As many of us know, ENC has decided to eliminate three majors from the college: the Literatures and English major, the Theatre major, and the Music major. This decision has upset many students on campus.
“When it first happened, I felt really unwanted in a way,” Music Major Megan Kindt said.
A wide range of emotions has been displayed not only by students majoring in these areas but also by Religion, Journalism, and even Sports Management majors.
Religion Major Kathryn Roxby stated, “It feels like ENC is making a lot of changes and even though administrators think that the changes they are making are to keep ENC around, at what cost? They aren’t building ENC into something greater just continually taking away, until what is left?”
Each of the eliminated majors represents the last bastion of arts majors at ENC. Though the arts are typically the first to go, I believe this trend is an improper one.
According to Dana Gioia, Chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts, “Art is an irreplaceable way of understanding and expressing the world. There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as stories, or songs, or images.”
“I view the arts as a way of expressing myself and showing people who I am,” says Kindt. “Sometimes me alone telling you how I feel isn’t enough.”
Art programs give students a designated time to unwind from their stress. Arts also teach us to learn from a mistake and commit or follow through.
The arts also generate and foster creativity, an attribute highly regarded by many companies. A study done by Adobe and Forrester Consulting shows that 82% of business leaders felt that companies that are more creative gain greater business benefits like revenue growth and market share. The majority of the companies surveyed actually felt their business was on par or less creative than companies like Adobe that are recognized for their creativity.
While I do feel that is important to keep the art majors at ENC, I do feel it is also important to face the music, in a sense. The decision of eliminating these majors has already been made. In fact, these majors legally may not be able to return for a few years. We as a community have grieved the loss of these majors, but now is the time for action. Though the funding and the majors are gone, they are not necessary to keep the arts at ENC. Money doesn’t make the arts, we do. All art needs to thrive is a voice.
“[I]n light of this situation I have decided to work even harder to use my talents to create new clubs and opportunities for people to get involved in the arts,” pledges Kindt. This school needs the arts. We know that and honestly, the administration knows that; the main page of the ENC website proclaims that “Theater, Music and Literature will continue at ENC in a variety of forms.” What we need to do as a community is start creating as many opportunities as we can to keep the arts at ENC.