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Lock Haven University Students Protest Budget Cuts

LOCK HAVEN -- State universities across Pennsylvania are struggling to balance budgets and many of these schools are being forced to make cuts due to less state funding.

At Lock Haven University, those cuts could include the men's track and field team.

When students at Lock Haven University heard funding for their men's track and field team could be eliminated from the athletic department's budget, they couldn't just sit back quietly and let that happen.

"All of a sudden, you know, the march went by. 'Save Haven! Save Haven!' I honestly did not know the men's track and field team was in trouble," said senior Ben Hatch.

By the end of the week, funding for the university's men's track and field team could be cut.  It's why this group is protesting the athletics department's proposed budget which eliminates the program.

"We're not going to accept defeat. With us being optimistic it gives us a driving chance," said grad student Jack Felt.

"It seems like it's just athletics, but this is bigger than one department," said university official Rodney Jenkins.

Enrollment at many state-run universities is dropping and cuts are happening across the board. Rodney Jenkins is in charge of the budget for the athletics department. He says cutting the men's track and field team saves the most money while impacting only 25 students.

"It's unfortunate," said freshman Sam Signor. "I came here for the team and everything that's been going on. It's definitely taken a toll and has left me and countless of my student athletes to consider transferring to another university."

The students here know chants will only get them so far. It's why they did their own research and brought their counterproposal to the university's president.

"It makes the most sense to keep our teams with obviously, you know, whether that's roster reductions or adding a female sport. I think that's very practical and we're working to make the university thrive," said Felt.

"Public institutions in this state have to change the way we operate. If we want to be viable for the next 100, 150 years," added Jenkins.

The president of Lock Haven University is expected to make a decision on the budget this Thursday.

16 comments

  • john williams

    Wow. No idea how money is made and spent, yet protesting cuts to balance a budget they know NOTHING about. Is a track team a NEED or a WANT? They better learn the difference before they graduate and life hits them upside the head like a sack of quarters!

    • James

      The best question is why the track & field team? They are, perhaps, the most successful team on campus. They have a large and contributing alumni contingency. I understand that there is only so much money to go around but there might be better groups to consider cutting. Their terrible football team might be a start…

      • Me

        That’s probably the funniest think I’ve read all day. And everyone with whom I bring this up says the exact same thing. That football team is pretty pathetic.

  • Me

    Why is WNEP censoring comments now?

    The guy quoted in this article, Rodney Jenkins, makes $132,000 a year. You can look up any public employee’s salary.

  • magicmikexxsm

    Hey cup cakes, first off tax payer money shouldn’t be spent on sports, period , you want to play sports pay for it yourselves , get a job if you can’t afford it to pay for your program…..same goes in public schools, my taxes shouldn’t go to paying for sports programs sorry learn to read and comprehend…..you want a baseball team have YOUR parents pay extra to support that…

    • MRLHU

      No taxpayer money is used to fund athletics. It’s funded entirely through student auxiliary fees and donations through the University Foundation

  • WarningFakeNews

    If you want to protest something, protest the fact that a diploma from almost any college isn’t worth anything of great value anymore. Businesses have caught on to the real lack of qualifications that these students have and the students are getting stuck with a debt they’ll never be able to repay. That’s worth protesting.

  • Bleepnoid

    More entitlements! Look, children, have mommy and daddy pay more tuition if you want track. Perhaps, if we eliminate sports, those scholarships will disappear and only students that have earned post-secondary education will get it.

      • E

        Low IQ, you just described the majority of the NEPA coal region ha ha ha! Check the statistics for your area, 15% illiteracy rate which is three times the national average and a 25% high school drop out rate which is also triple the national average. Low class, low education trash.

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