Budget cuts will destroy UConn’s reputation

Students and faculty join together in a rally to #SaveUConn in the face of upcoming budget cut on Sept. 20, 2017 in the Greer Field House. (Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

Opportunities at the University of Connecticut may begin to diminish in both diversity and quantity. President Susan Herbst recently emailed all students at UConn about possible state budget cuts, stating that “more than $300 million” of the university’s funding would be cut, resulting in larger class sizes, limited major choices, increased tuition and closure of all regional campuses at UConn.

The budget cuts will not only affect the university on an academic scale, but will also carry consequences with regard to health and wellness. Due to the budget cuts, UConn Health may need to close down, which would make it harder for students to receive the aid and care they need. Additionally, the university will not have enough money to hire psychologists, police, IT professionals and the outstanding professors that have shaped our university into the top public university it is today.

The threat to UConn Nation will affect the number of students attending the university. Due to the budget cuts, we will drive away outstanding students from attending UConn, which currently holds a national ranking of #18 in best public schools. The budget cut will not only affect UConn as a community, but may cause UConn to forfeit its ranking.

As a student attending the University of Connecticut, I strongly feel that these budget cuts should not be enforced. One of the main reasons I attend this college is its outstanding academic reputation. Each year, our university increases in ranking, and I do not want to see this dwindle.

Our university is known to be comparable to a “public Ivy education.” This sentiment is due to the intelligent and noble professors that we have. They encourage us to receive help when we need it and never give up on their students. The budget cuts may lower their reputation as outstanding professors, and the university may also have to “let go” of many of the well-known professors.

Upon arriving at this university, I noticed we have a great support system. Each student is proud to be a Husky. We value not only our academic experiences, but also the social life at our university. Although we are receiving our education at such a large school, the support system is ingrained in everyone’s heart. By enforcing these budget cuts, the system is lost, and we risk losing the pride that we now possess.

Fellow students, take a moment to think about the many students who have faced hardship in their lives and received generous amounts of tuition waivers for their education. These students need the tuition waivers to attend this university, and education needs to be affordable for them to receive a degree.

On the other hand, many students are privileged to receive in-state tuition which, when compared to the cost of private schools, is significantly cheaper. If the budget cuts are enforced, then we risk losing the reduced tuition, and many students will not receive aid. When our tuition increases, this forces us to drown in debt. I do not want to see myself and my fellow peers “drowning” in debt.

Many of us chose this university due to its affordability and reputation. By forcing students to drown in debt, we may not be able to continue our education here, forcing us to attend other universities. In turn, many of the motivated and driven students will resort to other methods, driving down the university’s name and recognition as a result. The students who were originally considering UConn may eliminate it from their list of potential colleges due to unaffordable tuition.

We do not want to see our university climb down the ladder of excellence. As a student attending this university, I want to see everyone praising UConn, not degrading it. Connecticut must carefully evaluate the effects of these proposed budget cuts and come to the realization that they will do harm that outweighs the instant economic gratification for the state.

Anusha Kumar is a contributor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at anusha.kumar@uconn.edu.