By Linda Torres |Staff Writer|
The crowd of nearly 125 gathered at the Lower Commons to see how increasing budget cuts, higher tuition, and limited access to
CSU system could have detrimental effects on students, both present and future terms.
The “Stand Up for California” organization, according to their website, is a coalition of community groups, health advocates, education advocates, working families, people of faith, business people and others who support Governor Jerry Brown’s balanced approach to the budget.
“Stand Up for California” rallies have already been held on the CSU campuses of Fresno and Stanislaus. They have held rallies to present these issues with their local legislators and communities.
The rally also held an online campaign where everyone who attended had the opportunity to personally email California State Senator Bill Emmerson (R-Riverside) to voice their opposition to potential budget cuts.
One of the statistics presented at the rally was that last year in California public college enrollment declined by 165,000, despite and increasing number of students trying to get in.
According to The Monterey Herald website, the California State University system has already announced that 10,000 fewer qualified students will be admitted next year and that is assuming that existing revenues are maintained.
According to the The Daily Titan, the state cut the CSU budget by $1.3 billion back in 2009, also according to sfgate.com, the CSU system faces another one billion dollars cut from the state that can potentially raise the cost for attending CSU to $7,400 next spring.
Also, due to budget cuts the last two years has made the CSU system was forced to reduce employees, shrink enrollment and raise annual tuition for in-state undergraduates from $2,772 in 2007-2008 to $4,884 in 2011-2012.
Four speakers focused on how past budget cuts have affected them personally and the potential harms to the community.
“Students will have higher fees, faculty will be laid off,” said student Sean Phillips.
Phillips urged legislators such as Sen. Emmerson to have affordable education for all students.
“We are counting on Senator Emmerson to join us,” said Phillips.
The next speaker, Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez, school board member from Azusa Unified School District talked about how these budget cuts and denials of entry in CSU are unfavorable to students.
“What these budget cuts are doing to students is shutting the door in their face,” said Cruz-Gonzalez.
The next speaker Jared McCreary, a UCR student, gave his account of how these budget cuts have affected him.
McCreary recalled on how he had a knee injury and fell behind on his studies and was given no leeway by the school, due to budget cuts to the university.
CSUSB sociology professor Patricia Little, Ph.D. explained how past budget cuts have affected her students.
Little told how students, because of increasing fees, have had to take multiple jobs and sometimes even have to leave class early just to get to their jobs. Little also described how students are more stressed than before.
At the end of the rally, each of the attendees had the opportunity to personally email Sen. Emmerson to present their concerns and opposition to increasing fees.
For more information on “Stand up for California” or how to join go to standupforca.org.