Campus protests budget cuts and potential fee increase

Jenina Simplicio

A protest Wednesday afternoon, addressed Sacramento’s decisions to implement budget cuts in the California State University system. This comes as Charles Reed, chancellor of the CSU system is planning to ask the Board of Trustees to approve a 10 percent increase in student fees.

The CSU Board of Trustees will take up the issue the following Wednesday and if fees are raised will add about $306 per year for undergraduates.

‘We’re already struggling with other fees we have to pay like books and housing. They’re also increasing rents for the dorms,’ said Nkechi Johnson, 22, public health education major.

Protesters marched through the Sierra Quad, up the Oviatt Library steps and to the University Hall chanting, ‘Can’t nobody save, save our school.’

Among others students are angry the campus will be forced to remove the anticipated summer 2009 classes.’

‘When budget cuts become necessary means, and our education systems begin to suffer as a result, it is time to take action and have our voices be heard,’ said Nicole Embree, a 24-year-old communications senior.

Not only will classes be cut this summer, budget cuts will keep happening until someone decides to do something about it.’ The preceding fall and spring classes will also be affected.’

Dr. Bernardo Attias, Department of Communications chair, read a statement from Robert Bucker, dean of the college of arts, media and communication.

‘The current economic system has severely impacted the California State University system and Cal State Northridge forcing us to restrict the number of students that we can enroll in the academic year 2009-10 which begins with the summer 2009 semester.’

The budget cuts are not only affecting students, professors are also suffering from the loss of classes.’ If there are no classes for students, there are also no classes for professors to teach.

‘While my job is safe, I know that some of my colleagues may be let go as a result of the unavailability of classes,’ said communications professor, Randi Picarelli. ‘This is about mis-management and mis-appropriation of funds,’ she later added.’

Karen Daniel, 20, finance major said, ‘It sucks. The legislators spent too much money and now we are the ones left to pay.’

Many students are facing the issue that they where planning to graduate this spring anticipating completing in the summer, however those classes are no longer being offered.’
Students being affected by these cuts are told to see an advisor immediately who will work with them to substitute courses this summer in order for them to graduate in a timely manner.’

‘The point is the budget cuts are leading to enrollment cuts for the entire year, it’s not just this summer,’ said Dr. Bernardo Attias, Department of Communications chair, ‘The administration is not really the enemy here, the problem really starts in Sacramento with the budget cuts themselves, which have prompted a move by the entire CSU system, to limit enrollment.’

Correction for accuracy

In yesterday’s article on the campus protest, communications professor Randi Picarelli was inaccurately quoted. The statement appeared as such,’ ‘While my job is safe, I know that some of my colleagues may be let go as a result of the unavailability of classes,’ said communications professor, Randi Picarelli. ‘This is about mis-management and mis-appropriation of funds,’ she later added.’

Picarelli prepared a written statement for the Sundial in correction. ‘If we are to generate effective activism regarding the CSU budget cuts, the we need to be properly informed about the administrative channels that are used in decision making. Our activism is ineffective if we are targeting the wrong source. This university has been exceptionally proactive in management of funds to decrease impacts on students and faculty. The mismanagement of funds I discussed was those of the state legislature and its ineffective budget management policies. It is there that activists need to express their frustration and disappointment with how the educational system in this state is being run.’