Funding for Popular programs should not be reduced by USF

While USF’s budget cuts have not been too drastic, many of the largest cuts have been to services and programs used by many students, while cuts to organizations that tailor to smaller groups have been less drastic. It makes sense for the student government, who is in charge of allocating the fees, to cut spending on nonessential programs, but the most popular programs should have received the smallest cuts.

The Campus Activities Board (CAB), which organizes events for all University students, including Movies on the Lawn and Bulls Night Out, has been allocated 30 percent less funds than last year.

CAB events are appealing to most students, especially freshmen. Director of Undergraduate Studies Glen Besterfield said a special summer edition of Movies on the Lawn or Bulls Night Out would help new students adjust to campus life.

While Movies on the Lawn will likely not be changed, Bulls Night Out will be offered only once per semester and most other CAB events, including the fall concert and spring comedy show, will be reduced or eliminated.

While CAB received a large cut, funding for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life was reduced by only about 8 percent. This office is important only to students who choose to join fraternities or sororities, so larger cuts to it would have affected fewer students.

The University Lecture Series (ULS), another popular program, was allocated 40 percent less in funding than last year. From Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s lecture about the environment to Ben Stein’s talk about life, ULS guest speakers have offered something for everyone this school year.

The large cut to ULS means there will be fewer speakers next year — three or four per semester, Adviser Cindy Greenwood said.

Worse than cutting funding for nonessential programs, the Senate has decided not to allocate any funds to Student Disability Services (SDS).

SDS Director Deb McCarthy said this was done because “at the time the budget proposals were due, there was no director.”

Providing assistance to disabled students is a necessity, and the department should have been given an opportunity to submit a proposal.

With a smaller budget, its allocation decisions were obviously difficult, but the Senate should not have reduced necessary or widely popular programs.