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Letter to the editor: Theater gives WSU soul

CONSTANCE BRUMM, Pullman

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President Schulz’s proposal to cut the Performing Arts department is, in my opinion, a terrible idea and one that will likely cost the university far more than it saves. The theater and music departments of a university – any university – are what give it a soul. Theater gives students, especially those not bound for the entertainment industry, the opportunity to perform, to express themselves, to be creative, to speak in front of audiences and to learn a vast number of skills that will help them with any profession.

It also gives other students, as members of the audience, an experience that broadens their minds and enriches their souls. Many senior citizens, including myself, choose college towns as places to retire because of the rich opportunities afforded by the presence of a university: theater, music, lectures, seminars and sports. We spend our money in the community, and donate to the local causes and institutions that make it an interesting place to live, because it has such a rich culture.

As a parent of a WSU student, I expect the university to offer a well-rounded education full of opportunities to learn and witness all aspects of life, many of which are beyond the classroom or the athletic arena. To cut the Performing Arts department would be to deliver a costly blow to the purpose and the future of the university. Each department is not meant to stand alone. They need each other, and interact with each other and with the community to create an excellent college experience. I believe the loss of the Performing Arts department would cause significant damage to WSU.