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UMaine Students Voice Frustration Over Proposed Budget Cuts 

Students at the University of Maine had their chance to voice their frustrations and concerns about proposed cuts to the academic budget. Many of the students think the school may be headed in the wrong direction.It’s being called the new economic reality for state universities all over the country. On Monday officials at UMaine heard the students point of view about proposed budget cuts that would save the university 12 million dollars, but eliminate some academic programs. “That’s the purpose of of today’s forum,” says UMaine President Robert Kennedy, “is for us to hear from the students and many others that would be affected by these programs and to hear about their strong views, not only strong, but legitimate concerns.”The students that showed up were ready to voice those concerns. Kalie Hess is a Spanish and French major. Foreign languages are just one of the programs on the chopping block. “It’s really difficult that something that you’re really passionate about,” says Hess, “it’s really difficult to hear that other people don’t even consider it worth maintaining at the university.”Hess was one of the students who protested with signs at Mondays forum. Other programs on the chopping block include the arts and public administration. Some students say these cuts would force students to look for the same majors at schools out of state, doing away with the chance they would actually stay and work in Maine. Adam Patterson is a Senior at UMaine. He’s set to graduate in May with a degree in public administration. “I didn’t have the opportunity to major in this in my home state,” says Patterson, “coming from Massachusetts to Maine for my education, I now want to stay in Maine. That’s my primary focus is finding a job in the state of Maine and giving back both as a taxpayer and as a servant to the public.”The students here are hoping the administration reconsiders the budget cuts. They think there are other ways for the University to save money. “We have a lot of support,” says Hess “we have petitions going and if it’s our education and our university than we should have a choice about what happens here.”UMaine President Kennedy says he hopes to have a final decision on the cuts by the end of April.