I Marched Against Budget Cuts That Threaten The Writing Program

I Marched Against Budget Cuts That Threaten The Writing Program

The disrespect Sacha Kopp is giving to the adjunct professors and students within the Program for Writing and Rhetoric is the cause for the march against him and his decisions

On Wednesday, November 15th at 1:00 PM, nearly 100 students and faculty gathered outside the Humanities building at Stony Brook University to fight back against the budget cuts the administration, especially Sacha Kopp, are trying to enforce. These budget cuts affect no other than the Program for Writing and Rhetoric, an important minor here at SBU and one that I cherish and love deeply.

Throughout my time at Stony Brook, I have made amazing connections with faculty in the writing program and found my career path because of them. Even full-time professors, whose jobs aren’t going to be affected by the budget cuts, came out to show their support.

Sacha Kopp, however, doesn’t feel the same way. He sees this department as disposable, as if it doesn’t matter and what they are teaching doesn’t matter. In early October of this year, 20 adjunct professors, some who’ve been working full-time for 20 years, received a notice that they will be laid off at the end of the semester because the budget cannot support them. This last-minute announcement left many professors out of work and scrambling to find another job.

The disrespect Sacha Kopp is giving to the adjunct professors and students within the Program for Writing and Rhetoric is the cause for the march against him and his decisions.

Earlier in the semester, a handful of students scheduled an appointment with Sacha Kopp to talk through his decisions, but when their appointment time came, where was Sacha Kopp? He certainly wasn’t in his office. And to think this irresponsible and disrespectful man holds the power of professor’s futures in his hands.

After an exciting and powerful round of pep talks from leaders and faculty fighting for their jobs, we marched. We rallied through campus, chanting, showing support for our fellow professors. We got the attention of many as eyes were on us as well as phones and video cameras. We rallied over to Sacha Kopp’s office to hand him the petition that nearly 3,000 people signed to keep the adjunct professors. We crowded the hallways and made sure he heard our message loud and clear.

The bottom line is that everyone needs to know how to write. There is not a single field where someone will not need a writing skill set. Kopp’s plan to replace writing professors with professors from the sciences is not going to help, either.

The reason for all of this is because Kopp does not see the writing program as important. However, writing is just as important as STEM. STEM will not cooperate or stay afloat without writing students because writing students know how to effectively communicate through speech and writing, solve problems analytically, and work with a wide range of knowledge because writing students are not tuned to specific studies like STEM students are; writing students cover a broad variety of subjects.

I know I wouldn’t want a biology professor teaching me writing. I’m sure biology professors know how to write effective research proposals and articles, but how are they going to handle personal statements, resumes, and creative writing that comes to them? They are not trained in those areas like the writing professors are.

If you were taking a biology class, would you want a writing professor teaching you? I know I wouldn’t. The reason why writing professors teach writing is because they are good at what they do and students deserve to learn from them and have proper instruction because writing is something everyone needs to successfully do. Writing is important, just as the professors who teach it are.

With that, I pledge to keep fighting for the department that I love until Sacha Kopp backs down.

Cover Image Credit: Unplsash

Popular Right Now

The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.


Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Beto O'Rourke Is The Future For The Democratic Party

Democrats need a new voice, and now they have him.


As a self-professed progressive, the 2016 presidential election was one of the darkest days of my life. Every day I wish that the election had turned out differently. But if there's a silver lining, the Democratic Party has almost completely reinvented itself and has a chance to move forward.

Barack Obama was an amazing leader for the party for a decade. Hillary Clinton was arguably the most-flawed candidate the modern-day Democratic Party has ever nominated, and she lost to the most-flawed Republican ever nominated. So now the Democrats need someone to look up to and lead the way past the regressive presidency of Donald Trump. That man is Beto O'Rourke.

O'Rourke is a representative of Texas's 16th congressional district, which covers the city of El Paso. But right now people in the political world know him as the guy who is running against arguably the most-hated man in the Senate, Ted Cruz. Former House Speaker and fellow Republican John Boehner once said that Cruz is "Lucifer in the flesh."

Cruz prides himself in being hated by Washington politicians, but hatred from his current colleagues could come back to bite him. "If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you," said Lindsey Graham, Republican senator from South Carolina.

If O'Rourke wins in November, he'll take down Cruz, who is one of the most powerful and influential Republicans in Washington despite being hated. And it could launch Beto to even higher office someday.

Even if he loses to Cruz, Beto has an extremely bright future ahead of him because he's just what the Democratic Party needs right now. He's young, passionate, communicates extremely well and is a perfect representation of what the face of the party should be.

This year, O'Rourke has been setting an example of how Democrats should run their campaigns. Beto has traveled to every single one of Texas's 254 counties. Ever since the Supreme Court's decision on Citizens United v. FEC (2010), Democrats have pushed for campaign finance reform, and O'Rourke is leading by example with his campaign. Beto has taken $0 from Political Action Committees (PACs). All of his money comes from individual donors. Cruz has taken PAC money, but O'Rourke still holds a significant advantage in fundraising.

O'Rourke in his campaign emphasizes that Texas has among the highest immigration populations in the United States, but the senators from Texas, Cruz and John Cornyn, do not accurately represent the diversity of the state. O'Rourke has separated himself from Cruz by speaking out against the proposed border wall and the separation of immigrant children at the border.

I'm not from Texas, but I'm just as excited for this senate race as I was when Doug Jones won in my home state almost a year ago. Beto O'Rourke has an opportunity to make positive change in our country and actually bring people together. If he doesn't win in November, Beto should make plans for 2020 because he can become the face of the Democratic Party.

If you'd like to learn more about, join, or donate to the campaign, here is a link.

Related Content

Facebook Comments