This is the end.

End of the semester. The psychotically erratic weather helped masked its end, but it’s over.

End of my tenure as Basement Medicine editor. Thanks for reading.

End of the college swimming pool.

End of workable budgets.

End of faculty and staff.

BM reporters have tried to clarify the looming consequences of the Vermont State Colleges’ suffocating budgets for Johnson State. See page 3 for that story, headlined “Whatever It Is” and written by Ben Simone and Josh Lemay.

There’s been a burst of ire over the closing of the pool, which is warranted. But so is the closing of the pool under the college’s financial circumstances. It’s estimated that the cost of pool maintenance is $100,000 per year, and the equipment being maintained can’t be maintained much longer. At that point, replacing that equipment is estimated to cost $500,000. With a $1.5 million gap in our budget, it seems sensible to close the pool for whatever period of time they must.

Those who use the pool love it. People bring their families there. In comparison with other aspects of the campus, the pool is a luxury, which doesn’t mean its loss isn’t tragic.

But it’s not so tragic as the faculty and staff we’ll lose, whose identities haven’t yet been revealed. (We should know who they are the week after this paper’s publication.)

In struggling to survive as a higher ed institution, JSC must now eliminate people who contribute to that education. This is due, in no small part, to the appropriation of state higher ed funding. Same old song, right? Well, this situation is the reason we’re singing the damn song. One institution sits pretty with 3/4 of state higher ed funding, while four institutions are forced to begin tearing themselves apart to exist with 1/4 of state funding.

Sound like legislative bias? Sound like an issue about which everyone in the state should be pissed? Or does it still sound like liberal political whining? If you pick the third option, wait until next week. Wait until the people start getting picked off. Then it’s not just numbers anymore.