Tags Posts tagged with "Budget cuts"

Budget cuts

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Jessica Wade

Gov. Pete Ricketts,

As the budget cuts to the University of Nebraska-Omaha begin to impact myself, fellow students and faculty members I would like to take this opportunity to insist that you find a solution that does not entail cutting funding to higher education. To help brainstorm solutions I’ve included a bulleted list of possible money-saving, revenue-producing ventures.

• Rent out Memorial Stadium (weddings, proms, bar mitzvahs ect.)
• Shut off the heat in ASH, the building is an inferno destroying students’ souls.
• Hire a dog as the new UNO Chancellor, pay him in dog treats and “who’s a good boy?”s.
• Stop letting Maverick Production take trips to Florida.
• Turn the Pep Bowl into a garden, students can sell vegetables.
• Convert the bell tower into a billboard, charge local businesses to use it for advertising.
• Shut down every department but the music department.
• Put dorms in Baxter Arena, the stadium might make money that way.
• Do not, I repeat, do not put a railcar in midtown.
• Fire all the professors and use Wikipedia to teach students.
• Replace faculty with fish bowls attached to robot bodies.
• Auction off the Durango statue in front of HPER.
• Just get rid of all parking spaces.

I hope these ideas help. I’d come with more, but it’s hard to concentrate while being sustained by ramen and the bleak hope that elected officials will decide that Nebraska Universities are worth funding.

If worse comes to worse, we can all transfer to Iowa State.

Sincerely, Jessica Wade A disgruntled college student

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Photo Courtesy of Nebraska Omaha

Cassie Wade

Funding for University of Nebraska at Omaha student group Maverick Productions (Mav Pro) has been frozen following an event at the Amazing Pizza Machine Wednesday.

Mav Pro is a student group funded by UNO’s student government. The group hosts events intended to be fun and stress free for students throughout the school year.

UNO sophomore Denny Smith said Mav Pros Amazing Pizza Machine event “was the exact opposite of fun” and increased his stress level.

“Me and some of my friends thought going to The Amazing Pizza Machine would be a good time because it would remind us of our childhoods,” Smith said. “In reality, all it did was bum us out because we’re adults. We have problems pizza and video games can’t fix, and all being there did was make me miss my childhood and my mom.”

Other students, like Brittney Stevens agreed the event was a bust.

“I mean, like, Pizza Machine is just like a glorified Chuck-E-Cheese,” Stevens said. “Grimy little kids touch everything and then us adults are expected to go in there and have fun? I don’t think so.”

Smith said he and his friends felt it was necessary to stay at the event despite not having fun.

“We felt like we had to stay because we were already there and basically paid for the event with our student fees,” Smith said. “Not going to Mav Pro stuff means not enjoying the things my hard earned money is going towards.”

Freshman philosophy major and amateur conspiracy theorist Destiny Jones said using student fees to fund events is all part of Mav Pros secret plan of mind control.

“They want to trick you into attending their events because if you go to their events they can force you to hangout with them and if they force you to hangout with them they can force you to think like them and if they can force you to think like them they can force you to be like them,” Jones said. “Then BAM! You’re a conformist, man.”

Student government member Jane Doe said the Student Activities Budget Commission (SABC) has heard student complaints about Mav Pro’s money wasting events and has taken action.

“Our job is to listen to students, and make sure their voices are heard,” Doe said. “Right now, student voices are screaming at us that they’re tired of feeling pressured to attend Mav Pros boring events to make sure their student fees aren’t going to waste. We hear them and are doing our best to meet their needs.”

SABC convened for an emergency session discussing the allocation of student fees. A unanimous decision was made to freeze Mav Pro’s current funding and reallocate next year’s funding to another student group.

“We’re taking a hard look at the budgets and think we’ve found a good group to allocate the extra funds to,” Doe said. “UNO’s stu-dent newspaper, the Gateway, offers publication experience, portfolio building opportunities and internships to students. The staff creates a product every week, so we feel they deserve the money.”

The announcement of the reallocation of Mav Pro funds to the Gateway is also an attempt to even out the funding for student groups on campus, according to Doe.

“The Gateway was the only group whose budget for next year was cut,” Doe said. “I’m not quite sure why we did that to them, so we’re going to fix that mistake.”

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Photo Courtesy of UNO Twitter

Kaylee Pierce

Students may face an increase in tuition and fees due to budget cuts affecting the University of Nebraska schools.

