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As the winter quarter starts, Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Anne Bartlett has confirmed that SIAS will receive the full budget which had been approved in May of 2019. However, this news comes too late as faculty and students begin the new quarter, feeling the effects of the decisions made over the summer. The members of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs were hardest hit by the summer cuts, and are facing problems with capstone classes and credits.

Students within PPPA were notified on Dec. 12 that they might not be able to fulfill their capstone requirement through TPOLS 496, TPOLS 497 nor TLAW 496 due to budget constraints and limitations on monitoring capstone internships. Instead, students were urged to take the TPOL 480 capstone seminar instead, or have already worked out another solution with a faculty member.

“I’m having trouble putting together a schedule that allows me to work or volunteer,” said junior Renee Owley. “There seems to be only one section of anything being offered, and everything within my major is taking place at the same time, so I have fewer choices. Even classes that are required in order to declare a certain major are only being offered once next quarter. So we can’t get into those, and then the classes that are only available to people who’ve declared their major until the second period of registration are full by the time they’re open to everyone.”

During the fall quarter, Owley started the Facebook page Students United Against Cuts to Classes at UWT where students can go to vent their frustration about the situation.

“A group of us were voicing our displeasure and trying to come up with a way to come together and tell the administrators here that these cuts are hurting us,” Owley said. “We are the ones who pay to be here, so admin has reason to listen to us. It’s just a matter of organizing.”

While UW Tacoma administrators and SIAS representatives work to figure how exactly a discrepancy between the budget which was approved in May for SIAS and the budget Bartlett received and based her cuts on, students are left in a state of confusion around what is happening and why it is happening. ASUWT has tried to help with the issue, having hosted a town hall in November and also by sending out a survey for students affected by the cuts to respond to.

“Unfortunately, we personally haven’t had the opportunity to hear directly from students about course cancellations,” said SIAS Senator Alexandra Dogbe. “We urge students who have been affected to reach out to us or to take the survey that recently rolled out about course cancellations. However, we have been able to speak to our dean, Dr. Anne Bartlett, who expressed deep concern about this on multiple occasions and explained to us that this is rooted in the issue of timely and accurate budget transparency between all levels at UWT.”

Quotes from Renee Owley

How have the cuts impacted you?

I’m having trouble putting together a schedule that allows me to work or volunteer. There seems to be only one section of anything being offered, and everything within my major is taking place at the same time, so I have fewer choices. Even classes that are required in order to declare a certain major are only being offered once next quarter. So we can’t get into those, and then the classes that are only available to people who’ve declared their major until the second period of registration are full by the time they’re open to everyone. It’s a catch-22.

Additionally, I have no idea what’s being offered in the spring. That’s making it nearly impossible to do any long-term planning. 

What have other students told you?

Most of the other students I’ve talked to had no idea about the cuts. Those that did are in three same boat as me. I’m fortunate enough that my family is helping me with my tuition, but other students are faced with the possibility of having to take out more loans out they’re unable to graduate on time. 

What do you want to see done?

In a perfect world, we’d all be able to register for the classes we need with no problems. However, I understand that budgets are cut, and sacrifices need to be made. What I’d like to see is accountability. Why aren’t students being informed about these cuts? And why aren’t advisors being more helpful to students who are faced with these issues?

What inspired you to start the Facebook group?

It was the first idea that came to mind. A group of us were voicing our displeasure and trying to come up with a way to come together and tell the administrators here that these cuts are hurting us. We are the ones who pay to be here, so admin has reason to listen to us. It’s just a matter of organizing. 

And whatever other insights you would like to share/things you would like to see brought to light. 

I’m wondering why we can set aside millions of dollars for a new engineering building when we can’t fund the classes we came here expecting to take, or why we’re cutting business classes while preparing to expand the Milgard building, or why parking continues to be such a mess. 

Quotes from Gina Choi and Alexandra Dogbe 

Unfortunately, we personally haven’t had the opportunity to hear directly from students about course cancellations. We urge students who have been affected to reach out to us or to take the survey that recently rolled out about course cancellations. However, we have been able to speak to our dean, Dr. Anne Bartlett, who expressed deep concern about this on multiple occasions and explained to us that this is rooted in the issue of timely and accurate budget transparency between all levels at UWT.

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