TU Students Hold 'Mock Funeral' For Cut Programs
TULSA, Oklahoma - More than 150 students and faculty gathered to mourn upcoming cuts to some degree programs at the University.
Organizers called it a mock funeral.
"It’s like a loss of culture,” said Jesse Jett, a junior. “It's like we're actually losing a living entity here at TU so what's a better way to like, sort of celebrate and mourn that loss than a funeral."
So, with paper tombstones and eulogies from a wide range of speakers, the changes were mourned.
The mock funeral comes more than a week after the University announced the changes they're calling True Commitment – Reimagining The University of Tulsa.
Because of anticipated enrollment declines nationwide and other factors, the University is deciding to trim low-demand academic majors, like musical performance, theater and philosophy, which make up just 6% of the student population.
The changes don't go into effect until current students graduate, but many at Friday’s funeral wore black t-shirts, with the words "We are all the 6%."
"They may not be meaning to tell us that we don't matter, but it's definitely coming across that way,” said Bri McGhee, a freshman double major.
TU President Dr. Gerard Clancy sent this statement about the protests:
"We believe that a university should be an open place for the free exchange of ideas. We welcome peaceful expressions of dissent.
Those protesting today care passionately about our university. We respect and share their passion, and are listening carefully to their concerns."
On Thursday, The Tulsa Chamber of Commerce announced they support TU’s plan to reorganize.