Student activists rally against impaction rules

Lauren Rife

A “Teach-In” rallying against impaction by the Activist Student Coalition took place in front of the Oviatt Library Tuesday afternoon.

The event’s purpose was to educate students on impaction and what it means for them and future prospective students. Students gathered around in circles on the Oviatt Lawn to discuss their thoughts on impaction, and what and who exactly it will affect.

Information pamphlets were given out to students who were interested in the issue and words were written on the sidewalk in chalk, with statements that said “Impaction requires action” and “Education is a right, not a privilege.

Student activist Iris Mendoza, a senior Chicano Studies and Sociology major, said 25 percent of state funding has been cut for CSU schools since 2003, that due to the issues of impaction, approximately 300 more students than usual will be denied acceptance over the next four years.

Mendoza said she believes education should be a right and not a privilege.

“You need a degree to get a decent job,” she said.

It’s all about resources, according to Mendoza. “Some high schools give tools to show success on paper,” while other schools don’t, she said.

Mendoza said she did not do well in high school and went to community college. She “had to work twice as hard” so she could transfer to CSUN. She said “I wouldn’t be here with impaction.”

Chicano studies professor Vilma Villela said that she grew up in a low-income area with two working parents who earned minimum wage. She said a student from a high school in Beverly Hills would have a better chance at getting into CSUN than she would.

“They would have a better education [than me] and it’s not balanced or fair,” Villela said. “Education is a right. It’s like air.”

Villela said the impaction problems could affect her and other professors, as well. “Teachers might have less classes,” she said.

Dr. William Watkins, Vice President for Student Affairs, said that students will continue to be accepted based on GPA, however, certain majors like CTVA will be requiring higher GPA’s for acceptance due to impaction.

Starting in 2016, these new admission standards will not be fair to freshmen, said Watkins.

“Transfer students will have a better chance of getting in than freshmen,” he said.

International students will not be affected, Watkins said, as they pay their own way because the university does not receive any funding for them. As of now, “the enrollment level has never been higher,” which he credits to President Dianne Harrison. Access to classes is better today than it has ever been before, he said, that “the issue is not space.”

Students who gathered around Watkins said the issue is funding.

“We couldn’t serve students well if [the school] had more students than funding,” Watkins said.

He also said that they have taken the money they do have and put it into the classrooms.

A student asked Watkins what the benefits would be with impaction and he responded that it would help the school to become better aligned with funding and they would continue to admit students. Right now, he said the campus is 11 percent over target with the ratio of students to funding.

He also said that more online instruction would be offered, which in turn would offer more enrollment opportunities.

Mendoza, along with the Activist Student Coalition plan to meet with people in administration at a future date, yet to be decided, to further discuss the issues of impaction.


Also read: Faculty Senate’s first meeting of semester speaks on policy changes and impaction