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Casey should have
Oh, those tricky state lawmakers.
Gov. Robert Casey clicked his heels and said the
magic words last week, ruling out the threat of tax
increases for the 1992-93 fiscal year. The move was
meant to soften the blow of the recession and gloss
over the state's shaky financial future.
But then the governor explained how
Pennsylvanians can afford to elude additional taxes
in spite of a projected $403 million deficit by
cutting back in several areas, most notably education.
In all, Casey's budget plan will trim more than
$329 million from the state’s education programs,
including $llB million that will come from cutbacks
in higher education. That means a 3.5 percent drop in
funding for Penn State and other state-related
universities, and the elimination of state aid for
private colleges like the University of Pennsylvania.
Casey should have taken more.
Had he further slashed spending, even erasing
state aid for all academic institutions, we - as
students might finally open our eyes.
Maybe we'd realize that our state is ranked 48th in
education spending throughout the country. Maybe
we'd understand the need for some of Penn State's
inescapable tuition hikes. A few of us might even
recall Casey's 1991 pledge to boost education
spending by $125 million this year.
At least one or two of us would reconsider the
priorities of a lawmaking body that spent months
bickering over this year's budget last summer,
plunging the state into legislative limbo.
If things got really bad, we might go out and vote
for lawmakers who are determined to give higher
education the support and funding it needs to
produce competitive graduates. And if that didn't
work, we might even take a few minutes and write to
our representatives, demand’ng additional support
Maybe, but probably not.
Published weekly by the students of Behrend Collei
Todd J. Irwin
The Collegian’s editorial
opinion is determined by the
editorial staff, with the editor
holding final responsibility.
Opinions expressed in The
Collegian are not necessarily
those of The Collegian or The
Pennsylvania State University.
ie, Erie, PA
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From The Hip
Although he'd never
admit it, Todd J. Irwin,
editor of The Collegian,
has always dreamed
about growing a
Letter to the
I am a nontraditional student
starting my life over at an age
when the things I need most are
the security, support, and love of
someone close to me. Being
alone after being married all those
years isn’t just scary, it's
terrifying. Working two jobs to
survive and going to school full
time isn't easy, to say the least.
I've been extremely fortunate
so far. I’ve had the support and
Prices are increased by $.25 for adults and children
haircuts as of January 1,1992.
That's what the hand-written sign on the wall at my
favorite barber shop reads. Thinking of the price increase
as just another in a string of unwanted intrusions into my
wallet, I frowned.
Having waited my turn, I popped up from the row of
chairs filled with other patrons listening to an AM radio
talk show. About thirty minutes had passed since I arrived
at Marion's down on East 38th Street, but that’s a short
wait for a Tuesday afternoon.
"What you want today?"
A little off the top, and take the sides all the way
"Sides all the way to the skin, little off the top. OK."
Marion, a small, balding man wearing glasses and his
usual white pullover, circled behind me, and I heard the
familiar buzzing of his hair clippers dodging around my
While Marion worked, I inhaled talcum powder,
listened to old men discuss politics and the weather, and
wondered how long the "Unbreakable Leopard Combs" and
the Hood's Hair Darkening formula had been sitting on the
shelf below the wall-length mirror.
Marion finished his buzzing, and clipped away for a
few seconds. Then he lathered up the back of my neck and
prepared his usual finishing touch; a straight razor shave.
Buzz. Clip. Lather. Shave.
"OK, Junior, you ready for big date tonight."
I got up and ran a hand over my scalp, appreciating
Marion's attention to detail and my perfectly cut head of
I paid my three dollars (price increase included), and
smiled as I walked out the door.
administration and faculty that
goes beyond reality. They are
some of the finest people on the
face of this earth.
I've also had the support and
love from many friends who
calmed the fears, sat through the
tears, and understood the
confusion. I've come a long way
in two years, and I have a long
way to go both emotionally and
academically, but with the help
of my teachers and friends I'm
going to make it.
I'm writing this letter not just
to say thanks to those who were
Thursday, February 13, 1992
there for me, but because I know
there are other women and men
out there going through the same
Don’t tough it out and do it
alone, you don't have to. Reach
out and grab a hold of as many
helping hands as you can.
They're out there and they're
anxious to help, especially those
of us who have been there. Find
us and use us, we want to help.