Budget cut promotes student action

Student Philanthropy Organization sets up tables in Davies to thank professors at UW- Eau Claire during recent budget cuts

Story by Colette St John, Staff Writer

Amidst budget cuts and long faces, the Student Philanthropy Organization works to keep spirits high. SPO members set up tables in Davies Centeron Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon.

SPO is a relatively new student organization. The club offers volunteer opportunities for students, whether it be service learning hours or simply the love of giving.

Recent projects include attending the Boys and Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley, and working along with other organizations such as the Campus Harvest Food Pantry.

Through thank-you cards and posters, an offering of “thanks” to professors will be witnessed. Students stopped by and wrote encouraging words, or simply signed their name. Free hot chocolate was provided to all who participated.

There were individual cards to personalize, as well as posters that will be given to each college as well as the Dean of Students Office, Chancellor James C. Schmidt, and Student Senate.

The co-president of SPO, Chris Marsyla, feels this is the right action to take.

“We are trying to get everyone who is affected by the budget cuts up in spirits because we as students are still in support of the university,” he said.

With regards to the cards and posters that will be given to faculty, Marsyla expressed his excitement.

“This is a really positive thing, it’s good for people to know there is support out there,” he said. “We are all going through this together, there is always hope.”

Nata Donovan, public relations director of SPO, said she is excited for professors to receive cards and posters from students of UW-Eau Claire.

“I think it will let professors know we appreciate all they do and show our support for them,” she said.

Sociology professor Melissa Kono will not be returning to teach in the fall due to budget cuts. She said her departure saddens her.

“I think the most important thing I will miss is the opportunity to teach here specifically,” Kono said. “I can go teach or work somewhere else to replace lost income, but I don’t think I could replicate the opportunity I had here. This has greatly impacted my life in that I have lost the job that I love.”

Students will be missing other faculty and staff next year too.

“I’ll miss the students and being a part of this college,” Kono said. “I loved being here and it was a wonderful opportunity.”

With respect to recent action made by SPO on campus, Kono is grateful.

“I think it is good for our society to be thankful and focus on the positives, because I don’t think we do that enough,” she said. “We don’t take the time to make gestures even if they are simple.”