Students earn units, protest budget cuts
September 1, 2009 9:39 PM
SF State students, frustrated with paying more money for fewer course sections, will be able to agitate for change and add units through a new student-run independent study course.
Sponsored through the department of political science, the new SF State Experimental College, also known as Campus Organizing Roundtable on Empowerment, will allow students to come together and discuss ways to have their educational needs met while securing up to four units.
"It's basically a student-run class where you get credit for organizing around things like budget cuts," said 22-year-old Honora Keller, health education major and member of Students for Quality Education.
CORE is a diverse group of campus activists who are anti-oppression, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and in the process of becoming organizers, according to their Web page.
One of the program's organizers, Jerald Reodica, said that the Experimental College will attempt to boost "critical consciousness" and give students the opportunity to raise pressing issues that are affecting their educations, beginning with the budget cuts.
"These cuts are lowering the quality of higher education in California," Reodica said. "We need to create a university for us, not the board of trustees or the governor."
Reodica said that such a project would not accomplish its goals through e-mail.
"In order to have a better delivery, we have to physically meet with each other and discuss our ideas," he said.
According to Reodica, the course is designed to produce a politicized campus community and build solidarity between students, while providing a forum for them to invent alternatives to the recent direction of their educational careers.
"People think that students are apathetic," said Samantha Adame, 20, a literature and Raza studies double major and SQE member. "But that's not true."
Adame said that with a typical workload of school and employment, most students simply haven't found the time to become involved with such organizations and in most cases are satisfied with just focusing on graduating.
"This gives students a chance not only to get credits, but to use that time to make a difference in their educations," Adame said.
Reodica said that students also have the opportunity to make proposals on things they're passionate about both on and off campus.
According to its organizers, the Experimental College is still a work in progress that is scheduled to begin on Sept. 2 at the Richard Oakes Multicultural Center in the Cesar Chavez Student Center.
The first day's curriculum will include a documentary on budget cuts and offer students an opportunity to meet veterans of the 1968 SF State strike.
For more information visit www.sfsuexperimentalcollege.blogspot.com
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