CLS students rally to support program


By Lenny Wroge

"Support Chicano/Latino studies," student Edgar DeLeon told a crowd gathered outside the student center celebrating the kick off of Latino Heritage Month.

Even though festivities seemed pretty upbeat, students are afraid budget cuts will harm their academic program.

DeLeon said the students are prepared to fight so these programs stay in the community.

Between performances, DeLeon spoke to the audience about how Chicano/Latino studies, a 7-year-old program, has helped people of all ethnic backgrounds understand the state’s fastest-growing population.

CLS has no full-time faculty of its own. Classes are taught by professors from various departments, including history and political science. The fear is that cuts to other areas will leave professors without the time needed to continue their commitment to CLS.

UNO’s proposed budget cuts won’t become official until mid-November but have created some disappointment and anger among students on campus.

The budget cuts have caught some students off guard. Some students said they had no knowledge of the proposed budget cuts or the impact.

Although not all the students were aware of the cuts, it has been the topic of some discussion for administration since late July when Gov. Mike Johanns revealed the possibility of an additional $20 million in budget cuts to the University of Nebraska.

Now that more students are becoming aware of the recent cuts, many feel the need to voice their disapproval.

"We as students will not tolerate it," said DeLeon, a senior who took part in last Monday’s Hispanic Heritage Month performance.

DeLeon also plans to take his plea for the continuation of CLS to the university administration by asking for equal funding.

He said the proposed budget cuts do not reflect the university’s mission statement.

The program would like the university to fulfill their commitment to the UNO mission which, among other things, states "it has a special responsibility to use its resources and expertise to provide leadership in solving problems of the community and supporting its social, cultural and economic advancement."

Some UNO students have expressed concerns that the cuts may also effect the quality of the education provided on campus.

With the proposed trimming down of some of the vital programs, many feel as though they are being directly affected.

Student Dan Lowe not only fears the cuts will affect his tuition, but the quality of his education as well.

"It won’t be as diverse in the learning experience," Lowe said.



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