We, the undersigned, are opposed to the Student Assembly (SA) Appropriations Committee's recommendation to cut Cornell Cinema's funding from $11/student to $8.60/student (a 22% cut). We instead favor granting Cornell Cinema the 75 cents/student increase they requested (from $11/student to $11.75/student) to help cover the $15,000 loss they have incurred due to several internal and external cuts brought about by the economic crisis. The proposed 22% cut in activities fee funding ($31,680) coupled with cuts already incurred, would mean the Cinema would head into next year facing an over $45,000 shortfall. The Committee's suggestion that Cornell Cinema stop paying students to staff film screenings (as box officers, house managers and projectionists) as a way to save money is not realistic, and even if it could be done, would not be enough to cover this budget gap. So such a shortfall would leave them no choice but to cutback on speciality, non-commercial programming, the very programming that makes Cornell Cinema so unique and such a valuable resource on the Cornell campus (classic & foreign films, documentaries, live music/film events, visiting filmmakers). They have already made cuts in this kind of programming, so further cuts in this area could jeopardize other funding they receive because of the diverse programming they offer, for instance, their grant from the New York State Council on the Arts. We urge the SA to reject the Appropriations Committee's recommendation and grant Cornell Cinema an increase to $11.75/student. We believe the programming offered by Cornell Cinema is an essential resource, helping to create a more complete educational experience and a rich environment where students can be exposed to unexpected ideas, different cultures, and new ways of imagining the world.
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