Students Get To Talk
By Cristina Barrios Gonzále
The economic crisis that Puerto Rico is facing has brought anxiety, tension, and restlessness to undergraduate and graduate students and changed their daily lives.
“To face the crisis, I have been considering graduate studies so I can be more competitive in the labor force,” said Carla Fabián González former student of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras (UPRRP). This is the reality of many undergraduate students, at a time when the national economy has nothing to offer them and legislative projects may affect its structure, operational budget, employees, students, and teaching methods.
According to the American Labor Market Information System, nowadays the unemployment rate in Puerto Rico stands at 16.5 percent and the government is announcing even more layoffs of public employees.
This crisis is forcing Puerto Ricans to make contingency plans and adjustments in their lifestyles. The majority knows that nowadays the dollar has to be stretched until the last cent. Keila D. Soto Cruz, a UPRM student of Business Administration, loves shopping but is restraining her passion this year
Other students fear how the crisis might affect their family. “I How I will support my, 3 year old, son if I cannot find a job when I finish my bachelor’s degree?” asked, the full time student at the UPRM, Natalia García Rivera.
On the other hand, many students agree that the layoffs and privatization of public entities is not the solution to face the problem. Dr. José Alameda Lozada, economist and professor at UPRM, argues that the solution is to raise taxes, evaluate the Island’s social needs and reorganize government services. These measures facts will let us know whether a smaller or larger public sector is needed.
On the other hand, students like José Agustín López, a graduate student from the School of Architecture at UPRRP, believe that the decline in the Puerto Rican economy leads to social crises. He expressed that the situation is a chain reaction; one thing led to another. He alleged that individuals retain their money, by not making any investment in the market. In effect there’s no flow of money because of the fear of losing it. Simultaneously, he sustain that the economic and social crisis can be battled changing the mindset of people and promoting investments.
This financial crisis affects everyone worldwide. Fear, disbeliefe and mistrust creates depression, stress, or anxiety amongst individuals. If individuals regain their trust in society and their governments agencies, this will drive back the economy.