I am a freshman at GSU. I worked hard in high school to be eligible to receive HOPE in order to attend GSU. At the current cost of tuition, without HOPE I would not be able to receive higher education. And tuition is not the only problem as I also have to pay for dorming and textbooks for each class.  I remembered that I couldn’t buy a book this semester that is mandatory for class and had to resort to using free PDF versions of textbooks that could fail at any time. I looked at how much I spent on food because I don’t have a meal plan. Then I started thinking about how the money being spent on my tuition would help me if I could use it for other necessities.

When a student walks into the first floor of the Georgia State University library they are greeted by a space that embodies openness. Massive windows in front and behind, Saxby’s that has a windowed front so anybody can see the whole restaurant. Stairs to the second floor surrounded by an atrium-like opening

A picture of the Georgia State University library
The GSU Library first floor

and tons of desk and couches lined up for anybody to sit. The white and sky blue-colored walls make it feel as if one is studying in the sky and the brightly colored cushioned chairs only add on to that effect. The help desk has tons of Georgia State merch behind the counter and smiling librarians to help with all GSU students’ needs. Of course in a library, there are books but the only books on the first floor are the new arrivals stood on the right side of the entrance.

In the back of the first floor on the right, there are also various video materials such as DVDs and VHS tapes for all entertainment and educational needs. On the opposite side of the video materials, there are old newspapers that show the older days of Georgia. On the right side of the library, most of the technology that students need is there. There are desks with plugs on the top so students can charge their devices. Next to that, there are two rows of computers and monitors with a printer on one end of one row usually lined with students. 


The rows of computers are lined with students doing online work and typing away for hours at a time so that they finish their assignments, so they could pass their classes. In the back of the library in the various desk sit many students. Most of them have their laptops out working on their assignments. Dressed in hats, jackets, and sweaters thick for the cold weather. The students are wrapped up in their various lives some intertwined with each other. Students are studying alone with headphones in. They could be listening to their favorite song, a podcast, or nothing, using the headphones to get people to stay away. There are students studying with each other, some ironically loud and other quiet and hardly noticeable.


 Looking across the desk there is a lone laptop with nobody nearby. The lone laptop has an HP logo and looks fairly new also fairly expensive. The student with the HP laptop eventually returned and it turns out he was just helping a fellow student out with some work. He had a black Supreme bomber jacket with an unstained white Supreme t-shirt underneath. He had dark blue jeans with a Gucci logo on the back and white socks and multicolored Balenciaga sneakers. The sneakers alone cost nearly 1,000 dollars and the other brands he was wearing were also notoriously expensive. This heavily contrasted his peers at the computer. The student at the school computers was wearing a zipped up grey jacket with frayed sleeves. Light blue jeans with holes in the knees and shoes caked with dirt and lacking aglets.

I overheard a conversation between the two about where to eat before they left HP student wanted to go get Zaxby’s but the student at the school computer said that he needs to buy something later that week and said he couldn’t. HP offered to buy for both of them and then they left.

Looking at interactions between people who have to worry about college costs and those who do not paint a vivid picture of the expenses of higher education. The expenses of college are infamous for their high cost. Books, Room and board, and especially Tuition make up the largest expenses of college. Most college students pay for tuition using loans and the debt that former and current college students owe makeup 1.5 trillion U.S dollars.

a man compared to 1 trillion dollars
A man compared to 1 trillion dollars taken from http://bit.ly/2CVxvNV

There is currently nobody in the world with nearly enough money to even touch the debt. The highest net worth in the world is only 111 billion USD. If someone cannot afford a meal plan at the beginning of the school year they will either spend more than what the meal plan cost or have days where they have to starve. Students suffer during college from lack of funds attempting to join a world where they’ll be deeper in debt from the interest on student loans. 



Dear John Lewis,

The next excerpt I read from march started with the Funeral of James Chaney and your impassioned speech about the situation African Americans were in during the civil rights era. Next came the speech at the 1964 Republican National Convention from Governor Nelson Rockefeller who was booed by his fellow Republicans for calling out extremists during his speech. Next was the conversation between LBJ and Hubert Humphrey in order to stop the civil rights movement and the attempts to stop Joe Rauh from having his voice heard. Next was the powerful testimony by Ms.Fannie Lou Hammer about her experiences and the terror she experienced from being black in Mississippi. Then came the testimony from Rita Schwerner, James Farmer, Roy Wilkins, and Finally DR. Martin Luther King. After that was the backfiring of LBJ’s attempt to cut off Ms.Hammer then the meeting between civil rights activist and Herbert Humphrey. then the meeting to fix the MFDP’s position in politics then Roy’s outburst about the decision. Next was the sit-in and subsequent arrest of those participating and the nomination of LBJ for a second term. Then your internal conflict about the outcome of the election and meeting with Belafonte in Africa. Next was your visits and experiences in Africa and New Guinea with black people as the majority. There you saw the radical beliefs of the African youth following the movement. Next was your unplanned meeting with Malcolm X in Kenya and your conversation about civil rights. Next was the announcement of LBJ’s second term and Robert Kennedey’s Senate Seat. As I read I realized the hardships of the Civil rights movement was more than just physical. There were people in high places that wanted you to lose and that realization made me sick. One solution now would be to put people of color in office.


CJ Dodson