The Associated Students is the student government, elected by the students to work for the students. Throughout the past year, the loyal CSU faculty has been fighting faithfully for the students while they fight for a living wage for themselves. And CSUN students have been supporting them. I covered the CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach in October 2006, and there were busloads of CSUN students there. I also covered the recent picket and there were 200 students there also supporting the faculty. The students who I interviewed are concerned enough to take time out of their busy work and class schedule to physically show their support for the plight of the faculty.
CSUN students want to get into their classes without having to fight over who has the most units. They want to graduate in four years instead of feeling as though they’re being bled dry by the CSU system. They want professors who remember their name in and out of class. They want professors who have the time to care and encourage them in their future plans and not just have time to lecture and grade like a monotonous robot.
These CSUN students who care about these things also care about the current negotiations between the California Faculty Association and the CSU. They care because if they didn’t, their college experience would dissipate into the “youth league” from George Orwell’s “1984.” Students would be taught to despise creativity and passion and free thought and to think only of money, capitalism, control and war.
The correlation between supporting the CFA and caring about getting classes and a decent education is a simple one. If our faculty is getting a decent wage and raises that they deserve from years of service, then they will stay and they will feel appreciated. We will be able to get and maintain professors who will add to our college experience and our future.
Our A.S. has been vacillating on their decision of whether or not to support, remain neutral or deny the CFA of CSUN students’ support. The negotiations have been going on for almost two years and still our A.S. has remained silent on their decision. At last Tuesday’s Senate meeting, Sen. Byron Baba announced that a resolution had been drafted, but would not be available for a vote until the following week. A student commented to me, “They’re probably going to postpone their vote until it’s moot and the negotiations are settled.”
Why won’t our A.S. make a decision? What powerful force is persuading our student representatives to not act in accordance with the students’ wishes? If they’re waiting to see what their constituents want, I think they must have missed the rallies and the picketing and the sign holding on Zelzah and Nordhoff (those are students holding that sign).
Not to bring up a topic that has been played to death, but when Janet Jackson had the infamous wardrobe malfunction, the FCC received 200,000 complaints out of 300 million US citizens. And they made a decision immediately considering those complaints didn’t equal even 1 percent of the population. Our students have been outspoken in their support of CSUN faculty, but still A.S. has remained undecided.
Make a decision, A.S. Decide one way or the other, but decide. Do not continue to ignore the signs At the CSSA conference last weekend, every other A.S. at each of the 23 CSU campuses have adopted resolutions regarding the CFA and CSU contract negotiation, except for CSUN’s representative Adam Salgado and our A.S. senate.
Have they not noticed their constituents pick up a sign and shout out with faculty members, “Reed, Reed stop the greed, give the people what they need!” Because I’ve heard them, I’ve seen them out there, I’ve interviewed them and they want to support our faculty. So why won’t our elected representatives speak out in support of the faculty as well? Or speak out at all?