Students argue funding for school-spirit sculpture is ill-timed while students are struggling to enroll

Adria Brodie

Daniel Santana, history and Chicano studies major and a member of Students for a Quality Education (SQE), appeared before the A.S. Senators at the A.S. meeting voicing his dislike for the funding of the Matador Statue. Photo Credit: Misael Virgen / Assistant Photo Editor

Two CSUN students voiced their opposition and concerns to the Associated Students (A.S.) regarding the funding of the Matador statue.

Seniors Jose Gomez and Daniel Santana addressed the Senate at Tuesday’s A.S. meeting during the open forum. They said they were disappointed and disagreed with the decision to give

$10,000 to promote school spirit by building a statue when there is a budget crisis and students are struggling to get classes.

“That $10,000 could have been used to build the resource center on campus or open more classroom seats for students,” Gomez said, referring to an LGBTA supporter’s request for a center on campus.

Gomez added he personally knows a lot of seniors who did not attend CSUN this semester because they could not get classes. He said this is the issue A.S. should be focusing on, not donating money to build a statue.

“If they would donate money to the school, that would send a big message,” said the Chicano studies major and internal chair for MEChA. “Without our campus, there is no A.S.”

Gomez added he wanted A.S. to question whether they should promote school pride through a statue or through academics. He said there should be a value placed on academics, and not on the aesthetics of the campus.

“I don’t see how having a statue is an emergency,” Gomez said. “The emergency is to save our classes.”

Conor Lansdale, A.S. president, addressed the students’ concerns. He said the decision was made in the 2008-09 fiscal year and the current senators were not involved in the decision. He added that he was the only one involved in A.S. during that time.

He also said that back in 2009 there was a campus need for spirit, and at that time they were not aware education was going to fall off a cliff because they were looking up the hill.

“On May 5, the original motion for funding was $15,000,” Lansdale said. “I made an amendment for $10,000.”

Santana said he is not against school spirit, but that it isn’t the right time to spend that amount of money.