Edinboro's Fighting Scots Worry Over Budget Cuts on Homecoming - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Edinboro's Fighting Scots Worry Over Budget Cuts on Homecoming

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The Mummer's All-Star band, the parade, and thousands of returning alum, are all signs of homecoming weekend at Edinboro University. But the fun and festivities were tempered by pending cuts in programs and professors.

Edinboro faces a $5.5 million deficit because of shrinking enrollment and state funding cuts.

"My favorite part about homecoming is having the alumni come back, and bringing back that spirit of Edinboro. Just hearing their stories of the wonderful times that they've had here," said Julie Wollman, President of Edinboro University. 

While it's a happy day for the school, not everyone is here for fun and games.

A group of students interrupted the parade, forming a human barricade and protesting the budget cuts with signs. Students also formed a protest rally earlier in September.

"We were at the beginning of the parade, I think it was from the music department. Students came out and put up a human blockade with signs," said Rachael Payer, an environmental biology student at Edinboro. "It put a huge damper on things but it's an issue that needs to be addressed," she said.

Some alumni only recently heard about the proposed changes and also voiced their disapproval on the proposed cuts.

"I just heard about it last week from some friends of mine. And I'm disappointed, I'm upset," said David Perenyi, Edinboro class of '85. "It's quite a cultural void they're going to create if they're going to get rid of the music program, in my opinion."

"The quality of the ensembles, and the whole university experience in the arts would certainly be diminished and compromised," said Gary Grant, Edinboro's chair of the music department.

Planned cuts extend from the language to science departments as well, slashing classes and faculty.

"Enrollment in the science building is increasing, even though overall enrollment is decreasing. So if they cut faculty, it's going to be devastating," Payer said.

The administration is working with faculty to seek other options.

"I've been to a lot of meetings with the president, the provost, the dean," said Grant, who is also a conducting professor. "We are trying to save the program."

"With all of the rallies and protests we've been organizing, maybe it'll make a difference. Maybe it'll change their minds, or at least give us some other options," Payer said.

The situation weighs on the Fighting Scots' minds on this homecoming.

No plans are official yet. But the teacher's union specifies that faculty will receive notice detailing who and what will be cut by the end of October. 

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