Salt Lake City, UT - Students, professors and the local community protested a move to close the cosmetology program at the Taylorsville campus of Salt Lake Community College on May 16.
Among the protesters was Amanda Nabitty, a 20-year-old cosmetology student, who recently completed the first year of the program. While Nabitty feels confident the cosmetology school will not go down without a fight, she is worried about the future.
Unable to afford to go to school anywhere else, Nabitty said, “This program is my entire life.” In addition to her concern for herself, Nabitty is worried about her instructors, who she cares for deeply. “We don’t just have a student-teacher relationship. We are a family.” said Nabitty. “We look out for each other.”
At the rally, it was clear that the instructors of the program returned the same care for their students. Despite being threatened by the administration with termination if any of them spoke to anyone about the decision to cut the program, several teachers bravely chose to give speeches against the unjust closing at the rally. Professors cited the success of their students, who do both well academically in the program and go on to successful careers, as the main reasons to keep the program at the school.
Different theories are abound in regards to the administration’s decision. The administration claims the school no longer has the necessary funds to continue the program, but many claim the administration has refused to show proper documentation of the financial records and have declined investors willing to help. Some suspect the college is attempting to transition to a university. Others think it is a personal vendetta on the part of the administration. Nabitty said she does not know why the administration is cutting the program, but that the entire process is “shady.” The administration never even tried to work with the program. “They came to us and told us it was a done deal,” said Nabitty, “They want us to go away, and they want it as fast as possible.”