College Communications Home
Hope for Reinstatement
of Rodeo Team, Theater Programs
Posters with slogans, Dionysus (a character from Greek mythology) in effigy, people
willing to stand out in the cold and talk about their cause; these things were all in
evidence at the center of LCSC's campus on Tuesday, January 22, as students and other
supporters gathered to voice their opinions about potential budget cuts.
In response to recent higher-education budget holdbacks by the State of Idaho, and as a
part of restructuring designed to focus dramatically reduced funding on the college's
strengths, administrators recently announced intentions to cut the rodeo team and theater
minor from the list of LCSC offerings.
Not without a fight, say those who will be affected. Spokespersons from both groups
acknowledged that difficult changes must be made, but they don't agree with the
administration's choice of their programs as part of that change.
Supporters of both groups feel the best way to do the hard thing is to spread the
financial pain among all departments on campus. "We want across-the-board hits
no kids will have to go elsewhere as a result of lost programs," says Shawn Emery,
LCSC student and president of the college's chapter of Alpha Psi, a national theater
Rodeo coach Karen Fuller and Lewiston resident and riding arena owner Harold Johnson, made
a case for the value of the rodeo team to the college and the valley economy. They believe
it's too good a package to give up. Fuller has been outspoken about the subject and cited
a high graduation rate among rodeo athletes as a reason to retain the sport as it is.
Johnson added that a number local riding arenas and the good weather in the Lewis-Clark
Valley make rodeo a natural and a big draw--one that brings dollars into the valley.
Lewis-Clark State officials are considering the possibility of rodeo continuing as a club
sport. That option would allow students to compete in rodeo events, but eliminates
Fuller's salaried coach position and some scholarship options for team members.
Emery says theater is the only minor being cut and that the loss amounts to "a big
hit to LCSC's liberal arts program." Pointing to how loss of a major might translate
into a loss of students, he wondered how the prescribed cuts jived with the college's goal
of keeping up its student retention. Like Fuller, Emery also referred to the program's
local popularity: "How come dance is out when Danceworks (an annual production by
dance and choreography students) is so popular?"
Tuesday's protest and meetings scheduled for later this week with LCSC President Dene
Thomas are eleventh-hour strategies with which they hope to sway the college
administration's thinking. Representatives of the two groups plan to appear on the KRLC AM
radio program "Opinion Please" tomorrow starting at 10:30 a.m.
Thomas, who was in Boise with other LCSC administrators speaking to the state's joint
finance and appropriations committee, will meet with rodeo team representatives when she
returns at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 24, in the Williams Conference Center on campus,
to hear supporters concerns. At 1:30 p.m. on Friday, she'll have a similar meeting with
people from the theater in the college's Silverthorne Theater.