The Daily Evergreen

Students disproportionately affected by budget cuts made by administration

Performing Arts cut beginning of budget reductions, eliminations


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When WSU President Kirk Schulz announced that the Performing Arts program would end with its last performance in April 2018, budget cuts across campus became more tangible.

The Performing Arts department employs two full-time faculty members and two full-time staff. The department houses organizations like STAGE, WSU’s student-run theater group, and Nuthouse, a campus improv collective. Performing Arts brings in performers that enrich campus culture and provide diverse art forms for students’ enjoyment.

The loss of Performing Arts will be detrimental to all students and staff involved in the activities it provides. But Schulz and other administrators say students will simply have to get used to losing programming over the next few years.

In addition to cutting any temporary positions or programs not accounted for by the university’s central budget, Schulz is pushing all campus departments to cut spending by 2.5 percent to level out the university’s $30-million annual deficit.

While directors of each department will be able to decide how cuts are made, Vice President of Student Affairs Mary Jo Gonzales explained that in her department, about 90 percent of those cuts will be to staff.

The Daily Evergreen sees how deeply these cuts will affect student life and opportunity, but more importantly, we are seeing fellow Cougs lose their jobs and way of providing for themselves and their families.

Already, some graduate student stipends have been cut in the department of engineering, and temporary positions, like retention counselors in Multicultural Student Services, are in danger because they lack permanent funding.

On June 2, Gonzales and Provost Dan Bernardo sent an email detailing their goals to improve campus climate. The cuts to MSS do not align with their stated ideals.

When the university’s goal is to cut spending by $10 million for the next three years, Cougs across campus are going to feel the effects. If this is your freshman year, the campus you see now will be drastically different when you’re a senior.

Balancing WSU’s finances will help WSU in the long run, but it seems like students and staff are paying for the university’s past mistakes that brought WSU to this point.

“You can’t cut 10 million dollars and not have people see it, affected by it or feel it,” Schulz told the Evergreen.

We agree with Schulz, people will be affected. But the amount this is affecting students and faculty is disproportionate to the effect on the administrators.

The Evergreen will be working to contextualize the scope of these budget cuts in each area of the university, in addition to detailing the individual effects of these reductions for our readers.

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Students disproportionately affected by budget cuts made by administration