Staff Editorial

Because of the current global economic crisis, small liberal arts colleges like Lawrence find themselves in difficult straights. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (http://www.startribune.com/), applications for the Minnesota Private College Council are down five percent, a trend that is sure to affect schools outside of Minnesota as well, like Lawrence.
It is understandable that cost-cutting measures are required for not only the sake of the college’s ability to function as normal, but also to ensure that students’ educations continue to be of the same high quality that has been aspired to in the past.
Though keeping costs down is necessary in economic times like this, it is also imperative that, as a college, we do not allow our means of attaining a more cost-efficient campus to contradict our desired end. If we want to provide an education of consistent quality for all of our students, current and future, we should make sure that the college’s steps toward fiscal responsibility do not renege on its responsibilities to its students.
Though cutting the hours of a poorly attended coffeehouse may seem like an obvious decision in tough economic times, the students who counted on the gainful employment it offered have to be taken into account. Also, when raising fees and costs around campus, the university should keep in mind that the students it serves are the ones paying those fees.
The university is a business, but a nonprofit one that exists simply to serve its students and faculty and help them grow and learn. Any cost-cutting measure that is not completely imperative should be passed through a test to see if it in any way hinders the mission of the university to illuminate lives with knowledge; if it fails, it should not be passed.

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