62°F

National Attention on GSU Shines A Light On Budget Woes

Although the boycott is over and GSU's football players back on the field, the national spotlight is still shining on Grambling. But school officials say this attention is also bringing other things to light - budget issues.
GRAMBLING -- It's been an eventful past week for Grambling State University.
   
Although the boycott is over and GSU's football players are back on the field, the national spotlight is still shining on Grambling. But school officials say this attention is also bringing other things to light - budget issues.

As GSU officials gets back into the swing of things, the school is still in a state of emergency of sorts -- with money. It's an issue many universities across the state are also dealing with.

"The bottom line is, we need money," said Will Sutton with GSU Public Relations.

He said there are issues reaching farther than the poor conditions cited in a recent report of the athletic facilities -- one of the reasons behind the football team's boycott last week.

"The reality is, the problems that have been cited...some which are overblown, are the least of facilities concerns," he said. "If I work in this weight room, I wonder why do I not have what I need? But if I'm in this chemistry lab, I'm wondering why don't I have what I need?"

Sutton highlighted that several other buildings across campus are in dire need of renovation, including dorms, labs, and even the library.

"We have to make sure all of our facilities get some attention we know we don't have enough money for all of our facilities," he said.

Sutton says budget cuts over the years by the University of Louisiana System have made it difficult to address everyone's needs on campus.

"Imagine what that feels like, that 57 percent of what you relied on gone away," said Sutton.

School officials laid out a cost estimate of their top five maintenance needs on campus, ranging from utility infrastructure upgrades to ceiling and roof repairs. It totals over $24 million.

So, the campus is looking to the community, supporters, and alumni for donations to go toward campus improvements and help keep their students happy.

"We know we got a long, long, long way to go to get funded at the level our faculty staff and students deserve," Sutton said.

Some students call this situation disappointing.

"I know the athletic department does as much as it can with what they've got, they try to help everyone out as much as they can. Seems to be a lack of budget, so if they don't have enough resources its going to be hard," said Laura Rodriguez, a Biology Senior. "Eventually people are going to be like, 'we can't do it anymore. We need help so that can do good in our sports."

With the football team back, others are feeling more positive.

"I feel it was just an obstacle, something they had to go through to get what they wanted. It's over with now and we're moving forward," said Darian Batiste, a freshman.

"We just have to go with the flow. You know you're going to have people say bad things and good things," said freshman Donnie Allen.

With the national spotlight still shining on Grambling over the boycott, Sutton says they're looking at how they can turn a bad thing, into a good thing.

"To use the cliché, lemons in the lemonade. I think we have got a whole lot of sugar in our lemonade right now," he said. "Because initially we got some bad publicity, but its brought a lot of attention to our pain."

On Tuesday -- President Frank Pogue met with UL System officials in Baton Rouge. They decided to conduct a comprehensive assessment of GSU and make recommendations for improvement.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus