Stop the Cuts by Jamie Kingsley

Cloaked faculty parading through to hallways is a fairly uncommon occasion on the grounds of our beloved campus. Most students probably saw this going on while enjoying a Martín sandwich from the cafeteria but did not truly understand the message that the march was illustrating.

If you did witness and hear the faculties chanting, you would have heard the phrase “Stop the Cuts” repeated throughout the march, gradually getting louder and louder. This phrase is not unheard of on the Notre Dame de Namur campus, there a few dozen flyers preaching this message and the faculty union has put on a few rallies in the quad where they ask students for signatures and explain the main issue on campus.
What does “Stop the Cuts” even stand for?
 Led by faculty union member, Kim Tolley, Stop the Cuts was started in protest to the education programs being cut without the notifying of students and faculty members that are connected to these programs. This, unsurprisingly, caused uproar and concern for many people directly and indirectly involved and affected by the executive decisions made by the university.

However the main concern of the protests is not the Cuts themselves, the union has many more concerns about the legality of the situation as well and how the university got into the financial “crisis” that they are in without anyone knowing until the last minute.

I sat down with Kim Tolley to see what information she was able to uncover and relay to me.  After hearing about the possible legal issues that tied into the cutting of programs, that was one of the main issues I wanted to discuss with her. Tolley explained to me that what the University did, under any other circumstances, would have been completely illegal.

The university cutting education programs without telling the students or faculty until the day they returned back for classes is not legal in the previous edition of the university handbook/catalogue. Though it seems that the cutting of programs wasn’t the only thing that changed before the beginning of the fall semester. When furious faculty referred back to the handbook to rest their case, they soon realized that the handbook had been changed by the university as well. Making their arguments invalid.

As a result, their only option to be heard was to peacefully protest and show their devotion to the university but also their concerns about the recent decisions made.

“It hasn’t been easy” says Tolley, “I got an email asking that I tell the rest of the faculty to stop informing the students about the cuts and I don’t think that is fair to the students of this university, they have a right to know what is going on.”
Tolley did not hesitate from sharing this email with me and it was, in fact, a legitimate message to all faculty asking that they not rile the students up about the issues occurring on campus.
Like all good stories, there are always two sides; however, I reached out to dean of students and the president of the University to get their sides of the story and had no such luck. Which was unfortunate because I had many questions to ask on behalf of the student body.

I’ve had students asking if this was truly the best solution to the financial crisis. “Does cutting these programs really save the university money?” Says, third year art major, Alexis VanHattem. Multiple students wonder “where is our money actually going?”

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