The Merger Was The Worst Thing To Happen To SPSU

Kennesaw State, You've Messed Up The Marietta Campus And We Need To Talk About It

I refuse to stay silent anymore.

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I write for Kennesaw State University and have attended since 2015. In these past years, I have watched some horrifying changes occur to their second campus. Considering that other campus is the one I have lived on since 2015, these changes affect me and my fellow students greatly. Unless you are a STEM major, there a good chance you would never even see this campus, so not many people on the Kennesaw campus know what's going on. Allow me to enlighten you all.

In 2015, Kennesaw State University officially merged with Southern Polytechnic State University. The campus was established in 1948, well before Kennesaw State (which was established in 1963). It was first called The Technical Institute, then Southern Technical Institute, then Southern College of Technology, and finally Southern Polytechnic State University or SPSU for short. The merger was basically due to a desire to save money, but in reality, the students of SPSU have had to watch Kennesaw State suck the life out of the campus for their own gain.

Like I mentioned, I've lived on this campus since 2015 despite my major no longer being on this campus (I used to be a computer science major). However, I've taken a good number of courses here in the past years. One of the biggest things I and my peers noticed pretty quickly is that no professor can actually talk about the merger. If they talk about the merge of the two campuses in bad light, that's grounds for termination. The opinions and voices were taken from our own professors.


One of the class buildings on the Marietta campus upload.wikimedia.org

The campus itself has fallen in disrepair. The university can afford to spend millions on the newly established football team, which just so happened to have been created the year they merged, but can't afford to make sure that the Marietta campus has safe cleaning water. They can afford to replace the flowers on the Marietta campus every 3 to 5 months but can't afford to give students living on campus new water heaters. They can afford millions on transportation, which is taken out of our tuitions, but can't afford more than one or two STEM courses which causes some students to have to wait to graduate. We once had a cool play to get food late at night called Spork that was closed in 2016 with promises to reopen and never did. How is that okay?

When the merge first occurred, the students very quickly realized that this campus was the "red-headed stepchild" of the university. During the first year, Kennesaw campus had lobster in their dining hall while the Marietta campus was on week 4 of stale hot dog buns and french fries. Albeit, the food on this campus has changed but not to the standards the other campus holds up to. One of the larger things peers on the Marietta campus noticed after the merge was the internet.

This is a STEM campus. The Internet is basically what fuels the students to complete their schoolwork to the best of their abilities. The internet for this campus was set to hold around 20,000 students and it was great. Once Kennesaw merged and tried to use that internet for their other campus, the internet would rarely work. It still rarely works. My close friend, a computer science major and former Housing IT worker, was completely enraged by the changes. "The budget for IT varies so much that sometimes people get yelled at for working their actual scheduled hours," he had said. He had also mentioned the issue of the master switch being located only on the Kennesaw Campus, which means that Marietta can't fix internet issues unless they either contact someone on the other campus or go there themselves.

Another good friend of mine, who is an Electrical Engineering major, is also completely blown away. The amount of funding that has been sucked from STEM programs throughout the years is astonishing. Courses were dropped, programs were stopped, and those late promises of new programs never happened. With life being sucked from the campus, students are completely drained and unmotivated anymore. Most have even started to look into transferring out.


The globe outside of the Marietta student center upload.wikimedia.org

Another huge issue is parking. Parking has become ridiculous in so many ways. Marietta campus parking was fine before the merge. Once the merge happened, Kennesaw State did nothing to expand the number of parking spaces on either campus. If you lived on Marietta campus but needed to take a class on Kennesaw campus, the university shoves you into the farthest parking deck on campus and you get to enjoy a 10-15 minute walk to your class. Oh, but don't forget about the 15 minutes to drive there and the extra 10-15 minutes just to find a space.

If you drive a truck, you better not back into a parking space even though it's really difficult to pull into a space without hitting someone. Kennesaw will give you a $10 parking ticket for backing into a space. Is one of your tires just a smidge on the line? You'll get a ticket for that, too. In the past three years, I've watched parking become worse with no warning. Last year, I backed my long bed Chevy truck into spaces every single day. Without warning, they decided this year that you get a ticket. If you want to back in that badly, you can pay to get a Kennesaw State plate for the front of your vehicle. In short, give them more money to safely park, park far away in a space you can actually get into or they'll force you to pay.

Kennesaw State also tries to subtly erase everything about SPSU. In the past three years, I've watched all signs of SPSU erase except for the giant globe that sits outside of the student center. Any green signs were changed to highlighter yellow. Any SPSU paint on the walkways was erased. Even when I walk by tour groups, they never mention SPSU. They make it sound as though they've built this entire campus with their own funding, not that they bought it out. The only remnant is a small shelf of SPSU merchandise that comes and goes in the bookstore on the Marietta campus.

Most people that attend this college have no idea what's happening to the Marietta campus and I cannot sit idly by watching my friends become so frustrated and overwhelmed by how badly it's gotten. There shouldn't be this intense divide between the campuses. We all go to the same university. One campus should not be worse than the other. No student is better than another. We are a community and should take care of each other. Those that don't come to this campus should know what's happening and know that this campus desperately needs helps and needs change. We desperately need to come together as a student body and fix these awful circumstances happening to other students.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Sometimes "Out With The Old In With The New" Isn't the Best thing

We can't lose touch of the simpler things in life

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When I think about how much has changed and how much my world has developed since I was little, I get mind boggled realizing how different things are. I work at a restaurant in the city that I grew up in and I see famillies come and go for dinner every night. They all seem the same. The parents will walk in, check in with the hostesses and wait to be seated. If they're asked to wait, the kids sit by their parents sides playing on phones that are probably too young to have. I understand that waiting can get tedious and boring. By the time that they would sit down, I'd imagine that they would put down the devices and engage in some good old fashion conversation. I was wrong. It made me sad to see kids eating dinners with their families with zero interaction. When I was younger, I enjoyed the quality conversations I would have with my family when we got breaks from our all very hectic schedules. It's amazing how much technology has advanced, but sometimes, I believe that we might rely on it too much.

Seems like more and more things are becoming industrialized. Those "mom and pop" shops are closing down due to corporate companies buying the land. I have enough Walmart and Targets in a ten minute radius from me. Sure, places like these carry necessities are important, but when local Nurseries are closed down in order to build a new gas station, it just becomes sad. As things progress more, the more we lose touch of our roots. The places that make home special and different. The moments we have as a kid that don't involve a light on our face. Modernism is a powerful and amazing thing but we need to take a step back and reevaluate what we hold closest to us.

All in all, as we continue to develop, I will continue to advocate for the simpler moments and the simpler times. I don't think my kids will need iPhones right out of elementary school, I'll continue to visit the same hometown shops and give them as much business as possible, I'll always ask if he kids want coloring sheets at the dinner table. Although these small things might not matter in our everyday new world, they matter to me. I will always try to have so much fun that I forget to document things with my phone. The laughter and memories without the technology present. Those are the moments worth remembering.

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