Cuts at UNR are excessive and ridiculous

The economy is hurting everyone across the nation. And it is hitting closer and closer to home each day. Nevada is suffering more than most states, since the budget gap here is greater than in many other states. And with a new year upon us and a new legislative session about to get underway, we are seeing the real-world consequences of such a horrible economy. One of the hardest hit places is the University of Nevada, Reno.

There are cuts in state jobs and state-funded programs—this is a given in times such as these. People are going to get hurt; it is just a question of how badly. And the newest blow to Nevada has fallen upon university students. With a 47 percent proposed budget cut at UNR, it is unquestionable that people on the school’s campus are scared and angry.

Students are protesting in Carson City. They are writing letters to the Nevada Legislature and to their own student senators. They are just all-around angry. In many ways, this is justifiable. Most of them didn’t cause this predicament; it isn’t their fault the economy is going belly up, and yet they still have to suffer. But these are the same people who don’t value a dollar earned and have no understanding of what balancing a budget is like. Basically, this is a losing situation all the way around.

In many ways, I share the pain of most of the students on campus. It is not fair that the education system has to suffer—especially when the education system is what will stimulate new growth in the job world, which in turn will slowly help the economy. Cutting 47 percent of the University of Nevada, Reno’s budget is excessive, to say the least. But at the same time, I understand where the desire to cut the budget is coming from.

The budget and the economy are recurring themes in the media for good reason. The poor economy is affecting everything: jobs, taxes, the roads and higher education. While we don’t know exactly how deeply they’ll slice, cuts will be made. It’s simple, really: No one can withdraw funds from an account that has no money in it, and even the state of Nevada can’t write checks from an overdrawn account.

This is the point that’s lost upon many of the students at UNR. They see money being taken away from their school, and they are upset, but they refuse to look at the big picture. And that big picture isn’t pretty, but it honestly shows Nevada’s fiscal health: dead broke. But, too, there is so much wasted money that can be taken away from the expense side of the budget that people refuse to see.

Yes, a 47 percent cut is excessive and ridiculous, but so is spending money just to spend it. First off, if the school is so broke, then why are new buildings going up right now? In a time of an economic downturn, I would think that the money for those buildings would be better spent elsewhere. Another thing to question would be the fact that there are buses running on campus at all hours. If you have two good legs, by all means use them!

Money problems are the big thing to talk about these days, probably because they are so widespread. But what people, and students especially, need to realize is that we are all hurting, and we will all find these fiscal impacts somewhere in our lives, whether it be in education or by way of higher taxes. Life is going to be hard for a while, and that is one thing we are going to have to accept.