Anne Arundel Community College administrators told students yesterday that they have decided to cut about $100,000 from the Student Association and intercollegiate athletics budgets to help cover a projected $2.1 million deficit and keep tuition unchanged.
School officials have budget requests totaling $38.5 million, but only $36.4 million in revenue. They will make recommend budget cuts tonight to the college board of trustees, which will approve a 1997 operating budget.
"The entire college is being hit with hard times," said Dr. Dennis Golliday, the vice president of academic affairs. "The reality is that the college is faced with diminishing resources and increasing demands."
But students, who learned of the recommendation last week, accused the administration of reneging on the school motto, "Students First."
"I just don't think it's being fair to us," said Tim Stewart, 18, a first-year psychology major.
Edgar E. Mallick Jr., vice president for administration planning and college relations, told the students the transfer of money from the two accounts helps offset the rising costs of utilities and health benefits for the school's faculty and staff members.
Dr. Mallick, who met with about 20 students in the campus dining hall at a meeting set up by the Student Association, said administrators also have recommended reduced funding for the technology program and a hiring freeze on full-time professors.
All of these measures, he said, are to avoid raising student tuition rates of $58 a credit hour.
Dr. Mallick said 1995 budget records that showed the Student Association had a surplus of about $100,000 and the athletics department about $29,000.
He also noted that the 1995 budget included subsidies of $293,800 for the Student Association and $147,940 for the athletics department.
"I wish I could tell you that we're going to go buy a lottery ticket and win $20 million and that $20 million is coming right back here, but I can't say that," he said. "It's all up in the air."
After the meeting, some students remained concerned about the impact on student morale. They noted that students look forward to attending a school with an array of extracurricular activities.
"They come here for those things and [the money] is going somewhere else," said Heidi Cox, 18, a first-year psychology major. "They're going to think they're being deceived."
But others, like Drama Club President John Raley, 19, said it was time for the students to offer some solutions.
"At this point, we have to stop arguing with them," said the first-year art and theater technology major. "They have to make the budget cuts. There's no choice."
The board of trustees will meet at 7:30 tonight in the Florestano Building on West Campus Drive.