Valley Budget Cuts Gut Students and Staff

Budget Cuts slash students and faculty substantially.

By Zain Abouraia, Opinion Editor

For more than a decade, Valley College has run on thin promises regarding finances and it has caught up with the campus all at once with a $5.5 million deficit.

For more than a decade, Valley has operated in the red. There were supposed to be a series of incremental cuts over a period of years to soften the blow. That obviously is not the case when students see classes cut, departments shrunk, with a cut back on part¬-time faculty.

Thirty-one classes have been cut for spring semester of 2014 with none added in their place as of press time. Higher level classes, like Theater 325 that have lower enrollment figures will be cut and a possible 10 percent cut to tutoring programs leaves students who need those high level classes to get a certificate or transfer with exactly jack-squat.

A seven percent reduction to the athletics department includes discarding of the track & field and cross country teams, which is one of the moronic cuts. The ethos behind these cuts, according to the administration, is to increase efficiency by cutting costs while serving the same number of students, specifically FTES (Full Time Equivalent) students, that is every student on campus divided by fifteen units.

If this were true, then why would they cut a department that runs on full-time students? Student athletes are required to be full time and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA in order to play sports. If they are so concerned about students and units, then shrinking a department that has more full-time students than most departments seems like buying a new anchor when the ship is taking on water.

Instead of surgical cuts we see a drunken-blind nun with an axe swinging in one general direction. Students have a hard enough time trying to get through college, and eliminating classes and programs is like telling them to bike to school on two flat tires.

What’s next for Valley students? The college is playing musical chairs and the song is stopping more frequently with fewer chairs to take each turn. The athletic department downsizing, cutting five courses  from computer applications and office technologies department, the theater has no full time costumer and no performing arts technician.

What is coming over the horizon? We do not know, but we can fear.

Your thoughts?