Students and Staff Rally Against University Cuts
April 28, 2005 8:49 AM
SF State students and staff were bussed yesterday afternoon to a demonstration rallying against classroom cuts, fee hikes and declining enrollment at California State Universities. Holding up signs and chanting, the protesters filled Golden Gate Avenue in front of the California State building.
The two buses provided by the CFA from the SF State campus were filled with students, according to Joshua Castro, the ethnic studies representative of the Associated Students Inc., and Asian-American studies senior.
The rally was sponsored by the California Faculty Association with the support of student and teacher organizations around the Bay Area – including United Educators of San Francisco, San Francisco Labor Council and the California Nurses Association.
“Today was the day that we picked to demonstrate all over the state of California on behalf of the public institution of a higher education, primarily for the California State University, because that’s where we are from and all the students are from who are at the demonstration today,” said John Travis, president of the California Faculty Association.
“In the last two years, we’ve had over a half million dollars worth of cuts, and those cuts have hurt us very badly,” said Travis. “We’ve come here to the governor’s office to tell him we have to have additional resources brought back into the California State University in order for us to do our job.”
Travis said higher education in California has been taking for granted for many years He also noted that California leads the nation in graduates in nursing, teaching and engineering and these graduates are important for the California economy.
This coming fall, students are expected to carry even more on the financial burden. Undergraduate fees may rise 7 percent while graduate fees may jump by 10 percent, according to a CFA research brief compiling earlier this month.
Eric Mar, an Asian-American studies and ethnic studies professor and the president of the San Francisco Board of Education, remarked the budget cuts have been affecting students’ access to a higher education, denying access to over 15,000 students at CSU schools, he said. In addition, the cuts have also harmed the quality of education in classroom, Mar said.
“My class size doubled in a couple of years,” Mar said. “I teach one class with 132 students. It’s very hard to teach that size with little administrative support.”
ASI President-elect Chris Jackson was one of the many SF State students participating in the rally.
“I was very impressed to see over 100 SF State students coming out to the rally on a rainy day in the middle of a week,” said Jackson, a senior double majoring in speech communication and urban studies.
“The most effective way to cause change is to get out there and show that students do care about these budget cuts and continue to come out and continue to fight,” Jackson said.
“It’s really important that the teachers in the school district and students K-12 (kindergarten through 12th grade), community colleges and CSUs stand together to build a broader coalition.”
Chris Jackson was one of the many SF State students participated in the rally.
“I was very impressed to see over 100 SF State students coming out to the rally on a rainy day and the middle of a week,” said Jackson, the ASI president elect, and a senior, double majoring in speech communication and urban studies.
“The most effective way to cost change is to get out there and show that students do care about these budget cuts and continue to come out and continue to fight,” Jackson said.
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