SPECIAL SERIES : May Day 2006 Coverage
Gator GOP Takes Issue with Closure
College Republicans protest the immigration protest.
April 25, 2006 8:24 PM
The May 1 nationwide immigration boycott, dubbed “a day without immigrants,” has become a day without the student center at SF State.
The Cesar Chavez Student Center is locking its doors for the duration of the day and suspending all services, leaving students unable to get to the SFSU Bookstore, cafeteria and all other commonly frequented areas of the building.
“It is pretty ridiculous that our student money is going toward a political move,” said Carl Clark, president of the SF State College Republicans, in a meeting April 25. “We plan to be very active on the day to speak out against immigration.”
“It’s a gross misuse of student funds,” said Leigh Wolf, press information officer of the College Republicans.
SF State students currently pay $62 each semester for a student center fee. With 28,950 students on campus last fall, almost $1.8 million was generated from student tuition to run the center. Wolf said he estimated that to be about $20,000 for the day or $1,100 per hour to operate the building.
“We have to pay fees,” Wolf said, “and we’re fine with it as long as we get what we’re paying for.”
Chris Jackson, president of the Associated Students, Inc., said the decision was not based on politics, but on an educational opportunity. Jackson, a member of the governing board, said all of the student center vendors agreed to close for the day.
“Many of the workers here are immigrants,” Jackson said. “They were not going to operate anyway. I commend the vendors for making the bold move.”
Student center workers will still receive pay for the missed workday.
Wolf has drafted a letter of protest. While he said a lawsuit is probably not likely, he doesn’t like the idea of paying for a center that isn’t open.
“Don’t do it on my dime,” Wolf said. “It’s a general lack of respect for the students.”
“The College Republicans will not endorse the letter because I will not have the fight,” Clark said.
Pens, pencils, and scantrons will be given outside Malcolm X Plaza to students needing them while the campus bookstore is closed. Information will simultaneously be handed out about immigration, and speakers will talk about the issue.
Jackson plans to be one of the speakers.
“I’m not taking any sides on the debate,” Jackson said. “I just want healthy discussion on this issue. This is a way to do something really dramatic to get everyone to pay attention.”
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