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

Finals Week As Explained By Chandler Bing

"All right, I took the final. And it turns out I do put Netflix before studying."

It’s officially finals week . That's right, it's that time of year again. You begin to question your decision of going to college and have found a new home inside of the library (which some of you may have had no idea it existed before finals week). Every student can relate to the large amount of stress that comes along with finals week and it seems like the whole campus has turned into zombies. Coffee (and nothing but coffee) is the only thing keeping you moving at this point. Chandler Bing can relate far too well, but luckily he adds some humor to this otherwise disastrous week and I hope you find comfort in the fact that there are thousands of others are out there suffering along with you, I know I do. That makes my mental breakdown all the more justifiable and we all know a breakdown is inevitable. Here are some laughs that are all too relatable but will (hopefully) brighten your spirits!

1. When you have three exams to study for, two presentations and one paper to finish

So much to do in so little time.

SEE ALSO: Finals Week As Told By Marshall Eriksen

2. When you haven't moved from the same spot in the library at all

That awkward moment when your butt is actually so sore from sitting too long...been there done that.

3. You want to eat anything and everything, both out of stress and sleep deprivation

They call it comfort food for a reason.

4. And you actually fall asleep while attempting to study (but hopefully not during your final)

Because your body just cannot take being awake any longer. But you really wanna pass the class not pass out.

5. Trying to make the word count on your final paper

Must make that page limit. Must get every ounce of information on there. But. Don't lie, we all do it.

6. When your professor tells you that your final is cumulative

Can't take in that much information. NOPE!

7. When you receive your exam and suddenly get into the holiday spirit

Nothing says "happy holidays" like lengthy 2-hour exams that sucks out your soul.

8. The more you study, the more you question why you’re in college at all

Your major becomes too much because of the work. From science to music to education to nursing. The stress is bringing you down. We've all been there.

9. And then you start to question EVERYTHING

Because logic isn't simply going to help you pass your class.

10. You don’t want to hear how all your friends are done Monday when you have to stay until Thursday

Please tell me how easy your week is because you only have 2 finals as opposed to my 5 finals.

11. When other people say they have fewer or easier finals than you

I envy all of you!

SEE ALSO: Finals Week, As Told By Will Ferrell

12. When someone tells you that you've been watching too much Netflix and tries to get you to stop and you're like

You don't need that kind of negativity in your life. No you do not.

13. When you finally walk out of your last test for the year, you feel like you can conquer anything

Well, almost anything.

14. That feeling when you not only passed the final, but you passed the class as well. After all those hours of studying and stress.

Okay, now you can conquer anything. But first, get some sleep.

Let's face it, we're all Chandler Bing and Chandler Bing is us. Finals week is here my friends and I wish you all the best of luck! We need it. We really do need it.

Cover Image Credit: Playbuzz

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