shouted, "I believe that you ought to have opportunities. Do you believe
that?" A crowd of more than one hundred people responded with enthusiastic
Mash was one of many speakers at the Believe in ESU Rally held on campus Tuesday
afternoon. Faculty worked with students to organize the event. Mash emphasized
it wasn’t a protest. He called it a “celebration” of the university.
People rallied against potential faculty layoffs and program cuts for next school
year. Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Chemistry, Movement Activities
and Lifetime Fitness, Music, Physical Education, and Physics are at risk. ESU Counseling
and Psychological Services could also be cut.
Sophomore Computer Security Major Marcus Howard reacted, "I'm very, very involved
and very concerned about what's happening at ESU." Junior English Major
Samantha Schilling added, "I believe in our education and I believe in our
Freshman Music Major Dara Sue complained, "I feel that what is happening to our
university is wrong. I feel that we have an over bloated administration."
She noted while faculty staff numbers have fallen, the number of administrators
on campus has increased. Sue feels if administrators cut faculty then they
should be willing to cut their own pay to save money.
Otis French is one faculty member that could lose his job. He leads the music
department. He conducted the marching band during the rally. If the music
program gets cut, students may have to run music-related activities like
marching band. Howard said that would be difficult. He noted, "It's very,
very time consuming."
Sue said cuts might force her and other students to leave ESU. She said, "Either
we won't have a department or the department will be cut so badly that I won't
be able to get the faculty that I really need to get a good education."
Administrators gave eight faculty members the opportunity to transfer to save their jobs by
transferring to other departments. Some students are uncomfortable with the
idea. Schilling asked, "Are they trained to teach those classes? That's
not their expertise. They need to be where their subject matter is."
School leaders, faculty members, and students agree they want legislators to
provide more money for higher education funding. Faculty members urged students
to contact their lawmakers about education budget cuts.
State Representative Rosemary Brown and State Representative Rosemary Brown sent spokespeople to the rally. They both said they support the university and will do whatever they can to bring in more funding.
ESU Spokesperson Brenda Friday released the following statement on behalf of the university:
“All of us – students, faculty, staff – believe in East Stroudsburg
University. We are all deeply invested in this wonderful institution, and
it is our hope that we can continue to work together to find solutions to our
financial challenges while maintaining the high quality educational experience
our students have come to expect. We ask the public to stand with us as
we modify and restructure academic areas in order to serve our students
and their families in the best way possible; by providing them with top-notch
instruction at an affordable cost in a field that we hope will offer them outstanding