On March 1st, I attended an extra deliberation surrounding the topic of college tuition and whether or not the rates of it should increase, decrease, stay the same, or even be completely obliterated.
It’s easy to say (and this was actually a point brought up by the RCL students in the very beginning of the deliberation) that college tuition should just be lowered for everyone. I mean, what sane person would say that they want to pay more to go to school? But there’s actually a lot more to it than that, and this deliberation helped me look further into that.
However, unfortunately there were a lot more things about the deliberation that I disliked rather than liked. For example, the moderators chose to split the deliberation by means of liberal, conservative, and moderate points of view. Disclaimer: I am by no means a picky person whatsoever, and I always like to simply just trust that the people running the show know what they’re doing. But the thing is, I felt that the approach used honestly just didn’t really work for this topic.
In my opinion, when discussing a topic such as college tuition, it makes more sense to speak about it in terms of individual values rather than sides as strict as liberal and conservative. It’s a bit limiting, especially for a topic that possesses so many possible angles. I often found myself agreeing with a certain point of view from one side, but then also one from another side. I don’t think this normally would have been a problem, but I felt that I wasn’t allowed to do that, and it really just made the whole thing confusing.
I also think this caused the conversation to often sidetrack into points that weren’t exactly relevant and made it a lot harder for people to pinpoint the argument they were trying to make.
In addition, I also felt as though the moderators did less moderating and more arguing with people with whom they didn’t agree. This also added confusion and took away from the organization of the event.
That being said, the deliberation did allow me to look into aspects of college tuition that proved it’s more than just a big number that changes ever so slightly from school to school.
One thing I’ve noticed within myself is, frankly, how little I think about college tuition (in depth, at least). As I said before, it sort of has just seemed to me to be one big looming number that gets higher every year when it should be doing the opposite. This deliberation made me realize how intricate the system is. I discovered that while lower college tuition would be great, for example, there are always pitfalls and negatives to every side.