Future of Co-Curriculars Uncertain

Clark’s Drama, Model UN and Speech and Debate classes are proposed to be eliminated next year due to a budget deficit. Although the related programs will still be funded by ASCC, the classes themselves may no longer be available.

The effect of cutting these co-curricular classes varies. However, the underlying principle is the same: students will no longer be able to get credit for their participation in these programs.

The proposed cuts equate to $1,735 for Drama, $6,349 for Speech and Debate and $3,771 for Model UN. Compared to other departments proposed to be cut, co-curricular departments would have a small monetary reduction.

Theater program director and professor Gene Biby said the Drama program will remain the same, but students will lose options. Theater majors are required to take play production classes, so cutting them takes away a requirement they’d be able to fulfill before transferring.

Biby understands that his play production classes were proposed because of their low enrollment. “As a theater department, we didn’t push those classes hard enough and didn’t promote them like we should have,” Biby said. “I don’t think we ever realized they were in danger of not being offered though.”

The Speech and Debate program is in the same boat. “Students will still do the same amount of work, just not for credit,” said program director Elizabeth Kinnaman.

Kinnaman said Speech and Debate stresses the importance of quality work and that her students work hard. Now they wouldn’t be awarded credits for it.

“What’s really missing would be the one-on-one time that students get in class,” Kinnaman said. “The program and students won’t suffer, but it will require a lot more outside time now.”

Joe Cavalli, program director of Model UN, feels the same as Kinnaman and Biby. “Nothing will change except students won’t get credit,” he said.

Cavalli said not having a class available reduces the academic aspect of the program, questioning whether eliminating the class would affect student performance.

Biby and Kinnaman said these cuts wouldn’t really affect them as instructors because they both teach classes outside of their co-curricular programs. Cavalli, on the other hand, said he will take a “huge cut in pay,” but still has the same workload he had before.

Even if the proposed cuts are approved, Biby finds it important to put things into perspective. “We could’ve been hit a lot worse than we were,” he said.

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