WSU Performing Arts Is Ending And You Should Be Angry

WSU Performing Arts Is Ending And You Should Be Angry

STEM students are important, but so is everyone else.

Last year, WSU President Kirk Schulz announced a plan to reduce the $30 million annual spending deficit. The budget cuts include various positions, including retention counselors, who work with struggling students to keep them in school. As if that was not bad enough, Schulz also decided to cut WSU Performing Arts entirely.

"These decisions are painful. They will disrupt lives, and the consequences of eliminating and reducing positions will ripple throughout our community ... But as much as I and members of the leadership team regret the necessity of these actions, they must be taken in order to restore the University’s overall fiscal health.” -President Schluz

The changes to WSU PA would take place at the end of the performance season.

This is it.

This is the end of performing arts at WSU.

There will be no more shows during Moms' Weekends. No more rehearsals late into the night in Daggy. No more students finding who they are on stage, finally able to escape into the world of theater, a world so beautiful and kind and magical.

Let me explain to you what performing arts means to me, what it did for me while I starred in "She Kills Monsters."

WSU PA saved me from myself.

I decided to audition on a whim. I had done theater in high school, I missed it, and I had time in my schedule. Maybe I could get a minor part or help with the stage crew.

I walked into auditions and everything was fairly normal. It was what I expected of an acting audition. And then the director, Ben, told us to close our eyes, imagine our weapons, and fight an opponent. A room full of strangers, outsiders, and outcasts; all of us held our invisible swords, lances, and axes, and we fought — not with our eyes or even our bodies, but our minds and our creative spirits.

I got cast as Agnes and I sobbed. How I managed to convince Ben I could do it, I still do not know. But, somehow, I did, and I loved every damn second of that show. Ben saw something within me that I still cannot see. He gave me a chance and he changed my life forever.

On that stage, I finally got to do what I had dreamed of all my life. I got to fight monsters with a sword with my best friends in a fantasy land. We killed bugbears and the Tiamat. We fought our own monsters that hid within our deepest selves.

I fought my insecurities, my depression, my inner-hatred and self-loathing. I fought to find my place in this world, and for a while, I found it.

I found myself on that dusty stage, standing on top of a giant hexagon, screaming and holding a sword above my head.

Now that I know what it feels like, I will never stop searching for that feeling again.

The thing is, nobody else will get to find that. Because of these budget cuts at WSU, no more students will have the opportunity to learn life lessons from Mary and Ben or to learn who they are in the way only theater can.

I get that budget cuts need to happen. The university is in debt, and things needed to change.

But President Schulz, this is not how you change things.

You all say the budgets are separate, and I get that, but how can you justify hiring new athletic directors and increasing the salaries of coaches? How can we build a new medical program in Spokane when we cannot even keep our programs stable? How can we clear $113.9 million dollars in renovations and more construction?

Yes, state funding comes into play, as well as donations, grants, and the like. But where is the funding for the arts, for helping students, for diversity? Where is the funding to allow low-income students access to counseling? Tell me when a new lab became more important than having enough counselors and medical professionals to actually help the hundreds of students on this campus with serious, crippling mental illnesses. I'll be waiting.

STEM students are important, but so is everyone else.

Stop shutting us down. Stop silencing us. Stop telling us we are not as important as the rest of the "professional" students on campus. Please, just stop.

WSU Performing Arts, I am going to miss you. Thank you for the best year of my life and for all you have done for students and the WSU/Pullman community.

To my PA friends — keep fighting and never stop. I love you all.

WSU PA's last production is "Silent Sky." It will run March 30-31 and April 6-7.

Cover Image Credit: "She Kills Monsters" Cast

Popular Right Now

11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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