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.