Our View: Use of emergency budget alarming

Budget cuts are evident all across campus this year. Currently, Simpson does not even have enough money to replace a broken computer, let alone increase faculty and staff pay.

What’s alarming is how much of the emergency budget the college is using to offset the fact that we’re about $1 million below where we should be. A contingency of about $700,000 was set aside “just-in-case” for this fall, and Simpson will probably use about $400,000 of that.

Why, in a time when we can barely meet our enrollment goals, have we signed on to build a new campus center that we have not completely paid for? Why have we invested nearly $1.3 million in new turf and track surfacing for the stadium?

Yes, most of the money used for these physical improvements has come from donors and student fees, but where is the rest coming from? How can we have even considered these changes when we probably knew this summer that we weren’t going to meet our enrollment goals?

Students make up 75 to 80 percent of Simpson’s budget, and it’s no secret that enrollment is down by about 7.9 percent this year as well. Retention is the current theme and has been preached to faculty and staff more than in previous years.

The new student center, track and turf will likely be a draw to future students, but what about the current students? Has no one thought how these budget restraints affect the campus now?

Rumors of faculty cuts are spreading like wildfire. How will a new building or turf help the education that students expect to receive in their time at Simpson? Can a student center give advice on a research paper or help a student be qualified for their dream job?

We didn’t think so either.