Tuition hikes are to be expected but are hard on everyone. With the cost of living going up as well as schooling, it is becoming more difficult to remain optimistic.

Just the other day one of my professors mentioned to my class that he was going to have to be covering more classes to take the place of new teachers coming in. Not only will these budget cuts affect paying students, but will wreak some havoc on UNO staff.

If these budget cuts come through and our tuition spikes, it is likely students will fall more in financial despair and some may choose to drop out.

College education shouldn’t have to be so unattainable if you are lower to middle class citizens. College is going to be costly, but at what point is costly going to cost you your future? The way I see it, right now most of us are going to school to get a job that will pay off the previously mentioned schooling. Doesn’t that seem a bit outrageous?

Financial aid will only help us out so much. For those who have a set amount given, if the cost of our schooling rises, those scholarships will help less and less. I really don’t want to be paying off hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans for the rest of my life. If push comes to shove, I would take my education so far and then either drop or transfer.

UNO is a great college but I would leave if I had to. I am a middle class adult working 30 hours a week on top of going to school full-time. If tuition were raised, I would have to make up that extra money somewhere. I could get a loan, but by the time I was actually able to pay it all off, it would most likely be twice the original amount. I already work two jobs, I cannot and will not add yet another.

I have always wanted to go to college and get a great job, but I could somehow manage without a degree in journalism. I don’t want to place more stress on myself to work more and make more money to afford my degree. It would be too much. I couldn’t even imagine working more than what I do now but I know some students out there work twice as much as me.

We shouldn’t have to make a decision to drop out because of rising costs. We can only hope our tuition remains as least semi-bearable financially.

Photo courtesy of The University of Nebraska at Omaha

Will Patterson

University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds delivered a presentation at an on-campus open forum Friday concerning the upcoming $58 million budget cuts.

Bound’s speech sought to clarify what the budget cuts mean for faculty, students and Nebraska. This year the university will be experiencing a mid-year $13.3 million budget cut prior to June 30, 2017. Following that, the university must cut $58 million from the budget plan for the next two years.

Nebraska’s system of setting state budgets requires the state legislature to approve the changes, much like how bills are passed into law. The predicted cuts are currently the recommendation of Gov. Pete Rickets that will need to go through a legislative process before becoming reality.

Bounds argued that the decision to pull funding from the University of Nebraska was a poor decision. Citing the university’s return of $6 for every $1 put in, he emphasized the success the University of Nebraska has seen in improving Nebraska’s outlook for the future.

“The worst thing that we can do right now, for the future of our state, for the future of our children, is take our foot off the accelerator,” Bounds said.

Part of the forum involved reviewing how past cuts have impacted the university, and primarily, its students. In 2003, mid-year cuts caused a jump in tuition which resulted in the loss of 1,500 students. Bounds said he believes the university was just recently fully recovering from those cuts.

Despite Bounds’ explanation for why not to cut the university’s funding, the truth seems to be that the proposed cuts will pass through the legislature without much hindrance. This led to the creation of a budget response team to deal with the mid-year cut and upcoming $58 million cut.

The budget response team has two guiding principles, Bounds said. These include protecting the academic integrity of the institution and protecting affordability. Still, doubts were cast by the university president.

“I want to be candid with everyone,” Bounds said, “I do not think that we can get through this without violating both those principles.”

The deadlines for the budget team will require the larger working groups to submit their recommendations to the Steering Committee by March 27. After that, the Steering Committee’s recommendations will be given to Bounds for consideration with university chancellors.

Already the university experienced a hiring freeze that went into effect in November. Measures such as these may continue for some time into the future, according to Bounds.

The forum shed light on the reality that tuition increases appear to be unavoidable. The only two ways to overcome this gap in the budget, according to Bounds, is through revenue generation and cuts. A major step in this process will be the search for further efficiency with the University of Nebraska.

This led the forum to observe explanations as to why money can’t be pulled from other sections of the $2.5 billion budget. Much of this budget is dedicated to certain sections of the university and can’t be reallocated.

Throughout these cuts, the UNO chancellor search will continue in full force. A point of concern expressed during the open forum was the salaries of the chancellor and other leadership positions within the University of Nebraska.

Bounds expressed his belief that the price was worth the quality when hiring leaders for the university.