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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Public Higher Ed/Romney’s Proposed Plan

Upon hearing of the Governor’s plans for Massachusetts’ Public Higher Education System, I feel compelled to relate my own experience at UMass Boston. At the age of twenty-five, I made the long-overdue decision to pursue an undergraduate degree. I had attended a local private university after high school and operated a small business in this Commonwealth for three years, but ultimately decided I would be best served at UMass Boston. I take great pride in reporting that my expectations of this University were met, and exceeded. Judging by my prior experiences and my discussions with students at other universities, the academic standards at UMass Boston are above par. Each and every student is held accountable for their actions, for their contributions to the classroom, and for their overall participation in the UMass Boston community. The school’s association with non-profit agencies, local businesses, and other universities provides a practical context for the areas of study, and creates endless opportunity for the serious student. I personally have been challenged to achieve my best as a student here, and it is the tools provided by the University that leads me to the most rewarding endeavors of my life. I have found the diversity of UMass Boston’s student population to be one of the most important aspects of the educational experience. This diversity creates a unique environment in which real learning opportunity occurs on every level. The life experience brought into the classroom by a seventy-year-old woman from Winthrop or a nineteen year old man from Bangladesh contributes a great deal to the richness of the learning experience. The students I have met in this school are here by choice, many because of the value provided by this environment. Like me, some have previously ventured into the work force, attended other universities, or perhaps started a family. Whatever the case, I have found UMass Boston students to be extremely serious, sober, and well rounded, not to mention dedicated. In addition, the faculty members at UMass Boston have demonstrated to me that they are the best educators in the business. I have witnessed these professionals inside the classroom and outside in the community, and I can say with surety that these are the most dedicated, concerned teachers I have ever encountered. I have no doubt that these women and men are here because they are entirely committed to higher education and their students. They are honest, accessible, and quite frankly, incredible. Finally, if these reasons are not enough to make the Governor reconsider his views on Public Higher Education, I simply ask of him the following. Please explain to my father, a twenty-five year veteran of the Belmont Fire Department, and my mother, an insurance agent in Belmont for thirty years, exactly why the individual they elected to lead the Commonwealth thinks that quality education should be reserved for the elite only. Also, please explain to my five siblings, each one of them a graduate or student in the Public Higher Education System, precisely why this administration no longer wants to support the bettering of its constituents. The Governor’s plan is not just a threat to my future and the future of my family, but also a threat to the future of the Commonwealth.

Darrell Penta