After finding out about the budget cuts, I was immediately saddened and disappointed. I found out through an email, and although I was not personally affected, I know plenty of people who were. For any student, it can be devastating to wake up one day and find out that the passion you have been studying is suddenly considered unimportant by an institution.
Close to 300 of my fellow classmates and colleagues have had their majors or minors taken away from them, and I felt compelled to do something about it. I wrote a petition on the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 29, and that is when everything changed.
Within a few hours, the petition gained over 80 signatures. The reaction from the student body was immediate, and I put the petition online as well. I spent Halloween weekend developing ideas for proposals of compromises that I could offer to the administration. I created the petition out of a longing for an explanation, because a conversation took place that the students were left out of. I am learning more each day about how budgets operate, and my goal is to find out as much information as possible and inform students with accurate information.
Rumors have been floating around, and I am debunking as many falsehoods as I can. Students pay tuition, and it is important for us to be able to understand where our tuition dollars are being spent. We may agree or disagree with where the money is going, but at the end of the day, we just want to know where the money flows.
My goal with the petition was to create a community-wide conversation regarding the importance of learning and how a diverse array of majors and minors enhances the overall university community. I have friends who are learning how to speak German, and I have friends who are learning about advertising. These budget cuts would affect many different areas of the institution and I just cannot help but think about how many people are hurt by this decision.
I did not want any students to feel as though they would have to transfer over this. I am here to try to fix any holes and I am working to keep all majors and minors available for students to study at Rider. Some students may not have been directly affected, but still may have wanted to add the majors and minors that are scheduled to be eliminated from the course roster.
Being able to discuss a variety of subjects with different people allows everyone to benefit. At the lunch table in Daly’s, friends have shared their experiences working with rocks in the science department, and others have taught me about art history and American studies. Diversity enhances the university, because we all benefit from each other. As a community, we should be as informed as we can and make the best possible decisions about our education for ourselves.
Sophomore political science and arts administration major
Printed in the 11/11/15 issue.