I've received several emails and have discussed with various people about the big changes coming to USM this year. Unfortunately these changes come as bearers of bad news for USM and the student body.
Just this summer it has been announced that Chief of Student Affairs Officer Craig Hutchinson, Director of the Office of Community Standards Stephen Nelson, and the Director of the Campus Safety Project Clara Porter will not be returning to USM next year. In addition, Student Life/Affairs is being merged with Student Success.
These cuts will have huge impacts on the student body and your overall experience experience here at USM.
Craig Hutchinsom as Chief Student Affairs Officer, whether you know him or not, was important for the role that he played as liaison between the students and the administration and was responsible for overseeing Parking & Transportation, the Campus Safety Project and Public Safety. Essentially, his main job was to be there for students, hence the title of Chief Student Affairs Officer.
Clara Porter, who ran the Campus Safety Project, advocated on behalf of students on a wide range of issues impacting student safety, making sure that students had resources readily available to deal with those issues.
What it all boils down to, in my view, is that while these cuts cannot be stopped due to reasons at the University of Maine System and State governance level, students are slammed with the bill. After all, it's we the students that pay USM's bills. The $10,000 plus a year that you pay in tuition and fees, where do you think that goes? It goes to pay the bills... Oh, and the salaries!
So why are the services that have a direct impact on students being cut and or merged? Furthermore, why are students not given a voice at these budget talks? Shouldn't we, the students who pay this schools bills, have a say in what services get cut and/or merged?
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