Reader worries that state’s purpose for satellite campuses overridden by economics

·3 min read

Lost vision

My daughter is a second year student at USC-Beaufort. I concur with Travis Bland’s recent article about absurd fees and increased tuition costs at S.C. universities.

I have actually taken up this issue with our representative and have engaged with the leadership as best I can, but there is not much of an effort to help or even acknowledge our concern. Specifically, commuter students are required to purchase a meal plan, even though most of them have no need of it. Commuter students are being forced to pay for meals in order to lower the cost of meals for resident students because USC is trying to build a resident program.

If satellite campuses were started to make higher education accessible to more students in our state, we have lost sight of the vision.

Joshua Stone, Beaufort

Enormous pressure

Travis Bland’s recent editorial concerning the high cost of public higher education in South Carolina presented a disquieting picture of a scenario that should trouble all of us.

As a college instructor, I see the struggles that so many students face, especially those who are working during each semester to earn enough money to take classes. The pressure is enormous for them.

Many of these students are a bit older, married with families, yet they work and save to be able to get their degrees.

It’s also a major problem for DACA students. They are guaranteed by the federal government via the Dreamers’ Act the right to attend college. Yet here, they are not allowed to pay the lower state resident rate for tuition even though they pay taxes and have lived in this state for years. This seems grossly unfair.

We see growing numbers of jobs in South Carolina go unfilled -- nurses, teachers, medical technicians, engineers, among many others. Economists predict increasing shortages in workers for strategic jobs over the next few years.

We must make it more feasible financially for our future workforce to receive degrees from our public colleges and universities.

Sherry Beasley, Columbia

Economics and abortion

Abortion is an emotionally volatile topic, but let’s remove the emotion and look at the economic facts surrounding the issue.

In studies made when abortion was widely illegal (pre-1973), women suffered more unemployment, more debt and more public program participation. Denied access to abortion, women – and their children -- were four times more likely to live in poverty five years later, resulting in additional economic impacts.

In contrast, increased access to abortion starting in 1973 had a positive impact on women’s economic outcomes. Women with greater reproductive choice have consistently had higher rates of employment and are more likely to work full time.

Recent data shows that 70% of women -- and 59% of men – in the 18-44 age group would be disinclined to take a job in a state that restricts access to abortion.

South Carolina currently has a severe shortage of workers. Proposed restrictive abortion laws will further exacerbate that situation. Can South Carolina afford to alienate a vital segment of workers? Can we risk discouraging businesses from settling here?

Still, it appears that nothing will stand in the way of our legislators’ determination to ban abortion in the state – economic facts be damned.

Paula Smith, Bluffton

Pain of irrelevance

We are all familiar with the saying, “No one is above the law,” but it seems that may no longer be true.

Although the Jan. 6 Committee, investigating the recent attack on the Capitol, has laid out a compelling case against former President Trump and several of his top officials for inciting the attack on the Capitol and doing nothing to stop it for more than three hours, no one has been charged.

If the Department of Justice decides not to press charges against Trump, then he must be judged in the court of public opinion. Republican voters must reject Trump’s candidacy for the sake of their party and the future of our country. Making him irrelevant may be more difficult for him to accept than being charged as an insurrectionist.

Lewis Huffman, Columbia