Chicago — Marymount University students protested after they said officials eliminated majors like math, English and religious studies.
After Maymount’s board of trustees voted to end the degrees, students across the political spectrum joined forces. They gathered ahead of the vote in protest last month, calling on officials to reconsider and to listen to their pleas, Fox News reported.
“We're angry because this is a Catholic school and how could you get rid of a theology major? And others were angry because our schools [were] built on a liberal arts core, and it's in our mission statement," said Grace Kapacs, a communications major.. "Others were angry because they got a degree in the humanities there, and now they're doing great things in the world, and they feel like others are going to miss out."
In a statement, the school said "this decision reflects not only our students’ needs, but our responsibility to prepare them for the fulfilling, in-demand careers of the future."
However Ethan Reed, a sophomore politics major, said that students and staff were only alerted last month that the school would cut bachelor’s degrees in theology and religious studies, philosophy, mathematics, art, history, sociology, English, economics and secondary education, as well as a master’s program in English and humanities. Amid the cuts, students are still required to study the subjects but can no longer select them as majors.
"The overall atmosphere of the Marymount community right now is just kind of dead, and it's very tense," said Reed. "It is just so clear that in every class I'm in, there's a huge elephant in the room."
Reed is unsure if he wants to stay at the school after the announcement.
"This is only my sophomore year, so I'm here for two more years. I honestly don't even know if I want to stay here anymore, because of what's going on. And the blatant disregard for student concerns even though we're the ones that are keeping the school up and running," he said.
A spokesperson for the school said eliminating the majors won’t affect the school’s mission.
"In order to grow as a university and maintain our place among the country’s best, Marymount must continue to innovate and focus on what distinguishes us from our competition. We must focus on our greatest strengths – the areas which have the most potential for growth, bring us distinction and acclaim and give Marymount a competitive advantage," said a school spokesperson, adding that "it would be irresponsible to sustain programs" with low enrollment and "lack of potential for growth."