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Sharp Left Ahead: With high tuition, students deserve say in the pay

With the quarter almost over, I was saying some small goodbyes to the teachers and students I had met in my Religious Beliefs class and discussed briefly whether a few of us atheists thought morality is socially constructed or if it is evolutionary (the usual conversation piece).

By this point in the quarter, we had dispelled the prevailing myths about western religion, specifically the idea that the Bible is inerrant and that people should follow its every wish without question.

Not even five minutes after I left, I ran into some religious protesters outside Baker University Center. They appeared to have set up shop to do what any religious bigot does — preach through a megaphone at people who probably don’t want to hear their message and are also probably more educated on the subject than those preaching.

They were yelling some rubbish about how gays are sinners and how we all need to repent because Jesus died for our sins and a bunch of other nonsense that really doesn’t pertain to modern-day morality.

Thankfully, I barely heard their message because, within an hour, student groups such as the LGBT community and political activists from Stand Against Genocide and Ohio Student Power came to drown out the lies of these religious fanatics.

I was struck by the quickness at which a counter-protest formed. These groups were working to promote their own agenda but they came together for this particular instance to help others out when they needed to be organized quickly and efficiently.

Surely most everyone has seen the student protests happening on campus — there have been marches, hanging banners and social media campaigns.

They fight for issues we should all be concerned with, first and foremost college tuition.

The Ohio Student Power group is fighting to allow students to have a say in their tuition costs, which have been skyrocketing to unreasonable amounts not only here, but across the country.

Nowadays, you need a college education in this country to have a hope at maintaining a steady job, and even that doesn’t seem like enough even between double majors, studying abroad and internships.

My Dad, for all of his successes, did not seem to understand how expensive it would be to send me to college. In terms of my college education, my dad had that mindset of, “if I could work my way through college, so can you.”

It simply doesn’t work like that anymore. Working two minimum wage-jobs would still keep you in massive amounts of debt, not to mention working as a full-time student on top of it.

We live in a different world than our parents, but maybe the problem is that the university is still solely run by our parents’ generation.

We need students to have an equal say in what our future livelihoods will cost.

OU’s newly formed committee on socially responsible practices has been formed to deal with the issue of a conflict-free campus. The committee includes faculty, administration and students in its decision processes.

A similar model for a committee would be too drastic of a change for the application of changing tuition, but certainly students need to have a say because we are the ones enrolled in the school and the ones paying astronomically too much to keep it running.

Social media is an invaluable tool and, with it, OU students can tackle important issues such as a conflict-free campus, genocide in poor countries, dictators and our rising tuition.

William Hoffman is a freshman studying journalism and a columnist for The Post. Email him at

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