The personal and painful ramifications of state budget cuts were voiced by more than a dozen students at the Brown Bag with the Presidents on April 6. Earlier in the week, the Division of Student Affairs had announced that four programs – intercollegiate tennis, CalWorks, the Visitor & Information Center, and the National Student Exchange — would close effective July 1.
Several people spoke up for CalWorks, a support service for student-parents, and shared personal struggles and hardships. They expressed their unhappiness in losing an experienced coordinator and a private space. President Ortiz and Doug Freer, vice president of student affairs, acknowledged their concerns and pledged that the Registrar’s Office staff, which will take over some of the responsibilities, will be trained for the transition.
During the noon-hour event, Ortiz reminded the audience that Cal Poly Pomona’s budget crisis cuts across higher education in the state and is a result of a dramatic decrease in state funding. Cal Poly Pomona is facing a 22 percent budget cut for 2009-10, and everyone on campus will be affected in one way or another, he said. Because the state legislature and governor have not passed a budget for next year, the president could not make any promises or guarantees about what the future holds.
Several students asked whether the cultural centers and their coordinators would be cut. Ortiz encouraged students to look at his record of supporting the centers during difficult budget years in the past.
Two student-athletes talked about intercollegiate tennis, which will be cut in July, and said they are developing a plan to save the program for at least next year. Director of Athletics Brian Swanson said he would look at and evaluate the proposal to continue men’s and women’s tennis through fundraising, donations and other changes.
Students are encouraged to send questions and concerns to Ortiz by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.