Dual rallies aimed to stop program and faculty cuts until an outside audit can be performed.
Hundreds of West Virginia University students attended walkouts today rallying around a response to proposed cuts to programs and faculty. Detailed by the administration on August 11, the cuts—32 majors, 169 faculty, and more, including many arts, English, and math programs and all of the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics—are aimed at addressing a $45 million budget deficit that is projected to grow in coming years. The rallies, organized by the West Virginia United student union, took place on the downtown and Evansdale campuses. They aimed to generate student support for a multi-part response to the proposed cuts:
- No program cuts;
- No reductions in force;
- An independent audit of university finances;
- Cuts to administrative spending;
- Reductions to administrative salaries;
- An investigation of university administration and the WVU Board of Governors; and
- Increased state investment in higher education.
Here’s some of what student attendees had to say:
I think arts and languages are important—the more languages you can learn, the more you can communicate with other people. —Abby, a junior in the forensic examiner major
We didn’t learn about this until after the tuition bills were due, so now we’re stuck here. The administration needs to take responsibility for this issue. They need to take the pay cut rather than cutting academics first. If they need to raise revenue, maybe they need to increase the price of football tickets. —David, a freshman accounting major
I’m kind of devastated. I think it’s a severe detriment to all of the students who came out today to try to save our department—we feel like we’re not being heard. We’re really hoping to have an impact. —Katie, a junior majoring in Spanish
I’m angry. Any kind of diversity West Virginia University has had is going to be severely cut. —Madison, a senior majoring in Spanish and psychology
Cutting these programs won’t save enough money. They’ll just reduce enrollment. —Samuel, a freshman in chemistry
The university seems to think that students don’t care about world languages and math and all the other programs that are being cut. The turnout here proves them wrong. — Alexandra, a sophomore in anthropology