Do I care if Evergreen State College lets the public use it’s swimming pool? Not really. But I do care about the reason the school has (apparently) suspended such use for the next year. From the Olympian (emphasis added):
The Evergreen State College will eliminate open and lap swim times at its campus pool early next month for one year.
“Following thorough review and consideration, we have determined that we must take appropriate steps to support a safe and robust Aquatics Program,” according to the pool’s website. “Current resources, both fiscal and personnel, informed the difficult decision to suspend all open and lap swimming for the next 12 months.”…
It was not clear if the pool closure was related to other budget cuts on campus. Last year, Evergreen raised students fees, closed an experimental theater, and made other cuts in response to falling enrollment.
Evergreen has been claiming for more than a year that its recent downturn was a kind of pre-existing condition, i.e. that the dip in enrollment shouldn’t be seen as a direct result of the problems it had on campus in 2017. But enrollment was down last year and down much more sharply this year. New dorm construction plans were put on hold, a theater was closed, faculty positions were eliminated and some were told to prepare for layoffs.
In the scheme of things, the pool cutting hours and closing to the public (except for groups that arrange to rent it out) isn’t a big deal, but it is one further indication the school is still struggling to make ends meet.
It remains to be seen whether Evergreen can pull out of this self-inflicted nosedive. Mizzou, which underwent a similar downturn after a campus uprising, has struggled with enrollment and finances for several years. I suspect Evergreen will eventually recover, I’m just not sure that’s going to happen next year.
At this point, even matching this year’s enrollment next year would be a disaster for the school. Let’s see if they can win back prospective students next fall after a full year without any egregious eruptions of leftist extremism on campus.