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Students Are Overly Pessimistic About Eastern

Mathew Biadun | Staff Writer

No matter where I go, the number one feeling I get from Eastern students is cynicism. This seems to be an unavoidable plague amongst the campus community. Students rarely praise Eastern or show pride in attending Eastern. Rather, the number one sentiment expressed is discontentedness. 

Now, this is not necessarily bad. Students are paying a lot of money for Eastern, and have a right to complain about it. However, I also think that students here are a little too cynical, and not appreciative enough for what they have. Looking at the common complaints filed by Eastern students, and by adding a little context, I hope to give a more positive spin onto the usually negative mood. 

The greatest complaint I hear is the food. People despise Hurley Hall with a shockingly powerful vitriol. Yes, it has problems. I’ve seen moldy bread and leaky cups, and these aren’t acceptable. Improvements need to be made. However, it’s not all bad, let’s be honest. There’s different and unique food every day, kind staff, a wide drink selection, a variety of dietary accommodations, and plenty of seating. There is also a cafe in the Student Center, providing more options. Sure, it isn’t a perfect situation. But it also isn’t nearly as bad as most people suggest. Hurley is far from a high school cafeteria. 

Another complaint I hear is a lack of nightlife, especially when compared to UConn. But honestly, this is a completely self-created problem. People will complain about it being dead on weekends with nothing going on besides a frat party here or there, but will then go home, or stay in their dorms all weekend. Of course, it’s dead if you make it dead! Eastern is very unique among state universities by having a majority resident population. There is tons of potential to have fun here; it’s just not being tapped. That’s not a problem with the university, that’s just a problem of hypocritical students. 

A more academic complaint, meanwhile, is the class selection. Necessary credits sometimes only run once a year, or minors/majors barely have enough classes to finish their degree. This is a major problem, and I completely sympathize with everyone who suffers from it. However, some context is required. WCSU is financially failing, after going down a debt spiral specifically because they were funding too many classes and professors. It makes sense that Eastern learned from that failure. It enacted cost-saving measures and fiscal conservatism in order to keep a healthy financial situation. This is not an excuse for the problem but it is a valuable explanation, and vital context to understand why this is. We’d all be a lot more unhappy if Eastern had to cut majors and have huge layoffs, rather than the status quo. 

Let’s keep the fundamental reality in mind. Eastern is the smallest of the four main state universities. It is struggling with admissions and being profitable; a problem shared by all state universities. Let’s be grateful that Eastern is giving us an affordable option (compared to UConn and private colleges) for higher education. Our lives are not bad. We are all living in relative comfort and safety. Our lives are cushy and good here. We can and should give fair criticism to Eastern, but the immense pessimism and cynicism is unwarranted.


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