We’re All in This Together

It was announced on Tuesday that 128 Youngstown State University employees voluntarily gave up over 148 vacation days in exchange for 930 unpaid furlough days, saving the university just over $203,000.

In the face of $6.6 million deficit this school year, $203,000 may not seem like much — and it isn’t; It’s about 3 percent of the deficit.

It’s a small dent, but it’s a dent nonetheless.

Sudershan Garg, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, commended the 128 employees, adding that, “It truly is a reflection of your dedication to your job, your colleagues and to the institution as a whole.”

By giving up vacation benefits, these people are saving the university, on average, $1,587. These employees, who have selflessly given up their benefits, should serve as a reminder that we are all working through this crisis.

It’s never easy making sacrifices, especially when money is involved, and for that, we’d like to thank the faculty and staff that made the decision to give up their benefits.

While the decision may negatively affect them personally, it will positively impact the university as a whole.

But, faculty and staff are not the only ones making fiscal sacrifices.

From incoming freshman to the longest-tenured professor and everyone in between, a $6.6 million deficit is something that affects every member of the YSU community: tuition has increased for fall, important maintenance projects have been deferred and discretionary spending across the university has been frozen. The effects of this deficit don’t stop at any one person, department or college. We’ve all felt the squeeze.

Without university employees’ selflessness, though, the squeeze we feel now could have been a lot tighter. Despite the current financial crisis, the university remains functional thanks largely to the generosity of its employees.

So, hats off to our faculty and staff.