Keene State College students had some ideas and opinions to share about the recent budget cuts for the 2017 fall semester. There was a wide variety of topics brought up when asked where would they like to see the money spent. The survey was informal and 20 students from KSC were interviewed around campus.
In an article in the Keene Sentinel from October of 2016, it stated that Keene State College has been facing budget cuts. The current decrease in the budget is from the decrease in tuition and revenue. This would be the third year in a row that KSC has seen a cut in its budget. Thirty-six courses have been cut along with professors’ salaries. Keene State College then used a $2 million reserve to cover the 2016 fall budget. Over the next few years, Keene State College could face up to a $7 million budget cut.
Fifteen percent of students interviewed would like to see less spent on athletics. William Croteau, a first-year majoring in film study, said he thinks too much of the money goes toward sports. “As nice as it is, being a person who plays sports, I don’t think it is as important as academics.” Croteau said he would like to see a study program to help students out with their work and classes. “Sports can only take you so far, where getting a degree can bring you anywhere.”
Patrick Mullen, a first-year majoring in theater film, said, “Our athletics are nice; we shouldn’t take a lot of money away from that, but there needs to be more focus of funding the departments.” Mullen commented that Morrison and Parker Hall are old buildings, and he feels like some of the classrooms could use some renovations to make a better learning environment.
Forty percent of the students interviewed said that they would like to see the money focused on the departments. Ariel Hansen, a sophomore majoring in history, commented, “A lot of science clubs are having a hard time getting funding this year due to the budget.” Hansen said she can’t get any funding from the school because budget cuts and is sad to see the school struggle helping out departments and clubs.
Gavin Schlerf, a senior at KSC, says the college should not spend funds on extra stuff like the gym and clubs. Schlerf would like to see the money go to helping out the design art department. “There is too big of a focus on sports and extra activities; the money should be spent on where it matters the most.”
Some students had different ideas than putting the money towards departments. Cora-Lynn Batchelder, a first-year majoring in nursing, said she would like to see more food options around campus. “I love Lloyds on campus and feel like if the college had more options like Lloyds, than they could bring in some more money.” She said she likes Lloyds because they offer different options of food than the Zorn Dining Commons (DC). Fifteen percent of the people interviewed agreed that the DC could be better food-wise.
Alex Dubois, a senior, said “Keene State should use its budget to get us a nice spring concert.” Dubois was excited to see how this year goes with the new president and thought that it was time for a change. Twenty percent of the students had no idea what the budget is.
Ian Willis is a junior at KSC who would like to see an upgrade to the food at the DC, but would also would like to see the college do a better job at advertising for first year students. “A lot of people should know that the Pumpkin Festival doesn’t define KSC; if the school promotes itself in the right way, then maybe the enrollment would go up,” Willis said. “Instead of the LLC, they should’ve built a few separate dorms for freshman, giving them more of an option to spread around campus.” Willis also said that the shutting down of Carle Hall wasn’t the smartest idea because it was one of the most popular dorms for first-year students. Twenty five percent of the students surveyed said that they would like to see money spent towards renovating the dorms.
“We never have soap,” Grace Lonergan, a first-year student who lives in Fisk Hall, said. She said she would like to see the money go toward the bathroom facilities. “We are always having leaks due to the old pipes; I would like to see an update on the older hall’s bathrooms.”
Twenty five percent of the students interviewed thought the LLC was a bad idea. A resident living in the LLC named Dylan Chane, a KSC first year student, had some second thoughts about the dorm. “I think they put way too much money into the LLC.” Chane said the money should be going to departments that actually need the funding. He suggested that they tear down the old residence halls like Carle and Randall and build some things that will help support the college.
Logan Felix, a junior environmental studies major, said the money should go toward maintaining some of the buildings and dorms around campus. He said, “Places like the Bushnell Apartments have been around for years now and need to be renovated, also places like Carle Hall and Randall.” He said he thought the LLC was a little too much. “I understand it would bring in more first-year students, but if we are already in a budget cut, why go spend more money on what is a multi-million dollar building?”
Matt Kahlman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org