The deficit and the choice

In the red corner we have President Fogel. In the blue corner: student activists. Let’s get ready to rumble. With the rise of controversial opposition to the proposed layoffs, students, faculty, and staff can choose to support President Fogel and the Staff Council’s decision to layoff faculty and staff, or they can join with student activist groups that advocate for “cutting from the top” – reducing executive bonuses and upper administration salaries and tapping the endowment fund.The only problem is that we’re on the outside of the ring, and we don’t know who to root for.In the Cynic article “Layoffs and cuts worry faculty, and staff,” reporter Steve Hannaford clearly stated the Staff Council’s plan to eliminate academic and staff positions and he accurately conveyed the sense of anxiety among staff.But now that activists are presenting alternatives, there is more than just one side to this issue and there is a missing link in the information being presented. On the one hand you have the Cynic press only scraping the surface of the issue. The article basically presents Fogel’s plan as a necessity, as the only option.On the other hand; you have the student activists presenting a slew of alternatives that make Fogel and the Staff Council look stubborn, irresponsible, and greedy.Now I want to know the truth. Either Fogel and the Staff council are using the national economic crisis as an excuse for poor budgeting regarding the Davis Center construction and other past projects and they are too greedy to cut from the top, or the activists are not fully aware of the complexity of the issue and their proposals are unfeasible. Now that there are two sides, reporters need to address them and start asking some tough questions. What are Fogel and the council’s response to the student activists’ proposals?Why hasn’t he considered tapping the endowment?Is it true – as the activists assert- that our financial crisis stems more from poor budgeting in the past years than the poor economy? What does Fogel have to say about that?Are the higher level executives really more to blame for our situation?Journalism is not always pretty. Sometimes to get to the heart of an issue a reporter has to ask questions that are going to be uncomfortable to answer. Sometimes he or she has to report something that people don’t want said, or that is hard to hear. But it’s about the truth, and the truth is not always simple, it’s not always pretty, but it is necessary.