An open letter to UCM students: Your role in the current budget crisis

Written by Letters to the Editor

Dear students of The University of Central Missouri,
If the Governor’s  budget proposal were to be implemented, which calls for $5.4 million in less support for our campus,  it would place this university in a position where they must continue cutting essential faculty, staff and crucial programs that benefit our state. With this budget proposal, Governor Greitens is sacrificing the future and quality of higher education at the University of Central Missouri, to the detriment of all Missourians.
Budget reductions of this magnitude would undoubtedly cause the rising cost of college to be placed squarely on the backs of students in the form of increased tuition and fees. Even though this University is one of the most affordable opportunities in higher education in the state of Missouri, this price tag is increasingly becoming one which we as students cannot financially justify. Not only is this an unfavorable outcome for the thousands of college students in this community, but it will leave a scar in the fabric of Missouri for years to come.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 3,  President Charles Ambrose will host an open forum to “assist in the information sharing process” and give students an update on “ progress being made with regard to budget planning by those actively involved in this process.”
It is imperative that every student at UCM attend this open forum and reject the premise that students should not be actively involved in the budget process. As the state continues to cut our budget, we must consider students the primary shareholders of the University of Central Missouri. If we find that our inputs into this higher education system return only broken guarantees and great burdens of student debt with no such democratic representation in the halls of our institution; it is our duty to reject the premise of those halls and demand and forge a system that works for all. To demand and forge a system that refuses to sacrifice the well-being and economic opportunity of one student for the advancement of another. To demand and forge civic and community leadership from all who enter this higher education institution to share a sense of duty not only to our communities but for all those who believe in a forum for academic expression, and the pursuit of liberty for all. We owe it to all students, teachers, and community members at UCM to demand a better future, and craft an equitable system that is accessible to all regardless of color, class, or creed, and return the possibility of upward mobility and dignity back to the citizens of Missouri.
Sincerely,
S3 Organizers
Carly Burks
Chris Cooper
Rachel Gitau
Christian Hackworth
Davontae Hair
Grant Martin
Mathew Martinez
Devin Simon