Got Classes? Complaint form sent to Governor
September 24, 2009 9:51 PM
Organizations at SF State are joining forces and hoping to prevent further cutbacks by compiling a complaint form issued by the California State University, statewide, to gather details from programs that have been hit the hardest this fall.
Information from the "Got Classes?" form will be forwarded to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office as well as presented to CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed at the Board of Trustees meeting next week in Long Beach.
"We are a student organization that focuses on budget cuts and fee hikes and we bridge the gap between faculty and students," said Samantha Adame, 20, a fourth-year literature major and member of Students for Quality Education, working on the form committee.
The SQE is supported by the California Faculty Association. The organizations are working to bring together other campus groups, such as Student Unity & Power, in hopes of creating one voice. Each group has found ways to express anger about the budget cuts but now they are planning events together.
"We are running all around, attending different meetings and trying to raise awareness of the complaint form and to bring the groups together," Adame said.
The complaint form has been distributed throughout campus, collected by the CFA and passed along to faculty member Ben Blake, of the Labor Archives and Research Center, who volunteered to compile the data.
Blake reports a total of 505 students who submitted complaint forms. The forms document 808 specific classes to which they were denied admission. Of these classes, 79 percent were required for graduation.
"Speak Out Against the Cuts in support of the UC strike is coming up this Thursday, Sept. 24, at noon on Malcolm X plaza; it's supported by SUP, CORE and SQE," Blake said about the groups joining forces. CORE, the Campus Organizing Roundtable on Empowerment, is an alternate name for the Experimental College.
The CFA continues to encourage students to turn in their forms for the final report presentation due for submission to the governor's office mid-October.
"Some assembly people who voted on our budget somehow still don't really think that what they are doing is devastating," CFA Chapter President Ramon Castellblanch said. "We need to make the political figures who are responsible for our budget cuts, the governor and the legislature, aware of the hardship that they're creating."
To raise state legislative awareness, the groups are planning events off campus. On Oct. 15, the CFA and SQE plan to march at city hall and demand a response from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom on why higher education did not make it onto his gubernatorial plan, issued this month.
The CFA has stressed the importance of making all legislative leaders in the state aware of what the budget cuts have caused.
"I met with Assembly member Mariko Yamada a week ago and I started talking to her about the cuts telling her, 'I hope you realize that these cuts are not mild or incremental, these cuts are devastating and it's wrecking a lot of people's college careers,' And it unfortunately was news to her!" Castellblanch said.
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