We had always thought that college was a place to discover the immense amount of information that was available in the world: a place to unearth the tremendous capabilities of an individual.
According to WSU Spokane, we were wrong.
The Riverpoint campus, located in Spokane, is shared by both EWU and WSU students. Both universities hold classes on the campus and benefit from the shared resources. However, it has recently been discovered that EWU students are being declined access to WSU-funded events.
It is understandable to think that the Associated Students of WSU would be required to limit how their student funds are spent. So discounts on Spokane Chiefs’ hockey tickets are probably not available to EWU students, as their tuition didn’t pay for the events. Money is a limited resource and each student that contributes money through a student fee should be allowed to take advantage of the rewards.
But what about guest speakers, seminars and educational lectures? Are these also limited resources? Are these so valuable to the students of WSU Spokane that they cannot be shared with those that occupy the same campus?
Some EWU students have been denied access to WSU events on the Riverpoint campus just because they pay student fees to a different bureaucracy.
In fact, many events that WSU Spokane students can attend with the purchase of a ticket are closed to EWU students whether or not the EWU students could afford the tickets. This is understandable if you look at higher education as an elitist system of flaming hoops that are meant to keep some out and let others in.
What is the point of bringing knowledge to a community if some members of that community are barred from hearing it? This selection system of who is entitled to information and who is not treads closely to segregating specific peoples from others.
We do not expect every person to be allowed to reap all the benefits of a university. After all, as much as we would like to see the idea of higher education as a right to all, college is a business.
However, the Riverpoint campus is a shared campus. If WSU Spokane has a problem with sharing, maybe they should hire security guards to stand outside of specific classrooms and library shelves that they believe are theirs and only theirs.
Perhaps we should make two sets of bathrooms.
Even students of WSU Pullman aren’t allowed to attend these Spokane-only events. They belong to the same university, yet cannot access the tools that assist in the learning process.
Education is not a limited resource. Information is not a golden coin that is lost when given. By withholding these opportunities for people to grow, WSU Spokane is creating a hierarchy of learning. Instead of reaching out to better the community, they are suppressing the advantages an education brings that community.
If WSU Spokane believes in growing a population of intelligent, critical thinkers, maybe they will rethink their policy regarding who can and cannot attend educational events.