Students aren’t prioritized when resources are cut

By Editorial Board

As reported on the Front Page, Columbia students are losing important resources and services due to slashed budgets. Departmental mergers that affect the quality of programs, limit studio time and deny resources to athletic teams are eroding the quality of campus life. 

Columbia’s athletic teams and work rooms allow students to bond, collaborate and form relationships that will help them in their post-college lives. Reducing services puts a strain on students who are trying to make the most of their time at the college. Most of all, cutting resources tells students they are not a priority.

The cuts are sufficient proof that Columbia is not a student-centered school anymore. Stripping away important resources that were a fundamental reason for attending Columbia is demoralizing for students. 

Students came here expecting their talents to be respected by the institution and to be encouraged to turn their creativity into lifelong careers. Unfortunately, it’s fitting that the college removed the motto “Live What You Love” from its branding. Prospective students should not be promised a college that will prioritize the resources they deserve because it is a promise that will likely never be kept.

The administration has touted the $50 million student center that is expected to come to campus in late 2018 as if it will redeem the denial of resources right now. However, this space will benefit few current enrollees and is unlikely to win them back as alumni after the repeated frustrations of the college’s broken promises.

Columbia’s students don’t want new, extravagant spaces to work in. Columbia had efficient spaces in which students were able to focus on the work they create in classes. These spaces were tailored to their respective majors—like radio or fine arts—and student workers assisted with projects that illustrated what industries expect from young artists.

These spaces once existed, but the administration is continually removing what made the college great.

The consequences of bad decision-making will be felt for years to come as students graduate knowing they spent years of time and money to be the administration’s afterthought. Their enduring memory of Columbia will be of the amount of work students put into their studies with insufficient resources. These budget cuts will haunt the college and its students for years to come.