Feb. 10, 2023, marks the 100th birthday of Texas Tech. Originally founded under the name Texas Technological College, Tech did not open for students until 1925. 

Reaching this milestone for a college or university is a huge achievement, as 100 years of student and faculty excellence define the system of education.

The upcoming Tech Centennial is a time to reflect on the university’s vibrant past and celebrate the future of the school. However, the well-being of current students is not at the level it should be. Tech should use this celebration to listen and address the issues of students today.

Here are a few changes Tech should make to strengthen the community.

One of the major problems college students face is the lack of funds. The rising cost to attend school disadvantages students not within a high-income class. According to College Tuition Compare, a university financial website, Tech’s total cost of attendance has risen 33.39 percent since 2012. While this study is 11 years old, Texas’ minimum wage is the same as it was that year, sitting at $7.25.

Many students work to fund housing and survival responsibilities while paying for school. According to LivingCost.org, the cost of living in Lubbock after-tax median for two months is approximately $3,991. As a student employee, I can make that amount in six months. This is not adequate to sustain a living as a full-time college student and part-time employee. 

Furthermore, the allocation of funds by Tech often seems to forget the educational aspects of the school. Announced in July, the already grandiose Dustin R. Womble Football Center and  Jones AT&T Stadium are undergoing renovations, a costly project of $200 million, according to sports website Fan Nation. 

While sports is a vital part of Tech’s identity and monetary gain, there are many student employees and programs that deserve these funds. Working two jobs myself at Tech, one of my graduate co-workers was let go last semester due to diminishing funds. Seeing students struggle to keep a job when money is being given to athletics is disheartening as a scholar. 

Tech should increase pay for all student employees and work toward retaining jobs for students as well. 

Not only is working on campus efficient for many, it also allows students to give back to the university and help better the school. Without student employees, Tech would not be as successful as it is.

In addition to raising wages, Tech should lower fees for students. A major inconvenient fee students receive are parking tickets. According to Phys.org, Tech is considered the second largest contiguous campus in the U.S. Knowing the magnitude of Tech’s size, it plays into question why parking is limited for students.

With few parking lots available for students, the struggle to find parking for class is an everyday hassle. To avoid increasing parking tickets, I park off campus and often find myself rushing to class due to the lack of spots. One might bring up the availability of parking permits; however, according to TTU Transportation & Parking Services, these passes are first-come, first-served. Even if one has the funds to pay for a costly permit, Tech Parking may run out of permits before students can purchase them.

Tech needs to listen to students’ grievances about parking and put compassion over greed. The university should enable free parking anywhere on campus, making it easier for students and Tech faculty to access campus.

Along with its many accolades and accomplishments, Tech is an amazing school. The centennial emphasizes how far the school has come in providing a priceless experience and higher education. However, the price of attending Tech is one that deters many from relishing in its glory. Tech must focus on current and prospective students and making college a scholarly blessing, rather than a financial burden.

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