I am writing in response to Anne Betner's letter to the editor regarding Fort Lewis College's plans to build the new student union building in the current economy (Herald, March 6). Betner expressed concern that the college was moving ahead with the student union project while "laying off faculty members." I appreciate Betner's concerns, but her information is incorrect.
First, the college has stated that its first priority during these tough economic times is preventing layoffs. To date, no faculty members - or anyone else at Fort Lewis College - have lost their jobs due to the economy. Furthermore, no layoffs are currently being planned.
Second, I believe Betner misunderstands where the money for the new student union is coming from. The money is not coming from the college's general fund that goes to employee salaries and operating expenses. Instead, the vast majority of the funds for the new building are coming from a student fee that the students voted for themselves, a remarkable testament to the students' commitment to this institution. The remaining cost of the building will be paid through a combination of vendor contract commitments and fundraising by the Fort Lewis College Foundation.
I'm happy to lay Betner's concerns to rest by again stating that no one has lost his or her job due to the economy at Fort Lewis College and that the money spent on the new student union building does not, and will not, impact the employees of the college in any adverse ways.
Mitch Davis, Fort Lewis College public affairs office, Durango