We deserve better

When sophomore Sen. Adam Givens stood to give the Senate’s Library Committee report, he raised some good questions.

After meeting with library officials, Givens reported that there is no money for books. In fact, some library material is approaching the legal drinking age.

Givens said he was told that the library cannot afford to replace rapidly aging computers but tries to update the software.

Of course all of this is due to the same budget crunch hitting all departments. Givens told the Senate that the library has only 25 percent of its budget remaining and half the year to go. Talk about “too much month at the end of the money.”

All of these issues with the library raise important questions. As your newspaper of record, we will start asking them. But we all need to remember that this kind of money squeeze isn’t unique to the library. Everywhere at Missouri Southern, departments are doing more with less.

This particular entity, however, is a little different. Spiva Library is where our students – under graduate and graduate – go to conduct research. It is where instructors send students to find answers. And it should not be too much to ask that it be up to date.

Some instructors provide material for their students from their own personal libraries; others rely soley on Internet resources.

The administration says on page one of this week’s Chart that quality is it’s top priority. Sure, money is tight. But it is a matter of what is important to an institution.

A few years ago, the Honors Program was threatened with some severe cuts. Recently, it saw scholarship changes take effect.

This year, foreign language performing aid awards were drastically cut and the international program endured a huge budget reduction while athletics got a net increase.

The library is just the latest academic program facing budget – and quality – reductions. This illustrates the biggest problem on campus.

It’s not library books that still consider Pluto a planet, it’s not the unceremonious removal of our men’s soccer team or the sudden slash of overtime for our custodians. Southern students deserve better.

As of late, they haven’t demanded it. Perhaps this will be the catalyst that finally makes our student body stand up and demand better. Even if only one person wears the pants 5,090 people screaming for more books and less budget cuts can’t be ignored forever.