When we see college students walking, serpentine, on Friday nights, talking too loudly, and eating pizza slices in both hands, we feel nostalgic. When we see them hauling 75 pounds of books out of the library, that strikes a chord, too. But when we report on desperate students crashing classes they'll never get because of budget cutbacks, being forced to apply for library books 48 hours in advance
, or, now, the release of San Francisco State's official "furlough calendar"
-- well, we're more thrilled than ever our diploma is up on the wall.
SFSU faculty and staff received this message
from school president Robert Corrigan last week, a stark reminder of what the consequences are of bleeding hundreds of millions of dollars out of higher education.
You don't have to be a Rhodes Scholar to figure out what will happen to the already understaffed faculty and the students they serve when you read, again and again, the phrase "employees must designate two furlough days this month."
Attempting to get the classes one needs to graduate, already a desperate gamble for many students, will begin to resemble the drive to get out of Saigon in 1975. But, know this -- things can always get worse.
There may come the day that we are nostalgic for the way things are now. And it may come all too soon.