I’m a University of Southern Maine alum and do not support the changes currently being implemented there.

It’s devastating that University of Maine System trustees are so blindly disregarding the requests of its students – their “paying customers” – and forcing so many reputable professors out of the university, and out of jobs, instead of working toward policy change at the state or federal level.

This nation desperately needs to fight for financial support and funding for higher – especially public – education.

It’s wrong that 90 percent of the university’s funding comes from student tuition. How can those earning as little as $8 an hour afford college, let alone pay for 90 percent of the entire cost of attending a university?

This is an impossible and pitiful expectation.

Five years ago the U.S. military spent $486 million on cargo planes for the Afghanistan air force, which then shredded the planes, making $3,200 in scrap metal. If we came up with $486 million for that worthy little endeavor, then why can’t we scrounge up adequate funding for state universities?

Why aren’t the University of Maine System trustees pressuring our legislators for policy change?

Why are they instead idly penalizing faculty and students, destroying a community that we’ve been building for decades?

I’m in massive student loan debt, but the only thing I’m angry about is how drastically the environment of a place I so very much believe in, have contributed to and have taken infinite amounts away from is being obliterated. They’re leaving so many of us with no hope for the future.

I am repulsed by the avoidance of the real issues here and by this massive cop-out.

Please reconsider these destructive actions and reincorporate humanity, variety and dignity back into the business plan for our university.

Please support higher education instead of killing it, and stop destroying our dreams.

Lauren Smith