Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Students continue to hold the building at Sac State

Over 2,000 students walked out of their classes at Sacramento State  University today April 13,  in protest against the  state budget cuts and the rising tuition in the California State University  System – part of the largest university system in the world.  Student protesters expect that already passed budget cuts will lead to larger classes, fewer classes, eliminated programs,  and an increased time to graduate.
 History Professor Joe Palermo spoke to the crowd gathered in the Sac State Quad arguing,
 “What we've been witnessing in recent years is nothing short of the wholesale auctioning off, often to the lowest bidder of the public commons right under the feet of the majority of California's citizens who never signed on to this long-term project of destruction…
see stories below.

A series of student organizers from Students for Quality Education spoke of the costs of cuts to their lives.  Amanda Moores described the irresponsibility of the University Administration in producing a 66% increase in Executive Salaries paid for in part by   a 224 % increase in student fees.
After a loud  rally on the Quad, several hundred students marched across campus.  At this hour over 300 students, faculty and staff are occupying the offices of the University President.
There were rallies and marches on at least 10 of the CSU campuses today, ranging from 50 students to several hundred.
Sacramento State is the only one we know of where students have occupied the administration building.
At 8;30 PM. some 30 students continue to hold the Administration building and they plan to spend the night.
They ask that supporters join them inside or outside of the building when it opens on Thursday at 7 A.M.

HAYWARD, CA 4/13/11 --  Students and faculty at California State University, East Bay, marched to the administration building on the campus and then occupied the building in protest.  Organized by Students for a Quality Education and the California Faculty Association, the civil disobedience protested budget cuts and fee increases for students, and cutbacks on staff and benefits, while administrators' salaries are increased. 

The building occupation demanded the resignation of CSU Chancellor Chuck Reed, and a list of other demands discussed and adopted during the occupation.  Similar building occupations took place on other campuses.  Some students wore face paint with scars symbolizing the painful slashing impact of budget cuts.

Before the march and building occupation, students and faculty organized a "People's University."  Workshops talked about the attack on education and the rights of public workers, especially teachers, throughout the U.S., as well as campus issues that included lack of childcare, parking and student services.  Other SQE demands included democratizing the state university's board of trustees, budget transparency, fair treatment for unions and workers, and a recommitment to the California Master Plan for Higher Education.

According to the California Faculty Association, "the California State University has lost some $1 billion, let go more than 3000 faculty, slashed course offerings and tripled student fees. Tens of thousands of eligible students have been turned away or given up because of rising costs and inability to get necessary classes."
Hayward report above by David Bacon.
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