Letter to the Editor

Sent to the Bell Ringer, Augusta State University’s student newspaper on 3/21/2001:

Marriot Food Service’s decision to trim its services does a great disservice to the faculty, staff and students here at Augusta State University.

I think that the decision to cut the hot line from the school lunch room was a bad idea. Not only can we now look forward to a more limited menu, Marriot Food Services can look forward to an increased loss of business. Do they honestly believe things will get better for them by doing this?

Students are losing their reasons to eat here on campus. Now, you either have pizza, salad, soup or a sub or you go somewhere else with your money. If that’s all the cafeteria has to offer, how many times a week do you think the average student will eat here? Once, maybe, if they even utilize the facility at all. Cutting the hot food line was a very bad idea. Think the lunch room is losing money now? Wait until they see what it is like when it’s not used at all. Fewer people are using Washington Hall now. Think this is a coincidence? I don’t think so. I think this is definitely one decision that needs to be rethought.

The school needs to look for better alternatives to encourage the usage of its facilities. If our school had some sort of swipe card system, we could simply charge meals to a personal account. Something like this could be hooked up to be used on soda and snack machines, in the book store and in both the Washington Hall cafeteria and the Butler Hall snack bar. The Technology Committee has $266,000 to spend before June 30, 2001. Part of it would be wisely spent on developing a system such as this for the University. Making it easier to use the facilities here will probably increase the amount of money coming in and will increase usage. Universities and colleges our size within the University System of Georgia are using these kinds of systems. Why can’t we?

I know the swipe card system is something that has been under some consideration by the university. The Phoenix even recently ran an article on it. Now is the time to move forward. If more adequate services are not provided to our students, we’re not going to have any reasons to stay here. Getting a system such as this in place is a step in the right direction. Let’s not waste this opportunity.

Drivers Beware

I’m not the world’s greatest driver. I’d be lying if I pretended to be. I’ve been in an accident. I’ve gotten multiple speeding tickets. Do I consider myself to be a bad driver? Yes. But I am working on it.

Now that I’ve got that out in the open I shall continue…

Other drivers tend to bother me. And I mean that in a “I HATE OTHER DRIVERS” kind of way. Why, you ask? No one cares about driving anymore. There, I’ve said it. Driving is something we all take for granted. We drive and drive and drive and drive… Many of us forget to use blinkers, we make sudden stops, we cut in front of other cars. We forget that there are other drivers on the road. This in itself is a major problem.

Not a day goes by where I don’t drive past some sort of accident. Minor fender benders here, five car pileup there… it’s insane! People just aren’t paying attention anymore. They lack courtesy. And they’re ruining the road for the rest of us.

I don’t ask for much from other people. I’m not very demanding. But there are a few things I’d like to say today.

  1. Use blinkers. I’m not a psychic. I don’t know if you’re going to go left or right unless you give me some sort of sign. Blinkers are there for a reason, use them.
  2. Yellow doesn’t mean “slam on your brakes”. A yellow traffic light doesn’t mean you need to slam on your brakes. Chances are there will probably be someone behind you. By doing this, you increase the risk of an accident.
  3. A yield sign doesn’t mean stop. I don’t know how many times I’ve been caught behind someone on a highway on-ramp where they’ve stopped at a yield sign. Yield does NOT mean stop. In many cases, yield signs placed in areas near on-ramps tend to be placed around bends of some sort. During any given week, I see at least 1 accident caused by someone careening into another driver who has stopped for no reason at a yield sign. It’s retarded. Learn to merge. Other cars will work with you if you’re smart about it. Speed up or slow down. By completely stopping you impede traffic and increase the risk of an accident.
  4. Go the speed limit. One thing I cannot stand is getting stuck behind someone who refuses to go the speed limit. If you’re in a 55mph zone, that does NOT mean go 40. If you feel compelled to drive slow, let me pass.

Granted, these might be just petty whines, but valid ones. Too many people just don’t pay attention to the flow of traffic these days. Too many people are busy talking on cellphones or applying makeup or writing stuff down or looking for things on the floorboards. Pay attention. I don’t want to die. I’m sure you don’t either. Let’s keep an eye out for each other, k? You watch my back, I’ll watch yours. Together, perhaps, with a little common sense, we can bring safety back into driving.

Apathy Sucks

Originally appeared in an October 2000 issue of The Bell Ringer:

I think student apathy is a serious problem on campus. It’s going to be the death of this university. This school is what we make of it. Students are the lifeblood of Augusta State. We can make or break this university.

This is my first semester at Augusta State University. I have always felt that it was important to have a well-rounded education. I’m currently taking 12 credit hours. I hate it when I walk around and see so many students disinterested in the future of this school. To them it’s just a place to go to class. For me, it’s become so much more. You see, I’ve gotten involved. I’m a member of the Political Science Club, College Conservatives, Model League of Arab States and I am the Art Director for the Phoenix Magazine. Why did I feel it was important to get involved in activities outside of class? I care about this university. I care about how it’s going to be four years from now when hopefully I’ll walk out of here with a degree in Political Science. I care about the quality of my education. Anything that I can do to make this school a better environment for myself I will do, without question. Anything I can do to help this school become a better environment for my fellow students is even better.

Get involved. Please. Clubs and organizations on this campus exist to give students a voice. They give us forums where we can meet with people with similar interests and do things that create a better atmosphere on this campus. Get involved in a theatre production. Join a faith-based organization. Join a club that relates to your major. Just do something. Take a chance and see what else this school has to offer aside from classes. I’m tired of hearing the excuse that “I don’t have any time” or “I hate being at school any more then I have to.” Sometimes, some things are important enough to dedicate time to. I love everything that the Political Science Club has done so far this semester. We’ve held a mock election, a few voter registration drives… We’re out there… we’re educating people about politics. We are a big part of this university, and I’d like to think we’re having a positive impact. I know some clubs do take a great deal of time out of our lives. I work full-time, attend school full-time and I still try to make time for extra-curricular activities. Sure, most nights I’m not home until 10pm or later, but it’s time well spent.

Find something you love and get involved. If there isn’t a club on campus to suit your interests, start your own. I mean, what bad could possibly come from it? Otherwise, the next time you find yourself bitching about how terrible you think this school is, ask yourself, “Have I done anything to change it?” If you can’t say yes, all I have to say is keep your comments to yourself.