Friday, October 15, 2010

The Parking Situation at USM

  Since I've been at USM for these past four years the parking situation has been just that, a situation, one in need of fixing. My freshman and sophomore years I stayed in Bond Hall and we had pretty good parking situation unless it was a football game coming up that weekend. The price of decals were pretty cheap as well when I first started at USM in 2006; I believe the price WAY back then was $50 for resident decals. My living situation changed when I moved off of campus starting my junior year and decided to become a commuter and have my parking choices cut back drastically! My junior year the decal for a commuter was either $75 or $85 and I found that I didn't have many places to park on campus and I had to leave home much earlier to make it to class on time. This semester, my last semester, the commuter decal went up to $135, maybe more and more people seemed to become commuters because commuter parking spots decreased even more.
   I have nothing against the faculty at USM, but it seems like they and the staff have too many parking choices for the number of them compared to the number of students. The parking garage is supposed to handle this situation for commuters I guess, since that's who I heard it was for, but I will not be here to reap in those rewards. What the decision makers at the university could have done to solve the parking situation and save money was make ALL the spaces on campus available to everyone when you bought a decal and let the residents, commuters and faculty & staff fight over parking spaces throughout the course of a day. I think the faculty and staff would understand our excuses for being late to class, if they were made to stalk parking spaces everyday, and result to parking in the farthest gravel lot and make the trek to class just to get the ugly looks from their students for being late.

Watered Down Graduation in December 2010?!?!

  I'm curious as to why the powers that be at the University of Southern Mississippi have decided to go back to two graduations for the December 2010 commencement ceremony, and not have one large ceremony in the stadium for the fall centennial graduation like they did for the spring graduation. As someone who is graduating in December I feel like the graduates deserve some of the same treatment that the graduates in May received. For example, the big graduation in M.M. Roberts Stadium at one specific time on a Saturday (not a Friday, like the December ceremony) so everyone could come would be nice, the big medallions with the dome and the centennial design on it would also be nice, and all the spectacle would be nice.
   December 2010 is still a part of the centennial celebration year, so why do we get the second rate, two ceremony, Friday graduation? Yes, I still get my diploma, but the glitz and the special treatment would be nice as well. I guess the university's claims of being strapped for cash is playing a part in the university watering down the fall commencement; no money for medallions and turning the campus lights on on a Saturday. Maybe the university could save the money by keeping the lights off for a football game on a random Saturday (it would make the game more interesting) and putting that money into buying centennial medallions for December graduates and making graduation December 11, 2010 (Saturday), instead of December 10, 2010 (Friday).

Plans After Graduation


  Where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday I was an 18 year old boy first stepping onto the University of Southern Mississippi's main campus in Hattiesburg,MS. It's four years later and I'm a 22 year old man preparing to walk away from USM in December 2010 with a degree in Political Science and a BIG decision of what to do after college. My plans are to attend law school and further my education in the field of law. I have grown a lot during my four years of college and have had my thinking broadened as well. I believe that USM has prepared me to further my education at the next level and I would recommend the University of Southern Mississippi to anyone seeking to pursue higher education.
  Now I wait; for my LSAT score, for the semester to end and for my grades to be what I expect them to be and for transcripts to be sent, applications to be looked over and hopefully for acceptance letters from law schools.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Budget Cuts at the University of Southern Mississippi (Revisited)

    Since my last blog posting about the initial plans for the budget cuts at USM, alot has been added to the issue on campus. Recently there were protests in front of the Administration building, where concerned students got out and made their feelings known to the decision makers at USM. Unfortunately I was not able to attend and voice my concerns over the cuts, but I'm sure that the President got an idea of how the majority of students feel about the situation. There was also a townhall meeting hosted by the President Saunders to address the budget cuts and answer questions that the students had. From what I heard she really didn't do that great of a job in making the students feel at ease or making them understand how they decided what to cut and what not to cut.
     I believe that the elimination of the Latin, and Religion majors will come back to bite USM in the ass. Two of the professors that are listed to be fired (1 Latin professor, 1 Religion professor), I had the pleasure of being in their classes and learning from them and it would be a serious loss to the university to lose these two professors and lose these two majors, BUT HEY, we still have all of our sports going full throttle!
    Speaking of which, after having countless mediocre seasons the football team looks as if they want to do better than just 7-6 or 8-5 this season. I think they are trying to justify the athletic department not getting their budget cut by trying to win more games this season...that's what they better do! I'm rooting for my Golden Eagles this year like every year, but having a good season will not justify the athletic department not getting its fair share of the budget cuts...having another mediocre season though should put them in the list as departments needing its budget cut!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

University of Southern Mississippi Proposed Budget Cuts

     If you are in Mississippi, especially in southern Mississippi then I'm sure you have heard about the proposed budget cuts that The University of Southern Mississippi President Martha Saunders, along with the University Priorities Committee announced on August 30. The budget cuts mainly take away from academic and academic support services' budgets with hardly any cuts coming from the athletic department. More than $5 million is being cut from academic colleges and the support services that accompany them. I think that the really sad thing about the cuts is that people have to lose their jobs and entire programs have to be eliminated from the university. Or do they?
    The numbers cut from the athletic department are almost hard to believe compared to amount cut from academic programs. The athletic department at the university was only cut $136,586. The astounding thing about the whole situation is that the head football coach apparently makes $800,000, not including incentives. The discrepancy of the amounts cut from academics and athletics is enough to make one question what the decision makers at the university are putting first at The University of Southern Mississippi. Do they care more about academics or athletics? Seeing as how the school has a mission to educate the country's next leaders you would think academics, but the decisions that the university's leaders have made recently show that can't possibly be the case. They chose athletics over academics and showed the state, the country, and the world that The University of Southern Mississippi is dedicated to recreation, not education.

African-American Military History Museum

During this past summer, I took my girlfriend to the African American Military History Museum so we could both enjoy the rich history that African Americans have in the United States armed services. The museum has exhibits that show the involvement of black people in the military since the Revolutionary War all the way up to the current Global War on Terrorism. Even though black people were enslaved up until the Civil War and segregated until President Truman integrated the military after World War II they still served valiantly and were highly decorated in every war that the United States has been involved in. The exhibit starts you out with the Revolutionary War and the black soldiers that fought for America’s independence from England, and then you walk through the narrow halls of the exhibit through the Civil War portion, the Spanish-American War, and you can sit atop a horse that a Buffalo Soldier would ride during the Spanish-American War. The exhibit then takes you through “No Man’s Land” in World War I and every war up to the current war. The exhibit also shows significant Hattiesburg residents who served in America’s numerous wars over the years. The last stops in the museum are a movie that reinforces everything that you have seen throughout the exhibit and an area where you can try on actual military uniforms from various branches of the military and walk through the hall of famous black soldiers from the Hattiesburg area.