Emotions were high and people were rightly upset Tuesday during a meeting concerning the end of the dance education major. Programs are sure to be cut during a budget crisis, but provisions should be made for those already in the program. The university should help the students already in the dance program finish and earn degrees in the major they began when they entered USF.
For months, students in the visual and performing arts programs heard there might be major cuts but were given few, if any, answers when they questioned their professors. Instead, the cuts came, and when all was finished, the dance education program had been cut entirely. Such a cut is unfair to the students who have spent semesters and years working toward a specific degree.
In other programs, when changes are made, they affect only students who come into the program afterward. This cut should be no different. The university should keep the dance education program until all the students currently enrolled graduate. A time limit should be made for that graduation deadline.
Instead, dance education majors are left to wonder whether they will receive degrees and what those degrees may be now that they are bereft of their chosen major. All majors on campus were affected by the cuts, but some departments obviously have felt the cuts more than others.
USF is primarily a research university, but it should also recognize the importance of the arts and the subsequent dance education program. If the university does not show it values all majors, especially ones that have several students enrolled, it may lose credibility among its prospective and even current student populations.
Budget cuts should be fair and involve ways to accommodate those affected. In this case, those accommodations weren’t made, and they should have been.