University of Florida students and Gainesville residents gathered in Turlington Plaza on the UF campus earlier today to protest budget cuts to the College of Engineering. These cuts were directed to the Computer Information Science and Engineering department, and will result in ridding the department of all graduate assistants. Graduate students help professors teach some of the larger engineering classes, and fifth year Ph.D. student in the Computer Information Science and Engineering Department, Joshua Horton, says it could negatively impact the students’ ability to learn.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Horton1Rally.mp3]
Gainesville resident Sheila Payne joined the protestors, saying these cuts are completely unfair for the graduate students.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Payne1Rally.mp3]
Without the help of graduate students, Payne says engineering professors will now have to spend more time in the classroom.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Payne2rally.mp3]
Along with the loss of graduate students, Horton fears some of the college’s professors will leave as well.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Horton3Rally.mp3]
Horton adds that these cuts won’t only affect undergraduate students now, but those graduating with a degree.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Horton2Rally.mp3]
Although our attempts to reach the Dean of the College of Engineering Dr. Cammy Abernathy were unsuccessful, UF spokesperson, Steve Orlando, says that Dean Abernathy will be releasing a statement to the media later today.