd any computers in the library.
Librarians are also trying to make sure thatwhen computers are in high demand, researchand school work gets top priority.Because many students bring their ownlaptops to the library and wish to connect tothe wireless network, the library is lookingfor funding to increase wireless access in thelibrary. In the meanwhile, students will have todeal with usage exceeding library capability.Students looking for more space for studygroups or personal study can go to the cafeteria,another popular space to study. Karen Diller suggests the new building, also known as theUndergraduate Classroom Building, whichhas four rooms for study groups. She alsorecommends, Firstenburg Student Commons,Admin 130 and the study areas in MultimediaClassroom Building.If students want to avoid busy hours at thelibrary, they should go early in the morning or in the evening. “Basically, we are busiest from10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Mon.- Thurs.,” says Nicole Campbell, Reference and ElectronicServices Coordinator. Also, there is no needto come into the library if you need to contactthe library. “[Students] have access to greatresources and help when off-campus or outsideof the Library,” states Library Director LeslieWykoff. “During the semester, help is availablevia IM, phone, and e-mail from 9 a.m.- 10 p.m.on Mondays -Thursdays; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. onFridays; and Noon - 5 p.m. on Saturdays andSundays. Hundreds of resources are availableelectronically via the Library’s web site.”The library will be able to hold more studentseventually. Discussing the plans for libraryexpansion in the future, Leslie Wykoff explains,“A remodel of the Library Building is WSUVancouver’s top priority in the next capital budget request from WSU to the Legislature.WSU Vancouver has always planned to remodelthe Library. The Library Building’s second
story oor was built to be load-bearing so that
we could put book stacks up there.” A priorityfor the remodel: more student study space andcomputer access. “We will also add plenty of computer workstations and group study space,”says Wykoff.
It does not look like trafc in the library
will decrease any time soon. A remodel of thelibrary might be good for students, but with the
Washington State Legislature facing decits, it
is unlikely that WSU will get enough money toexpand the library at WSUV any time soon. Aswe reach the end of the semester, it looks likethe library gate counter will tick on.
Annual Gate Count at WSUV Library2002 to 2009
Increased traffic in the library
Campus News Editor
Photo by Michael Hatch