LONG BEACH – Faculty and students from several CSUs made speeches and expressed their concerns about budget cuts, and low-paid faculty salaries at the Board of Trustees meeting Feb. 1.
Over 100 people, including members of the California Faculty Association, attended the rally.
Jon Luskin, senior sociology major, attended the meeting to represent the 30,000 students from CSUN.
With not enough computers for the students at the library and the lack of software, CSUN students in Sociology Department were frustrated during finals because there are not enough computers available for students to use during finals, Luskin said.
The computer lab is very limited to the students, Luskin added. In Fall 2005, he said the lab was open only two hours a day, five days a week.
“Here is a stack of paper for (President) Koester, so she can use it,” Luskin said, raising his concern of the lack of materials in his department’s computer labs.
The Board of Trustees’ responsibility is to help meet students’ needs, he said.
Matthew Waters, a sophomore history major, also attended the CFA rally.
“It seems that they are making us pay for more stuff,” Waters said.
“Because the budget cut, I couldn’t get into one of my classes,” he said. “There are not enough classes to enroll. I have to wait until next year, because they don’t offer them in the summer.”
John Travis, CFA president, expressed similar sentiments.
Travis added the trustees are not asking the governor and Legislature for much funds for the CSU, “We need more resources now than we had in the 2001-2002 year,” Travis said.
Last semester, for the first time in three years, the faculty received a 3.5 percent raise for the year 2005-2006, Travis said.
For the last three years, faculty did not received any raises, but “executives got a 13.7 percent increase, plus housing allowance,” Travis said.
Travis also said the high costs of housing living in California is creating a problem for the CSU in hiring professors.
“It’s cheaper to buy a house, if you go somewhere on the East Coast,” Travis said.
James Ballard, a sociology professor who is also president of CFA Chapter at CSUN, said the one of the main issue faculty faces is that the CSU has traditionally paid faculty little.
Ballard said there were several goals that needed to be presented to the CSU Board of Trustees and CSU Chancellor Charles Reed.
The concerns included raising student fees, recent salary increases for CSU executives, and the lack of progress in bargaining the new faculty contracts, Ballard said.
The CFA is bargaining for more faculty, so more open classes will open up to allow students to graduate on time, he said.
“Many new professors have a difficult time when they first start out,” Ballard said.
Cutting classes and not having enough professors is a serious problem for students, he said.
“We have less time to teach, less time to work with students,” he added. If there are not many faculty, it creates a problem, because those full-time faculty, besides teaching ? have to work on other activities and even programs that create classes.”
In response to the CFA rally, Cruz Bustamante lieutenant governor, gave recognition to students and faculty, adding that he was impressed with their speeches.
“The amount of teaching in the CSU (continuous) to be what (we) believe is good, Bustamante said.
“We can never forget that the magic of education is in the classroom,” he said.
Gabriela Gonzalez can be reached Gabriela.p.Gonzalez@csun.edu.