A.S. passed a resolution in support of the principles underpinning the March 4 statewide day of action Tuesday but do not condone students walking out of class as a means of protesting.
The statewide day of action is a day where students, staff, teachers and parents will work together to protest budget cuts.
“With the budget cuts as it is, students are already getting less amount of class time,” said Conor Lansdale, A.S. vice president. “If it’s during your free time, that’s fine, but I do not support it in an unproductive manner.”
The resolution does encourage all student organizations to use constructive protest methods that improve the academic and campus environments such as teach-ins. Post cards will also be a major role in the protest methods, said A.S. President Abel Pacheco.
“We dropped off post cards to the governor’s office last semester,” Pacheco said. “The post cards were very effective for presenting our issues.”
Pacheco added that they want to remind politicians as the election gets closer that they need to be thinking about the specific issues brought to them because the voters will want to see what they’re doing with those issues.
This year A.S. will be sending the leftover postcards from last semester to Sacramento to send the same message, Pacheco said. In conjunction with the California State Student Association (CSSA), CSUN is participating in a statewide rally in Sacramento with the University of California (UC) schools on March 22.
“We encourage activism,” Lansdale said. “We think it’s best we show the activism to the state legislatures themselves.”
The resolution states that system wide fees at CSU and UC campuses between 2000 and 2008 have more than doubled and that an unprecedented 40,000 qualified students and 250,000 students at California Community Colleges (CCC) may be denied access within the current and academic year.
However, the resolution indicates that A.S. affirms that strikes, walkouts, and similar protests where students are encouraged to leave class are counterproductive in achieving the common goals of all higher education students in California.
It also states A.S. supports the ideal of restoration of funds to the CSU, UC, and CCC on the March 4 day of action as well as urges the California Legislature to restore adequate funding to the CSU system in accordance with the Master Plan for Higher Education to meet the needs of students in California now.
Tom Piernik, A.S. university advisor, has a different opinion on the walk out.
“This is the first little bit of activism we’re seeing and we really need to give it support,” Piernik said. “I think it’s very important to educate each other on the varying impacts that the challenge of the current budget represents. I encourage staff, students and faculty to go out and attend some part of this day.”
There is some confusion with the walk out because there is no designated leader, Pacheco said. Some faculty have said to walk out on student’s own free time, while others are bringing their entire classes to the event, Pacheco said.
“We’re not sure what the message is,” Pacheco said.