2014-03-21 / Letters

Major would be missed

To the editor:

When I received an email late Friday evening stating that the current major I am enrolled in may no longer exist after the University of Southern Maine made some serious budget cuts, I immediately began to think of ways to try to save the program.

I am a junior in the recreation and leisure department which, although we have grown significantly in recent times, many people still do not quite know about. The truth is, this degree program has turned out to be more than I ever could have hoped for in a college experience. The recreation department is huge on experiential learning and our advisors encourage us to not only study hard, but engage ourselves within our community. Everyone in the major does volunteer hours for various organizations as a requirement for classes, but many of us continue to participate with these programs long after we have met the minimum hours. I recently completed a 10- week class in conjunction with Pineland Farms in New Gloucester where I and my fellow students assisted in adaptive activities for disabled veterans in the VAST program. Through this class, I was able to use skills that I read about in my textbooks and put them into action. Last fall, my recreation leadership class planned an entire carnival in Deering Oaks Park for families that helped raise money to build playgrounds for the children of Haiti.

I have found a home in the recreation department at USM and strongly feel that cutting it would be a disservice not only to future students, but to the community.

Sarah Haywood
South Portland

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