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University will not cut women’s golf and tennis teams

May 6, 2015

With the proposed $300 million budget cuts that were proposed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker looming over the UW System everyone is wondering what is going to happen.

One of the things that was proposed as a possibility to help the UW-River Falls athletics department deal with these cuts was to suspend a team (or two) and the two teams that were discussed were the women’s golf and tennis teams. This possibility of losing a team comes after the school lost the swimming and diving team last year.

There is a set process to suspend or terminate an athletics team at UWRF and part of that is having a town hall meeting to discuss what is going on so everyone can talk about it.

Communication studies Assistant Professor Grace Coggio is the chair for the Faculty Senate Athletic Committee and she said that after the town hall meeting Chancellor Dean Van Galen got a lot of emails about the fact that the teams may be cut which made him meet with athletics representatives.

After the process was finished it was decided that the golf and tennis teams are not going to be cut.

“I’m glad for the sake of the students and the teams and for women, that female opportunities for sports was maintained at our university, because I think that equality on this issue is important and women have worked hard for it and to just throw it away is not a good idea,” Coggio said. “So I’m glad we have this equality that is maintained.”

There are still budget cuts that UWRF is preparing for and there are still a lot of ramifications that are happening now and that are going to be happening, including the athletic department.

“The reality is that we are facing a budget shortfall, a huge cut and cuts are happening everywhere,” Coggio said. “We are losing faculty, I know in our department classes are getting larger, we can’t offer as many classes as we used to because they won’t give us new hires. I know people who work in staff functions or janitorial functions or administrative positions, people are losing their jobs or if they haven’t already. There are more cuts to come, this is not a finished process.”

The  process that decided whether the golf and tennis teams were going to be suspended shows the students that it is possible for their voices to be heard on administrative things or anything like this if they try to have it heard.

“Yes, students really stood up and got loud about this. Will they stand up and get loud when certain classes aren’t offered, when classes start getting upward of 50 and 100 people in a class? So I love the passion and the momentum that was started about two athletic teams but my question to the students is will you stand up when it is your academics that start getting affected?” Coggio said. “Because $4.9 million is a huge cut to absorb and some decisions will need to be made so I hope that students stay engaged and speak up for their interests as they did over golf and tennis but hard decisions will need to be made and just speaking up doesn’t necessarily get you what you want. It’s a budget and the money gives out at a certain point.”

Students need to stay active with the things happening on campus and make sure they speak up when they feel it is appropriate.