Students, Faculty Protest Program Cuts at UNCG

by Anna Warner

Students and faculty voiced opposition to continued program cuts at UNCG during an organized walkout on Feb. 19.

UNCG supporters held an on campus protest Feb. 19 where professors and students gathered to voice their discontent with university budget cuts.

More than 100 students gathered at the Elliot University Center waiting eagerly for the protest to begin. When it was time, the signs went up and they weren’t coming down until the chanting was heard across campus.

Students yelled out chants such as, “If they won’t let us dream, we won’t let them sleep!” and “Who’s university? Our university!” A group of faculty gathered playing guitars and singing songs such as “This Land is Your Land.”

“This has been in the works for a while. I am a senior this year, but I am still concerned for current and future students,” protest leader Jonathan Lyle said.

Within the next year, UNCG will finish work on a new student recreation center. At the same time, courses available to students are being cut more and more.

“The university could be doing better. Instead of building up athletic programs to compete with UNC, they need to focus on education. Now they are building up athletics at our education’s expense,” Lyle said.

With the frequency of courses decreasing, students have little choice but to delay graduation.

“This is a debt that is so heavy, it is crushing our dreams. If these debts continue to get worse, those responsible will bitterly see an educational revolution,” protester Kimberly Cain said.

Some professors are becoming vocal about their discontent as well. “It’s evident, even in something as basic as them taking away our phones in our offices. As we teach fewer students, the state deducts money due to our enrollment rate, then the same scenario occurs the next year. I am afraid we will be entering a financial death spiral,” Department of Religious Studies Chairman William Hart said. !