Hocking Students Protest Layoffs

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Students at Hocking College say they plan to keep protesting until changes are made to the planned layoffs announced last week.

Students staged a demonstration in front of the college's administrative building Monday.
Hocking College is laying off 23 staff and administrative employees on November 2 because of a $4.3 million deficit in the school's budget.
Students in the Public Safety Services program at Hocking College are particularly upset that some of their staff members are being cut.
"But when Hocking actually gave me the opportunity to do the best, now it just feels like they're going to pull it away from me," said Eric Nockowski, a first year student in the college's fire fighting program.
He says he came to the school from Northern Ohio to get the best training in the state, but now he doesn't know if he'll stay at the school for the next semester.
"It effects all of us when we don't have our staff here to support us. So, we're here to say, okay, enough is enough," said Marnie Brayley, a second year student.
Protesting students complained that while some personnel are being cut, others in the administration are getting pay raises.
Hocking Provost Carl Bridges says that isn't the case.
"We hear a lot about, well, there was a pay increase, but the reality is there really wasn't an increase, it was an adjustment to their salary to make the salary match what's happening in within the state," said Bridges.
Protesters say they're not only upset about the staff reduction, they also don't understand how somelandscaping projects, like a new amphitheater, are underway with such a large deficit.
"Again, it's easy sometimes to sit back and look at something from one point of view, but that amphitheater was a great opportunity and learning experience for our students in construction management and landscaping and those types of things," said Bridges.
While the future is uncertain for Eric Nockowski, he says it's all students that are being harmed by what he considers poor choices by the adminstration.
Hocking College's provost was sure to make clear that of the 23 jobs being cut, none of them will be faculty positions.