Students Protest Possible Cuts at UF
They think they have a solution, for now. Protestors stated their case to University of Florida leaders. Students think the impending budget cuts could be offset with money the university already has on hand, but university leaders say it isn't that simple.
About 100 students marched to Tigert Hall, and sat outside the Office of Student Affairs on the last day of classes, letting officials know they don't want any faculty or programs to disappear at UF. They say the know how the cuts can be averted.
These students are singing, protesting in the office.
They're here to rally against layoffs.
"To layoff staff members and restructure the computer science department, to make huge cuts to fine arts," Brant Horacek, grad student said.
They say according to UF's Financial Report there is 111 million dollars in unrestricted net assets for UF that should be used to make up the deficit.
"Our message was make up the deficit which is 36-38 million," Horacek said.
But UF says they have the 111 million, they say part that was used to offset cuts last year.
"We used a combinations of cuts and reserves so that money did not come back this year," Janine Sikes, UF Spokesperson said.
UF officials say the number is actually 75 million, but they can't spend that because the state requires universities to always keep 5 percent of their state appropriation on hand, which averages out to about 40 million. And they want money on hand for emergencies.
"We're trying to do it in the best way, to affect the least amount of people and maintain the quality for our students," Sikes said.
But students say they want to see more transparency from UF.
"If its 75 million or what, they have not been transparent at all and telling us how much money they have in reserve and what is that money going toward," Horacek said.
Even though it was the last day of classes, students are far from done. There's going to a forum set up by the dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where he plans to address his plans if the cut affect his college. Students also plan to protest a graduation ceremony on May 5th to let Engineering Alumni know what's going on at UF.
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