Honest' lives up to its name at TSC
By Irene Hannagan
September 22, 2006 | USU students took full advantage
and decided to be "brutally honest," complaining
about tuition, professors' qualifications and salaries,
and support for Aggie sports.
The students let their complaints be heard at 11 a.m.
Thursday as part of the Associated Students of USU's
Brutally Honest open-mic event in the Taggart Student
A transfer student from Vermont Tech, Preston Elizarde
can't stand that "out-of-state tuition is 420 percent
more than in-state tuition." He said he became even
more upset after earning 96 credits in Vermont and discovering
USU only accepted 19. His professors do not know modern
computer programs and are poorly qualified, he said.
"Professors complain about their $40,000, $50,000
income, but they're never available," he said.
Elizarde wasn't alone at Brutally Honest.
Student Advocacy VP Josh Schultz walked briskly around
the HUB asking anyone and everyone if they had something
to say. The tension in the room rose when the words
turned to football. After some complaints and disappointment
in the team were shared, Director of HURD (USU's pep
club) Matt Towala loudly said into the microphone that
he hates when other school colors are worn at games
and on campus.
He also had a clear message for USU student Sam Bryner,
who recently wrote a letter to the editor in the Statesman
about the football team that expressed discontent with
the players and encouraged students to wear red at the
game against the University of Utah last weekend.
"Screw you," said Towala.
He followed his angry, public comments with a plea
to not be quoted as he is an employee of the university.
He added, "School spirit is [about] more than a team
Many students at Brutally Honest disagreed with comments
about the reputation football gives to Logan and the
university and the responsibility of players to keep
themselves out of trouble with the law.
A more positive outlook came from USU student Jake
"As a student body, we could come together and show
more spirit," he said. "We'll have a better team if
When football issues were set aside, complaints resembled
Elizarde's -- the ever-present parking issue, tuition
costs and student fees.
"My issue is parking," said freshman Jessica Palmer.
"There just isn't enough."
One student dropped a 2006 summer course before it
began but it wasn't dropped on her transcript until
this semester when she filed a "Petition for Academic
Record Adjustment." The un-dropped class, and resulting
poor grade, were removed, but she has yet to receive
"That's not the first time we've heard of that happening,"
According to Schultz, the ombudsman's committee is
in contact with the registrar's office about dropped
classes and class refunds.
Soji, a USU student from Grantsville, added her concern
"I've paid tuition for four years and I still have
to pay a graduation fee," she said. "I don't get that."
Several students brought strong encouragement to get
student voices heard in university government as well
as state government.
Jacob Roskelley, ASUSU public relations director explained
that college students aren't voting and the results
show in the lack of higher education funding in Utah.
"In the last couple of years funding for transportation
and public education has gone up but higher education
funding has plateaued," he said, "because the people
voting have kids in public schools and they drive on
Michelle Lundberg, ASUSU academic senate VP, supported
"We have a lot of apathetic students at USU. Make
sure your voice is known," she said.
Elizarde said he knows what is going on at the university
and there are ways to fix it. Students can join organizations
through ASUSU and work to improve life at the university.
In its fifth year, Brutally Honest was designed to
draw the attention of students, faculty and administration
to current issues at USU, and it did, said Schultz.
He wants students to be aware of decisions made every
day without their approval.
"I feel that today's open mic event was a great success
and an awesome opportunity for students to know…that
there are actually people working in their favor," he
ASUSU members sat on the sidelines writing each name
and complaint down so they can work this year to make
changes that students are asking for.