Students protest cuts to summer classes

Dylan Bouscher

Senior Carol Collier holds up a sign at a silent protest against summer class cuts held on April 4 in front of the Administration Building. Photo by Charles Pratt

Students have protested tuition increases at FAU before, but they’ve never protested not having to go to class. That’s what they did on Tuesday afternoon — with their graduation on the line.

Almost thirty students, with duct taped mouths, held signs in front of the Administration Building on the Boca campus at noon. They were protesting against the university’s decision to set a 24-student minimum for summer classes, or else they aren’t approved. The president’s office announced these cuts to deans on March 21. The cuts are part of a new set of “guidelines” for scheduling classes this summer, according to the announcement, which blamed state budget cuts for the measure.

Sheen Mahmud was going to graduate this summer, but now she has to stick around another semester. The senior communications major is frustrated because the last class she needs to graduate isn’t being offered over the summer.

According to senior Gabi Aleksinko, this goes against what FAU President Mary Jane Saunders said in a message to students. “As in the past, we will continue to offer all courses needed for graduation,” Saunders wrote, which is not the case for Mahmud. The Nonverbal Communication in a Diverse Society class she needs isn’t on the schedule for this summer or fall.

Mahmud was not the only student upset about Saunders’ broken promise. Aleksinko, who helped organize the protest, also can’t graduate on time because of the cuts.

“We can make a statement to FAU that these services matter,” Aleksinko said, adding she is creating a Facebook page for future protests.

On April 4, almost thirty silent protesters stood outside the Administration Building. They were protesting summer classes being cancelled. Photo by Charles Pratt

While some students sat in front of the administration building, others held signs with messages like “More Tuition = Less Education??,” “We need summer classes,” and “Stop putting my life on hold,” referencing the cuts.

The protest was organized by students in a Minorities and the Media class. Other than Aleksinko, the organizers declined to identify themselves or comment on the protest, citing ties with campus organizations.

The UP will continue to follow this story. Check back for updates.

If you’re a student or professor who’s been affected by the cuts, and want to share your story, please email [email protected] or [email protected].

[Gideon Grudo contributed to the reporting of this story.]