Emergency Meeting – Save the Arts Initiative

Written by

Lerner Hall – Broadway Piano Lounge

Last November, we surprised the Columbia administration by exposing the truth: they went behind the backs of the students by curtailing the ability of the Arts Initiative to carry out its mission, by moving it from its independent position in the President’s Office, to the School of the Arts, without any intention of informing students. Since then, administrators have cut services, programming and budgets, up to a third in some instances, even AFTER promising to the students that it was only a logistical reorganization. Now, Dean Carol Becker—the administrator who recently gained control of the Arts Initiative—has finally agreed, months later, to take time out from her busy schedule to meet with students to explain her plan for the future of the Arts Initiative. Let’s make sure that her plan does not compromise the quality of the arts in student and academic life. Before that meeting, we’d like to do a big-ass general meeting for all students and alumni from the performing arts, student government and other stakeholders to sketch out a plan going forward, and to discuss what sorts of questions we want to ask her–such has how she intends to keep student involvement and engagement active in the Arts Initiative, as well as how she plans to build on the seven successful years of the AI so far. Hundreds of you made your voices heard last semester by joining the Facebook page and the administration began taking notice. Now, we’ve got to keep the pressure on.

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