Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Students Against Budget Cuts to the Arts

I mean, Students FOR The Arts

(always make your cause about a positive rather than a negative. point out what people SHOULD be doing, not the incorrect behavior

New facebook group upset budget cuts wow exciting news~  (actually try to get into the group to take a look for yourself because they discussions they are having are pretty interesting. really interesting to examine how a group self-organizes and self-regulates, group conflict, evolution of leadership roles, etc. pretty cool if ur into 'anthropology)

Kinda hard to join now tho since they made it private (which kinda brings up issues of visibility and transparency but w/e #youdoyou)

So the group is mostly upset over budget cuts, specifically to the Music department, specifically changing Brian Ganz from Faculty & Artist in Residence to just Faculty

I don't even speak other languages, but I'm pretty sure that would translate to "Live the Ganz"... pretty sure it should just be "Viva Ganz"

Anyway here is their basic argument/platform
Here is some basic information about what is going on with the music department. If you have any information regarding the other arts departments please feel free to share. Thank you!

Basically, certain members of the current administration are looking to restructure the contracts of both Brian Ganz and Jose Cueto. As of now the college pays them to both teach and perform because they are our artists-in-residence. These budget cuts would mean cutting their artist-in-residence status, which means no more concerts and only paying them to teach private lessons. This would likely mean that it would be financially impossible for Jose and Brian to remain with us. Our aim is to fight against these budget cuts to preserve the jobs of two integral members of the St. Mary's Community. 

The worth of department is often discussed in terms of Full Time Enrollment or FTE. This basically means the number of credits each student produces. As you all know, the music department has many 1 credit classes as opposed to other departments which primarily offer 4 credit classes. This means that the number of credits produced by each student is not a fair way of assessing the amount of the student body that is involved in the music department. We actually serve as many people as other medium sized departments at the school.

Another argument that is frequently employed is that Maryland taxpayers should not have to pay the cost of private lessons, which are a large expense of the music department. However, music students pay $190 extra a semester for private lessons which partially covers the $490 a private instructor is payed per semester per student. In addition, music majors and minors often overload on credits because many ensembles are required for the major and minor, which means paying another fee to alleviate the cost of paying teachers. 

And finally, there's Brian, who is estimated to have brought in a substantial amount of money from donors. The Zamanakos family that funds the Double A Cabaret has donated between 500,000 to 1 million dollars mainly in music but also in history because they fell in love with Brian Ganz's performing. Anyone who has been to Brian's concerts will know that these experience encompass much more than a passive listening experience; they open new horizons for students and community members. Everyone has something to learn from watching such inspirational performances. 

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this in support of the music department! I hope we can make a difference.
So IDK I can see why they are upset but

Budget cuts need to happen. And every department is making them. And the school is letting the departments make their own cuts, because, obviously, they are the ones that know best what they can cut. So, the Music/Arts department has, more than likely, made the decision on their own.

But it will be interesting to see how this plays out. They also planned a protest but it got cancelled. I don't understand how a protest gets cancelled but w/e~

As Goodpastor said "But what do you think?" Leave your thoughts in the comments.


  1. You hit it on the head - it's the departments making these cuts, not the administration. Plus, they're able to not only prioritize what gets cut (as in "can do without," "would rather not do without," "OMG CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT"), but they can include justifications of why something should or shouldn't be cut. And, like you said, EVERY department is making cuts, and some of them are pretty deep.

    The $3.5M cuts hit staff harder than faculty earlier this year, but since we have less students, we can do without as much faculty and still maintain our high student to faculty ratio. That's just the way it is.

    1. Of course every department is making cuts. However, it is not about ratios it is about what the individual faculty bring to the table. The departments are NOT allowed to be making these cuts. They may have some amount of "input" meaning they can make recommendations to the administration about the cuts. They have done this and these recommendations have been mostly ignored. They do not have the final say and I know for a fact that the music department does NOT want to make cuts to Brian Ganz and Jose Cueto. Also, this article is extremely hateful and overall wildly incorrect. I would encourage you and the writer of this article to get your facts straight before making fun of people trying to keep SMCM wonderful.

    2. Isn't it funny that some of the people "trying to keep SMCM wonderful" have conveniently forgotten about the living wage issue~

  2. They're not letting the music department make their own cuts. That's part of the problem. If the music department was allowed to make their own cuts, they would have a list of their proposed cuts to meet the request of the school, but they're not giving them that chance.

  3. A. The name was changed shortly after the group was created specifically for the reason of promoting a positive goal.
    B. The group was changed to closed to keep it out of the public eye, and you'r advertising of it like this (in a negative manner at that) is incredibly insulting, especially since you are very obviously a member of the group. People promoting our efforts in a manner such as you are is the exact reason we decided to keep it private.
    C. The "Viva La Ganz" poster was originally created to mimic the slogan "Viva La Revolution", and less than a day later "Viva Ganz" versions were posted so a correct version could be publicly spread.

    And there was never a protest. Protests have a negative connotation. What was planned was a meeting with President Newbould in which ONE student was going to talk to him. Other students were invited to be silent onlookers to show the support of the department. It was never a PROTEST and we did not cancel it, Newbould did.

    You said to post your thoughts so here are mine: You are incredibly uneducated on this subject. You posted this blog to weigh in on a subject that you clearly don't care about, and you're a member of our group, which is trying to promote positive action with this entire ordeal, simply to make a joke out of it. You clearly visited the page once and haven't taken a second glance, otherwise you would know that NOTHING in this blog is accurate, and I recommend you take it down before embarrassing yourself further.