The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

Student Reactions 2.0

One month has passed since the announcement of the Optimization 2.0 plan, and students are finding themselves in difficult positions. With the numbers of professors being cut, signing up for the by-out, or not renewing their contracts, as well as certain modifications to most educational programs, some students are unsure, or stuck, as to whether they feel comfortable continuing their undergraduate careers at the Johnson Campus. Seventeen professors have taken the buyout, six professors will not renew their contracts, and one professor has received a lay-off notice.
Zib Miller is a second year Performance Arts and Technology (PAT) major with a concentration in Social Justice and Activism. Much like the vast number of other students who are also completing a major in PAT, Miller explains that he feels affected by the Optimization greatly due to his needs not being supported as a student.
“Since there’s no information as to what the future holds for the PAT major, I am applying to transfer to other schools that are not within the VTSU institution,” Miller says.
Lexi Isham is a third-year student double-majoring in Secondary Education and Science. Isham explains that before this major was changed three times, her original major was in Conservation Biology. As of this semester, it is now known as Wildlife and Forestry Conservation. Isham adds that, due to the current absence of a professor in Chemistry, she is expected to take some of her required classes online.
“It’s just not going great,” Isham says. “I feel like I’m putting twice the effort in, not getting in any of the awards I need.”
Emerson Bemis, a fourth-year student and president of the Unity club, Peyton Hathaway, a Business Management major, and Hannah Jenkins, an Art Education major, are undergoing experiences and thoughts similar to those of Miller and Isham. Bemis fears that, until a new freshman class comes, the VTSU-Johnson campus may lose more students. Simultaneously, Jenkins noted that several part-time art professors were worried about losing their jobs. However, none of them have received lay-off notices thus far.
A commonality between these student responses is the feeling of uncertainty. Many students do not know what the future holds for their major and the school. While students have been assured that they will still be able to finish out their major on their current campus, it’s expected that they will have to take many classes online, which can be challenging for some. With so many changes and uncertainty, students may opt to avoiding further issues by transferring or dropping out entirely.

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About the Contributor
Heike Chaney, Staff Writer, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Transfer Student, Interdisciplinary Studies (Theatre & Communications) Based in Hartford, VT Fall 2023-Present SLAP Coordinator & DANCELAND Club Member I can do a shockingly good Judy Garland impression, and I have been in over 22 Theatre productions since the sixth grade! ;) Favorite Roles: Adela Van Norman (THE IT GIRL); Martha Cratchitt (A CHRISTMAS CAROL); Chutney Wyndham (LEGALLY BLONDE).