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As reported in the news this week, and to the dismay of many alums, WLU has axed its marching band music program.

The band, which has between 50 and 55 members, has been eliminated at WLU to cut costs.

“It was a tough decision,” said WLU spokeswoman Maureen Zambito. “Nobody wants to cut the band, but the budget for the state of West Virginia is constantly being cut. Academic programs are still being maintained.”

With all due respect, this is something that has followed the current president over his tenure at many colleges, including one that closed shop, no thanks to his stewardship.

According to the new president:

Greiner emphasized no academic programs in music are being eliminated.

“There are still many opportunities for musical performance at WLU,” he said.

But this is disingenuous:  if there is no attraction for music talent to demonstrate their talent, then there is going to be a decline in the program.  Further, since 55 students came to WLU and wanted to participate in the program, it means WL could lose more students.  Imagine if THE Ohio State decided to axe its marching band.  What do you think would happen to the “program?”  And, by the way, how much money is being saved by cutting a program activity for 55 students anyway?  No one is speaking to that at the college.  We highly doubt it makes up for a multi-million dollar shortfall.  Finally, what is WL’s plan under Greiner to make up the difference?  Does this president have a plan to raise funds to keep the college solvent?  The faculty have not been presented with a plan to raise more money, nor have they been enlisted to help save the college.

That sign you see in the distance is one that reads RIP.

The Dean and the president blame the state decline in appropriations as a cause to eliminate the band.  But, this is also irresponsible because, do not administrators at WL have a responsibility of the decisions made?  In other words, given all the possibilities where one could cut, was the band really the best choice to cut, or is it indiscriminate showmanship?

Some are not fooled.  One member of the community wrote:

West Liberty’s Music Education majors, without a collegiate marching experience, will not be properly prepared to lead athletic bands as public school band directors. Marshall University’s Marching Thunder is a significant source of school spirit, pride, and education for our students, and I am sure that West Liberty’s marching band serves the same purpose. For the sake of the future of the University, there has to be another alternative to such a draconian measure.

Programs have been eliminated by the eternal second, John McCulloch, and Greiner, and under their “stewardship” buildings have been closed, maintenance has been deferred, disrepair of many buildings remain, programs have been eliminated (while others like psychology, CJ, and geography have been expanded, and now the band is being shut down. How quaint.   Oh and let’s not forget the “zoo,” which was advertised falsely as one of only four in the nation.  It’s not. Good grief.

When Coach Roger Waialae resigns, and how can he stay with such a decline for he will not be able to recruit football players to a “college” quickly becoming a ghost town and a premier candidate for NAIA, then the football experience will really decline.  As it sits now, the elimination of half-time band entertainment means the field that West built will go under utilized.

IMG_4138Rest assured Ohio Valley parents, donors, and students:  this is the sole decision of WL and its administration–its current administration. There are some who are a part of a supposed light news LLC called Weelunk who are blaming, you guessed it, Robin Capehart, for the elimination of the marching band. However, this is lazy and inane thinking, and also devoid of any evidence you’d expect of a “reporter” or someone who is intellectually responsible.

While the state may be to blame for declining appropriations, it is the responsibility of the current supine administration to have a plan to save it.

WL is quickly raising the white flag, and it’s new motto should be “what difference at this point does it make” anyway?

At this point it does not.  Welcome to West Liberty Community College.

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