The California Faculty Association and the Students for Social Justice/No Cuts Coalition presented a teach-in for California college students regarding recent budget cuts and enrollment fee increases Tuesday at Cal State LA.Few PCC students were in attendance attempting to inform themselves with information about the various fiscal issues occurring within the California State University system for the upcoming semesters.
“I’m very interested in what is happening with the CSUs,” said 27-year-old PCC student Arami Silva. “I hope to transfer to a Cal State , so I think it is important to stand up and fight against these problems.”
Performers staged a fictional situation symbolizing the death of an affordable, functioning California college education to begin the event.
A group of students adorned in black clothing huddled around a makeshift coffin in the Cal State quad while KPFK radio host Penny Wilson, dressed in preachers garb, yelled for the salvation of students and faculty alike.
“We shall overcome! We will save our classes! We will work tirelessly day and night!” Lewis shouted at the crowd.
A panel of Cal State LA faculty and administration officials proceeded to lecture on three facets of the CSU budget crisis. A crowd filling the Los Angeles Room of the Cal State LA student union was subject to comment on the effects of budget cuts, a history of budget cuts and solutions of the budget crisis.
The teach-in hit home for some PCC students in particular when mentioning the state of CSU and community college transfer relationship.
“The rate of transfer to CSU is small, abysmally small. Even if you do go to a community college and get good grades doesn’t mean you get a spot,” said Cal State LA history professor Enrique Ochoa.
In reaction to this information, 29-year-old PCC student Vanessa Gomez shared her outlook to the panel on the verge of tears. Gomez said: “I want to believe that I have a future!”
Although Gomez holds an optimistic view on the subject, some PCC students felt the teach-in was too soft.
18-year-old English major Magally Miranda felt a firmer approach was necessary for the situation at hand.
“It’s great to see this movement but I think there are more effective ways to grab attention. This is such a historic attack on education that we need to fight the State Legislature for more funding and better quality of education,” said Miranda.
President of the PCC Faculty Association Roger Marheine, who was in attendance, said that PCC is in a different budget situation with a different problem but the problem with the CSU system still applies to PCC students because the college is one of the top transfer community colleges in the state.
“In some ways the community college is like a tunnel. It’s either hard to get in or it takes forever to get out,” said Marheine.
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