The “walkout” and why its important

The+Appalachian+Online

The Appalachian Online

Q

Last Thursday, over 300 students gathered in the parking lot outside of Kidd Brewer Stadium to protest what they believed to be Appalachian State’s misallocation of funds.

What sparked the protest however, was the parking restrictions placed on students in the hours before the game.

On Oct. 14 Chancellor Everts sent an email out to students and faculty stating that many of the parking lots had to be vacated by 3 p.m. the day of the game.

Many students and faculty took issue with this, as it prevented many upperclassmen and teachers from attending class due to them living off of campus.

While this itself may not be seen as protest worthy, this incident was just the straw that broke the camel’s back for many people in regards to the school’s preferential treatment of athletics.

They felt that there was, and is, a misallocation of funds in regards to athletics over academics, which is why they were so outraged over the parking arrangements.

So, in response to all of this, they planned a “walkout” of classes at 2 p.m. on the day of the game and spread fliers all across campus that noted what “students are really paying for.”

The short of the flier is that academic spending has decreased while tuition and other costs have increased. Professors and other faculty without “chancellor” or “provost” have had more expected of them while being compensated less.

While this has been going on, the amount spent on athletics has increased and the salary of the head football coach has increased drastically over the last four years.

Many of the students held signs at the protest saying that they were “students not customers,” and that education should come before athletics.

Well, they’re technically wrong, we students are customers by definition, we’re paying Appalachian State for a service that they provide — our education.

Honestly we should embrace that definition moreso than saying that we’re students, primarily because us being customers gives us more power.

As students we’re subject to the whims of the administration, we’re made to feel like what we do won’t affect the daily affairs of the school.

However, we do have the ability to change things, mainly because the school runs on our money, without our tuition the school won’t have the budget to increase the funding for athletics.

The chancellor and the administration needs to pay heed to what these students are saying, otherwise, like an unsatisfied customer at Walmart, they’ll choose to go to another school.

If my professors aren’t properly compensated for the work that they put in, they’ll move on to greener pastures, and with the lower quality of professors that will take their places, I will also move on to greener pastures.

I love this school and I enjoy the football games, but my education comes before athletics, and I hope that the chancellor and the administration remember that too.

Russell, a freshman journalism major, is from Charlotte, NC