The worst case senario, if classes disappear

The modern languages department at Pierce College is preparing to cut its English and American Sign Language (ASL) classes.

Currently classes scheduled for Fall 2011 are planned to continue as normal.

However, the district is facing the possibility that without the tax extensions proposed by Governor Brown, they would be forced to cut campus budgets by 15 percent across the board.

“I don’t understand why they are always cutting from education,” said Frank Gilmore, a 22-year-old art major. “Why don’t they take money from welfare programs first?”

Foreign language classes such as Italian, Japanese, and French only have one class available for each discipline level (French 1, 2, and so on).  Therefore, if one class is cut, the entire program is cut.

“We don’t want to cut any programs if possible,” said Dean of media arts and modern languages, Paul Whalen. “We don’t have any predisposition right now, it’s all too nebulous.”

ASL and Spanish classes are more numerous and have a huge variety of classes and have the most room for cuts, according to Fernando Oleas, the chair of the modern languages department.

“If they lay off all the adjuncts who will teach the classes,” said Oleas.

There are currently no official plans for the possible budget cuts according to Whalen, it is unknown exactly how extensive the cuts will be.

“When we get some direction we will begin meeting with [department] chairs,” said Whalen.

The school has already proposed a five percent cut by eliminating half of the summer classes and the next winter session, according to Whalen.

“Education ceases to be a right and starts to be a luxury,” said Oleas. “Traditionally when fees increase they don’t decrease,” said Oleas. ¬†“That’s why I supported the protest.”

Community college fees, like gas prices and books, have risen in recent years.

“It’s hard enough just trying to afford my classes,” said Jessie Schoolcraft a 24-year-old undecided major. “Now I have to worry about not being able to get into the classes I want.”