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Nov. 26, 2012

Petition springs to rescue TASC from chopped hours

By Matt Stafford

Much like other departments at Cleveland State, the Tutoring and Academic Success Center (TASC) has been hit hard by budget cuts this fall.

They have had to cut their walk-in hours and remove 29 courses from their service menu. However, some students and tutors want to get these services reinstated, and they have started a petition to save them.

The “Keep Funding the Heart of Education” petition has received about 300 of the target 500 signatures since it began its rounds. The petition is currently available in Main Classroom, room 203 and MC 230. It is also available online at Change.org.

Petition organizer Michelle Galmarini, along with other TASC employees, has been leading the charge since cuts were announced.

“We came in one day and the director said our hours were being cut,” Galmarini said. “We started the petition as soon as we were told.”

The walk-in hours have been cut from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays have been eliminated. The effects of the cuts have hurt students across the board, according to Galmarini.

Students have had a harder time getting the tutoring they need. The allotted time for walk-in tutoring is when most students eat lunch, putting them in an awkward position if they need tutoring, according to Galmarini.

Furthermore, the Oct. 26 deadline for one-on-one tutoring has passed, so it is nearly impossible for students who find themselves in need of tutoring to get help during the run-up to finals.

“People say, ‘Well, it helps teach them responsibility and to get priorities straight,’” Galmarini said. “What they don’t understand is that for a lot of students, they don’t need help before that deadline. Classes can get harder as they go on, and by the time it gets to the point they need help, some students can’t sign up so they have to take the walk-in tutoring.”

Students operating by strict schedules have trouble getting to TASC during the new, smaller window of time. They cannot always depend on their professors who often only have limited office hours to answer any questions students may have. Students who have been affected say TASC is a vital part of Cleveland State and academic success.

“I believe that TASC is one of the most important organizations and services CSU has to offer,” wrote Andrea Clos on the Change.org petition. “I have seen countless students pass and succeed in their classes because of supplemental instruction. There is not one person on earth who knows everything about everything. TASC recognizes this and supplies helpful services.”

The response to the petition has been lukewarm. Galmarini has received positive feedback, but she has been told by some to lower her expectations. She said her allies in TASC intend to keep at it and hope to change the minds of administrators.