Despite the House of Representatives passing the non-preferred appropriation bill that funds Pitt, Pitt-Greensburg still made budget cuts.
These cuts in the budget also led to 21 class cuts. Scheduling for the Spring 2018 semester was revised and put into effect on Oct. 26.
Shelby Newhouse, a senior Creative and Professional Writing major with a minor in History, explained what cuts have meant for her.
“These cuts have been happening for a while now,” Newhouse said. “I’ve felt the effects of them through the cutting of the Intro to Fiction course. While I was lucky enough to take it while it was still around, my younger friends who are also writing majors are not,” Newhouse added.
There are five writing courses offered this spring (excluding Capstone), and eight are needed for degree completion.
“I’ve had the privilege to take the courses I have, and I’m still struggling,” Newhouse said. “I had to cut corners just to make sure I graduate on time, and I know that in the future, others will have to do even more work than I have just to complete their degree on time,” she added.
According to documentation from the faculty retreat May 2017, Pitt-Greensburg strives to be recognized as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the greater Maryland-Pennsylvania-Ohio region.
The documents—while stressing liberal arts—focus on expanding health sciences as a way to help bolster enrollment.
While in the midst of expanding, students in the sciences have also experienced issues with scheduling due to cuts.
Corrine Silvio, a sophomore Bio Chemistry major, explained what fewer, larger classes have meant for her.
“The cuts affected my options for Biology courses,” Silvio said. “With cuts to those courses, I was forced to move my schedule around to fit the times I needed, and switch out classes I need to take next semester,” Silvio added.
In terms of the cuts, Newhouse explained she understands they’re necessary, she just doesn’t fully agree with them.
“Everything is driven by money, which makes sense. Running a university is similar to running a business: offer better things than your competitors, and you’ll see a rise in profit,” Newhouse said. “It feels like humanities courses were seen as throwaways. Cutting those classes meant nothing to them, but it means a hell of a lot to the students who will inevitably be forced to bend over backwards or else not be able to graduate on time,” Newhouse said.
Students have been encouraged to see their Academic Advisors for any scheduling concerns and issues.
The Insider will continue to follow what cuts may mean for students moving forward in the next edition.