Bradley students walk out to protest proposed cuts
PEORIA (25News Now) - After Bradley University announced $13 million in proposed cuts, mostly to academics, students are taking a stand.
“I’m hoping that this actually sends a message to President Standiford that, ‘hey, this is not a good idea,’” said Nat Wlodarczyk, a Freshman at Bradley University.
Wlodarczyk is one of at least a hundred people who showed up for Tuesday morning’s protest at the Lydia Moss Bradley statue in the center of campus.
The students say they want Bradley University President Stephen Standifird to reconsider what should be cut and from where. They also say they are frustrated that student voices aren’t being heard or represented in the decision process.
“I’m really hoping for a lot more ownership and clean communication coming down from the administration, and ultimately taking a better look at some of these cuts and determining if they’re really worth it,” said Will Cypert, a Junior at Bradley.
President Standifird stated in a press release that the cuts will only affect 3.5% of the student population, but students like Cypert say they still feel the sting.
“There’s a large ripple effect that expands way past the 3.5% that the university is talking about,” Cypert said.
While about a hundred students showed up at the protest, faculty and alumni also showed up looking to make a change.
“What the people who do the educating and the students who are being educated want is not the same as what the higher-ups are doing. I hope they take the time to listen,” said Affiliate Faculty Member Natalie Jipson.
Jipson says she’s afraid the quality of education and support the students receive now will be different if the administration continues with these cuts.
“Although I care about the university, I care about our students. I do worry that it’s going to change the way our community is structured here,” Jipson said.
McGwire Hidden is a Bradley alumnus who drove down from Michigan to attend the protest. He says he wanted to show administrators that they shouldn’t be set in the changes they’ve proposed.
“That’s how much it meant to me to be a part of the philosophy and religious studies departments at Bradley, that’s how much the faculty impacted my life, and if I can have any say in something being different in the cuts that get made, I want to do that,” Hidden said.
President Standifird says the programs proposed for discontinuation will be eliminated slowly over three years. That decision will be made by December 6th.
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