FAIRMONT, W.Va. – As announced on May 22, Fairmont State University Board of Governors voted to discontinue music and theater degree programs at the end of the next academic year.
According to the Fairmont State BOG, neither academic program met governing standards and both programs were accompanied by large budget shortfalls. Despite the fact that many students and faculty members expressed their strong opposition to this decision, on June 18, the BOG has again voted to expand community-based theatre and music/choir programming and to discontinue academic programs in music and theatre.
Since this decision, students and faculty members are left with an array of emotions. One student in particular, Carmen White, was struggling to grasp the thought of possibly not finishing her degree in music at Fairmont State.
White, who will be a sophomore for this upcoming semester, mentioned that she fell in love with Fairmont’s campus, class sizes and how welcoming the environment was.
After finishing band camp, she was confident that she made the right decision when she chose to pursue music at Fairmont.
“Because my major is small, everybody who is in my major is also in the band so I already knew everyone. We had this sense of togetherness and I felt safe with these people because they’re like my family,” said White.
Since White will be a sophomore this year, she has the choice to finish one more year at Fairmont before she has to transfer. She said that she is having a difficult time deciding on what to do about her education.
“The music and theatre curriculum is different all across the state, so it’s hard to imagine what we’ll have to test out of to stay on track if we transferred,” said White.
Members of the University’s administration are working to put a plan in place to expand community-based theatre and music by producing vocal concerts, theatrical performances and continuing marching band.