Tough cuts to Department of Student Life

Summer cuts reduce staff by 40 percent; events go on

By Sofia Syed, Arts and Life Editor

Most students are aware that The University of Akron had major job cuts over the summer, but some might not be aware of how they’ll be affected.

More than 200 positions were cut and 161 people were laid off. As a part of this, UA’s Department of Student Life lost 40 percent of its full-time staff.

For those who are not familiar with what the Department of Student Life does, it oversees and maintains the Student Union, books reservations, and operates the game room. It also handles programs for student organizations and runs events such as SpringFest, Friday nights in the Student Union, and the homecoming celebrations.

Anne Bruno, executive director for the Department of Student Life, says she is doing her best to make sure students don’t notice any changes as a result of the layoffs. She’s confident that her 150 employees can keep running the union as smoothly as ever.

Student Life wanted to start this semester strong by adding new events to New Roo Weekend.

“We actually offered more programs than we did a year ago,” Bruno said. “We do not plan to cut our programs per se. None of our building hours changed. Actually, one of our facilities has longer hours and none of our programs have changed.”

In regard to the job cuts, Bruno thinks it might benefit her department.

“It will help us to redefine our processes. You never want to see your colleagues lose their jobs, so from that perspective we hope they all become gainfully employed,” Bruno said. “Overall, it helps us to look at how we do things and why we do things. So sometimes that change might be hard but in the end it makes us more efficient and we can use the student dollar better.”

While the cuts have been taxing on everyone, Student Life seems to have things under control, for now.

 

*Updated; correction: More than 200 positions were cut and 161 people were laid off.

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