Wednesday, September 1, 2010

University of Southern Mississippi Proposed Budget Cuts

     If you are in Mississippi, especially in southern Mississippi then I'm sure you have heard about the proposed budget cuts that The University of Southern Mississippi President Martha Saunders, along with the University Priorities Committee announced on August 30. The budget cuts mainly take away from academic and academic support services' budgets with hardly any cuts coming from the athletic department. More than $5 million is being cut from academic colleges and the support services that accompany them. I think that the really sad thing about the cuts is that people have to lose their jobs and entire programs have to be eliminated from the university. Or do they?
    The numbers cut from the athletic department are almost hard to believe compared to amount cut from academic programs. The athletic department at the university was only cut $136,586. The astounding thing about the whole situation is that the head football coach apparently makes $800,000, not including incentives. The discrepancy of the amounts cut from academics and athletics is enough to make one question what the decision makers at the university are putting first at The University of Southern Mississippi. Do they care more about academics or athletics? Seeing as how the school has a mission to educate the country's next leaders you would think academics, but the decisions that the university's leaders have made recently show that can't possibly be the case. They chose athletics over academics and showed the state, the country, and the world that The University of Southern Mississippi is dedicated to recreation, not education.

African-American Military History Museum

During this past summer, I took my girlfriend to the African American Military History Museum so we could both enjoy the rich history that African Americans have in the United States armed services. The museum has exhibits that show the involvement of black people in the military since the Revolutionary War all the way up to the current Global War on Terrorism. Even though black people were enslaved up until the Civil War and segregated until President Truman integrated the military after World War II they still served valiantly and were highly decorated in every war that the United States has been involved in. The exhibit starts you out with the Revolutionary War and the black soldiers that fought for America’s independence from England, and then you walk through the narrow halls of the exhibit through the Civil War portion, the Spanish-American War, and you can sit atop a horse that a Buffalo Soldier would ride during the Spanish-American War. The exhibit then takes you through “No Man’s Land” in World War I and every war up to the current war. The exhibit also shows significant Hattiesburg residents who served in America’s numerous wars over the years. The last stops in the museum are a movie that reinforces everything that you have seen throughout the exhibit and an area where you can try on actual military uniforms from various branches of the military and walk through the hall of famous black soldiers from the Hattiesburg area.