Budget cuts strain English program

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By Bleah B. Patterson

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

At this point in the semester, the English lab is usually buzzing with students.

However, budget cuts have left it eerily quiet.

English lab hours have been cut by nearly two-thirds, English Chair Mike Burton said.

In spring, the English lab was open 12 hours a day, five days a week with a tutoring staff of seven.

Today, the lab is down to one tutor who is not permitted to work more than 19 hours a week.

Burton said he has nine work study positions available but still needs to fill seven spots.

The spots are vacant because the funds are not there to support them, he said.

“The mantra around here is ‘we need to do more with less.’” Burton said. “I think we’ve maxed out. We cannot continue to do more with less.”

Burton explains that everyone in the department is eager to make time for students and invest in tutors.

“We want to be here for the students; there just are not enough of us.” he said

The English department was promised funds to hire work-studies and tutors for the upcoming semester by Sept. 1.

“It’s been what? Two weeks now? And we still don’t have the funds to hire those people,” Burton said.

Burton is opposed to using volunteers in the labs because he does not believe that students should be used in lieu of funding.

“I don’t want to exploit students,” he said.

The English lab provides advising, help registering for classes, tutoring and a writing prompt for students who have been placed in developmental English classes.

Upon passing these prompts students will be able to test out of developmental English and into higher-level English classes.

The English lab is located in Room 118 of Gonzales Hall.

For more information, call 210-486-1616.

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