Music students are scrambling at the last minute to find available classes with open seats to fulfill their graduation requirements.
The music department sent out an email on Jan. 26 announcing the cancellation of several music courses, including many ensemble classes led by Allen Biggs, who has been teaching in the music department for ten years.
A total of 13 sections of music courses at SF State have been cancelled by the music department due to low enrollment, and students were notified four days after the first day of school.
“Today is the deadline for meeting that minimum. [Courses] have not reached the minimum threshold for offering and so, regrettably, we are cancelling them,” said Cyrus Ginwala, director of the music department.
Biggs has been an activist for the music department for quite sometime now. He worked closely with the department to add classes that would benefit the students.
“I really hate seeing this class go away because it’s much harder to bring something back once it’s not on the class schedule,” said Biggs “I fought really hard to get this reinstated once I started and I feel like the students have done really great work.”
Due to the cancelled courses in the music department, Alex Wilcox, a music major, is only taking eight units — four units short from receiving financial aid, students are required to take twelve units in order to be considered a full-time student.
“This is bulls––t,” said Wilcox.
Wilcox and Brian Miller, another music major affected by the cancelled courses, were on track to graduate after this semester but due to the cancelled courses, they are not sure they will be able to walk the stage in May.
“They screwed me because I’m graduating this semester, and this is the last class I needed. I needed one more ensemble,” Miller said.
With many music courses getting cancelled, many are beginning to question the type of empathy the music department, the deans and the president of the University have toward music majors on campus.
“I can tell you that we’ve repeatedly invited the president of the university and the dean to come to our concerts and they have never attended,” said Biggs.
Biggs held an impromptu meeting on Jan. 30 to help support students who were affected by the cancellation of music courses.