Students come first, right? Wrong. Well, maybe students are a top priority at other institutions, but at Eastern students seem to be second class.In light of Kentucky’s current budget crisis, the university has been forced to cut things in its own budget and search for other ways to generate funds — and students are being turned to for help first.

For instance, students saw a 9.5 percent increase in tuition this school year and another increase is coming in 2004. Students were not able to evaluate all of their professors last fall due to restrictions on the number of in-class evaluations professors could administer, and saw a 10-cent library printing fee implemented.

While cutbacks are affecting students first-hand, they don’t seem to be limiting the number of new administrative positions University President Joanne Glasser is creating, like Outreach Ombudsman and University Ambassador, a position Eastern could do without. Former head football coach Roy Kidd, who announced he would retire at the end of the football season in September, now bears that title.

Kidd is making a $127,579, salary for the 2002-2003 year. until March 1 (when he officially retires). Then he will draw retirement plus an additional $1,000 each month for his “Ombudsmanship.” That’s $1,000 a month the university could save for other purposes … the position didn’t exist before, why does the university need it now?

Last year, Glasser named Ron Harrell associate vice president of public relations, another position that recently was added to the university’s administrative list. Formerly the director of public relations and marketing, Harrell’s position also came with a $17,885 salary increase.

While The Progress reported last week that Harrell had been assigned a new position, a position that doesn’t include quite as high of a salary as his old one, Glasser still plans to rename someone to his original position.

The university functioned adequately without an associate vice president of public relations before, why can’t we do it now? Wouldn’t it be in the university’s best interest to reallocate the money designated for that position back into the budget so we aren’t being forced to cut so many other things?

Danny Hope’s appointment as head football coach comes with a $130,000 salary, almost $2,500 higher than Kidd’s salary.

Why not make Hope’s salary the same as Kidd’s and dump that near $2,500 back into the budget to help offset cuts.

The university can’t help the fact Kentucky is in a budget slump, which means state funding is limited, and it is true that these suggestions would only contribute to resolving Eastern’s budget crisis in a small way.

But it would make certain that if one entity of the university feels the effects of cutbacks, all entities do — at least it would seem as if students were flying first class rather than taking back seats.