The University of Connecticut may be one of the largest colleges in the state, but it could soon be getting smaller because of a massive budget deficit.
UConn officials recently announced that they want to close the Torrington campus, but there is a growing grassroots effort to keep the small campus open.
“It’s close to home. It’s a great school. It’s UConn so I can go to any campus I want to,” said student Shawn Takatsu. “Having to go to Waterbury is going to be over an hour drive, multiple days a week, and on top of that I’m working full-time.”
If UConn officials get their way, Takatsu and dozens of other students will have to transfer to another UConn campus.
The school is facing more than $30 million in cuts, and closing the campus is a recommendation to help close the hole.
“You’re asking them to take on about 45 minutes to their day and a lot of these students have full-time jobs, part-time jobs, they’re single parents, they’re business owners,” said Brian Ohler, who started a petition to try to convince the Board of Trustees to not close the campus.
So far, his petition has over 150 signatures.
“A lot of times, when budgets are meticulously gone through, it seems like the northwest corner of Connecticut is always the first to be on the receiving end of those cuts,” Ohler said.
“The new commute for me isn’t great and I may have to consider going elsewhere, maybe an online school,” Takatsu added.
However, not everyone thinks shuttering the Torrington campus is a bad idea.
“It’s a great idea because not that many people come here,” said student Jordan Sokol. “It’s kind of a waste of money to keep this place open, they can go to another campus.”
The Board of Trustees will vote on the school's recommendation next month.
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