As the entire student body is aware by now, last Saturday the UConn community received an alarming email from University President Susan Herbst detailing the impacts of potential budget cuts to the university. Since this announcement was first released, UConn students have jumped into action, holding rallies both on and off campus, calling and e-mailing Connecticut state representatives and just generally raising awareness for the future of UConn. However, throughout all that has transpired in the past week and a half, there has also been a lot of confusion and contradicting reports about what this new budget would mean for UConn, prompting many students to wonder: What is the truth behind UConn’s budget cuts?
When President Herbst’s email first arrived, it reported that if the Connecticut state budget passed, the school would be losing around $300 million over the course of two years. This number was obviously alarming to many students, not to mention it was followed by a startlingly long list of all of the potential ramifications this budget cut could have on the UConn community. However, since this initial statement was released, other sources have come out claiming that the proposed Connecticut budget would not cut UConn’s budget by $300 million, but would be a reduced amount. In fact, when referencing the Connecticut House Republican’s website, it claims that the budget cuts would be around $200 million over two years, while other sources have cited it at even less.
This confusion has led to people criticizing President Herbst for not being truthful with the UConn students, as well as for attempting to use scare tactics to manipulate us. While there undoubtedly may have been some fearmongering and attempts to get students involved with this email, people need to focus on the fact that whether it is Herbst or the other sources providing us with accurate numbers, we still are very clueless when it comes to what is happening with our budget. With more students getting involved now than ever and attempting to sort out the truth, it is important that we be given some answers.
This is an issue that impacts every student at UConn, whether you’re just beginning freshman year, about to graduate, or are a graduate student. These budget cuts will affect us while we’re still attending UConn, but could also affect the state and quality of our degrees once we leave this university. Now that the scare tactics have worked and awareness has been raised, we deserve some direct answers about what will really happen to our school if the state budget is passed.
Whether or not you agree with President Herbst’s technique of getting students involved with the future of UConn, it is apparent that not very much is clear about the upcoming budget cuts and how they will be handled. What is clear, however, is that it is UConn’s job to keep us informed of what the plan is and when the impending cuts are made, so we can be prepared for whatever implications they may hold.
Emma Hungaski is the associate opinion editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.