Students express concerns with recent cuts


Abigail Hassenzahl

Student Senate meets every Tuesday on the second floor of the student center at 9:30 p.m.

Students on and off campus voiced their concerns with the recent bud- get cuts, leading to the letting go of about 20 staff members.

Many have noticed the effect a budget can have on the student body as a whole, especially when it comes to individual departments.

As news of the deficit swept through campus, Student Senate addressed the issues concerning stu- dents, with Student Body President Tiffany Sims focusing on the senate’s goals as student representatives.

“As events progress, [we] stay a voice for unity and stop the spread of unhelpful rumors and negativity,” Sims said. “We can be a clear and concise voice for information and what is best for the students.”

Belle Ayala, senior Integrated Language Arts major, has noticed these effects throughout her time at Ashland.

“Over the course of four years, I have witnessed countless programs phased out and with it, many passionate students,” Ayala said. “I have watched my own education department get downsized and combined with others. I have seen professors cry at the idea of what may happen next.”

“Our access to a quality education is declining and the stress and pres- sure on professors still standing is increasing,” she added.

Ayala noticed student attitudes toward allocating funds to certain areas of the campus. She pointed out the recent campus beautification and the expansive Niss athletic center.

“While I think the beautification of campus looks great, it is almost offensive how much attention [is] paid to making our school look and sound good while students are angry at the lack of change with the actual education system of the university,” she said. “When donating millions of dollars, why is beautification and expansion of athletics the first thing [thought] about? If they truly cared about the education of students, there should be a much more different attitude toward donor funds.”

Some students were confused to see that some of their classes had been canceled days before the semes- ter started due to low enrollment and the recent increase to class cap requirements.

Although Sims mentioned there was no mass concern for the class cancellations across the student body,
senior marketing major Matthew Plumb brought attention to transparency on Ashland’s campus.

“I believe the lack of transparency from the university has created a distrust from the campus community, especially the faculty and staff,” Plumb said.

AU President Dr. Carlos Campo noted the major contributing factor to the deficit was the underperform- ing enrollment numbers.

Ayala commented on the various “enticing” offers for incoming stu- dents such as tuition freezes and various scholarships, stating, “It feels like the school only cares about bringing students in rather than keeping students here.”

If her own financial situation provided more comfort, Ayala explains she would have transferred early in her college career.

“I know this is the same for many other students including my friends and classmates,” Ayala said. “If you don’t have the support of your own student body and faculty, you won’t have the support of incoming students. It’s telling when so many faculty have shared the same sentiments as us and it’s telling when I’ve watched many people transfer out because they don’t see a future here.”