What follows are an AOMA students comments on my Wiki Qi blog, and my response to him. I'm re-posting as a blog because the way comments are formatted you can't easily see them. Here goes:
Dec 5, 2011 10:13 AM
I have read your blog in reaction to the “Wiki Qi group” at AOMA and I was surprised to read such strong opposition from a man who wants to make acupuncture more affordable to the community. I don’t know who our Wiki Qi group is but I felt it was a courageous step in addressing this increasing gap between loan distributions, education costs and costs of living. I would agree that some points could have been addressed differently. There was a great deal of passion present in that email as there is here in your blog. Opinions around finances in the world today are an increasingly tender spot , as making ends meet has become a little harder. This is why your service at South Austin Community Acupuncture is so important.
The student is the end of the chain when finances are tight. The teachers desire more money, the book authors desire more money, the administrators seek more money and so there is a need to increase profits yearly to keep this cycle going. But the government is not giving students more money and so what is left over to live with is getting smaller and smaller. The School (as you will recall) recommends that full time students do not work because of the demands of full time education. Therefore, many students, as you apparently did, take the full amount allowed. After purchasing books, supplies, rent, food, utilities, gas, etc there is not a lot of wiggle room and for some it will not even cover that much. Where are the students to come up with the financial backing for these increasing costs?
You point out that it’s only a 3% increase in several places in your blog as if it’s too small amount to fuss over and yet just recently UT students faced a 2.6 % increase and said enough is enough and it looks like the students have won. The school will come to the decision this week. All of these seemingly small increases are adding up. There are other places to cut costs. And this does not need to be a cut to teachers or staff but perhaps a freeze on income. If no one got a raise next year it might balance out. The staff then, as well as the students, would need to find a way to be more efficient. Student loan distributions have not had a raise in a while after all. When students get a raise, the financial award can get passed up the chain.
This would possibly have an effect on your girlfriend’s income, who is employed at AOMA and I have to wonder if this is why you are so incensed by the student movement as you are not entirely neutral to the effects this might have on you. We are all personally affected by these changes.
I respect Wiki Qi’s opinions and call to awareness and in fact I respect your opinions too Wally. I would add that both you and Wiki Qi could work a little on how your tone and choice of words may not be doing justice to the points which you are trying to make. If we can work through the oppositions we might come to some agreements.