After a long week of outrage and activism in response to proposed budget cuts and curriculum revisions, students gathered in the evening of Oct. 26 to draft a formal response to the administration’s proposals.
This “Blue and Gold Paper” is to be presented to administration at the second student forum on Wednesday, Oct 28th, and included everything from practical suggestions on improving Mills’ financial situation to comments from students and alumna about what makes Mills special.
The gathering was held on the second floor of the Natural Science Building, and was comprised primarily of student leadership and student representatives from threatened departments.
Heavy emphasis was placed on addressing Mills’ financial situation realistically, but this proved a difficult task as administration has so far declined to publicly release specifics about the school’s budget.
Demands for transparency from the administration about the school’s working budget will be made at Wednesday’s student forum, but in the absence of specifics, students supplied a multitude of suggestions for alternate cost saving measures, such as limiting water usage and even eliminating the SAT requirement for incoming students. Suggestions were also made about hiring from within Mills’ economics department for future budgetary consultation, in order to avoid excess spending and encourage transparency and faculty involvement in the College’s financial troubles.
Though the importance of supporting women in high-demand STEM careers was highlighted, the consensus among students was that supporting tech programs need not come at the cost of supporting the arts.
“Chasing career trends is not sustainable,” senior Erica Veitch said.
ASMC President Rachel Patterson stressed the need for a united front of students in order to see real change at the institutional level.
“[Mills] isn’t a community of cutthroat women, it’s a community of women dedicated to empowering each other,” one student said, on remaining united in solidarity with students from threatened majors.
The second administration-led student forum will be held at noon on Wednesday, October 28th in the Student Union. Students are encouraged to attend and express questions and concerns about budget cuts to the administration.
There will also be a gathering of students and faculty before the forum in Adams Plaza at 11:30 a.m.