PULLMAN, Wash. — In a surprise move, Washington State University announced cuts to many of its programs and services in an attempt to cut its $30 million annual deficit.
Of those impacted by the cuts is the office of Multicultural Student Services.
The Chicano and Latino Student Center was packed Tuesday as students and staff listened to WSU school leaders address budget cuts. School officials said they will not be renewing contracts for two faculty members from the office of Multicultural Student Services.
One of those faculty members is a retention counselor for the Chicano and Latino Student Center.
"I do work in the Chicano/Latino Center so hearing that one of my retention counselors is being taken away from me is very infuriating. It's just not right. I don’t think I would be where I'm at as a student leader if it wasn't for the retention counselor in that room,” said student Omar Zaragoza.
School leaders said the positions were temporary and only had two year contracts. Those contracts were extended when there was funding for them. But now the school said they cannot continue to tap into school reserves to keep those staff members.
"Even as a student knowing that these resources are being taken away from me, being taken away from many other hundreds of students, it really shows where priorities lie within administration,” student Leo Covarrubias said.
The office of Multicultural Student Services provides support for students from underrepresented communities.
“So we have to understand that administration is in a hole but they need to compromise with us and understand that these services for us are extremely important,” student Jerry Martinez said.
"it's hard for a lot of people to be in these settings and in this education system without the resources, the reason we need these resources and these spaces because these schools were not built for us in mind,” student Alejandra Martinez said.