CSUN bands together through the thick and thin, but will it be enough to change the budget crisis?

picture-1The students and faculty have wasted no time in voicing their complaints and anger over the recent budget cut crisis that has taken CSUN hostage. The Daily Sundial has been publishing stories regarding the problems students and faculty are facing and who is to blame. The reactions are helping the campus to band together, as students learn that they are not alone. This is a widespread problem that has hit all fronts in Matador land.

The idea of being proactive by way of reaction is more than evident. Faculty and students are coming out in large numbers to share their horror stories as a part of the affected CSUN community. These span from the class shortages, tuition hikes and financial aid decreases.

One of the most impactful consequences are the furlough days. These are mandatory days off that the faculty and staff must take without pay. The faculty must take nine furlough days in both the fall and spring semesters. This affects not only the students learning experience, but their readiness for their future endeavors after school.

In essence, students will have three to four class sessions cancelled during the semester, as well as the California State University system giving diplomas and degrees without the proper education.

The complaints are being heard and the action sought. The “Vent at the Tent” as well as student rallies are under way and being planned. The “Vent at the Tent” has seen more than 1,000 students and faculty members stop by to voice their frustrations and angst.

The question that must be asked now is how do we stop this problem from getting worse?

As a unified campus community we must have a vision and plan to quell the problems we face. The answer is constructive progress and many on campus are offering their solutions.

The following are a series of quotes and ideas on how to solve the problems that have darkened and stirred up the campus this first week of the semester. They are from students, professors and regional service representatives.

“The administration got pay raises before the furloughs were announced. They make much more than the faculty and staff at CSUN.
To me education must be prioritized. Higher education must take precedent.”

-Audrena Redmond,
Lead Regional Services Representative for the California Faculty Association

“The Assembly Bill 656! This is an oil extraction tax all other states have other than California. This taxes producers, not consumers that will go to higher educations in the state such as CSU, UC and Community Colleges.
The CSU would take more of the share because the UC has other sources of revenue.”

-Lucia,
Representative for Student for
Quality Education.
Junior, Business Law

“The government should make education priority and not fund other projects that are irrelevant.”

-Jonathan Levian,
Junior, CTVA Electronic Media Management

“Stop giving funding to the inhumane society. We need money more than they do. Please stop funding the jailbirds!”

-Sam Schwartz,
Junior, Broadcast Journalism

“They are giving priority registration to freshman. We need to plan better. The older we get the harder it is to enroll in the classes we need. Also, they need to stop building new structures. Spending money in advance should not be an option. We could use the money they used for the Performance Arts Building, Science Building and the new student housing.

-Cody Colegrove,
Junior, Broadcast Journalism

“Can’t say for sure, but more money needs to be here at CSUN.”

-Evan Tanaka,
Junior, Kiniseology

“I don’t think there is a single solution, it’s a series of problems. But legalizing marijuana and taxing for the education system could help. I just can’t believe they would take money away from education.”

-Steve Cho,
Senior, Asian American Studies

“Restoration and support. We have a master plan for higher education that dates back to the 1960s. The drop in state support is a shame.”

-Charles Hatfield,
English professor, CSUN
“The federal government is going to take away our stimulus next semester. It’s only going to get worse. The fed stimulates our schools, education and economy. We as students need to be heard. If we are heard, the federal, state, and local government will hear us and understand the problem.”

-Rebekah Cooper,
Senior, English major

“Protest, protest, protest. Reach out to a mass number of students and encourage them to join the campaign. Educate students as to why education is so expensive in California and as to why in other places higher education is cheap (Canada) or free (Cuba). Demand that California government re-distribute the wealth from the ultra-wealthy in West L.A., Porter Ranch, etc. and put it back into public goods and services.
We have to work together to change the government and fight for a more just system.”

-Julia Riber Pitt,
CSUN alumnus, Class of 2009

The idea of protest and assembly is slowly but surely formulating on campus. CSUN has never felt so close and together. It took something unfortunate and defeating to band us together to fight for our rights and education. It is still not a movement, but it seems to be heading that way. We need to stand as one unit and continue our march for a state-funded education.
As the mantra states at the “Vent at the Tent,” “The CSU is part of the solution to the state’s budget problem.”