CFA tells Gov. Brown, lawmakers: All qualified students deserve a seat!

Faculty and students transformed into informative docents today as CFA hosted a pop-up art installation on the North lawn of the State Capitol to symbolize the increasing lack of access to the CSU and quality public higher education.

Last academic year, more than 31,000 qualified students were denied admission to the People’s University, which has suffered systemic underfunding for years.

On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown announced his 2018-19 budget plan, which proposes just $92.1 million in additional state funding for the CSU. CFA is calling for an additional $422.6 million in state funding for the CSU for the 2018-19 fiscal year, which would allow for healthy enrollment growth and provide access to the CSU for an additional 18,205 students.

“By not allowing qualified students access, we’re failing them before they even have a chance to walk in the classroom,” said CFA President Jennifer Eagan. “It’s time for our state to stand up for the CSU—for our students, for our university, and for the future of California.”

On Wednesday morning, the stark sight of 1,570 chairs greeted legislators, staff, and visitors as they entered the Capitol on the North side. Each chair represented a missing seat for 20 qualified students.

The art installation drew questions onlookers throughout the day. CFA leaders and student activists offered docent talks about the art exhibit and funding issues plaguing the CSU.

Jorge Quintana, a senior at Sacramento State and activist with Students for Quality Education, was one of several ‘docents’ talking to reporters and Capitol visitors about the exhibit Wednesday. For Quintana, the art installation was eye-opening.

“It’s hard to see it because you realize that so many people are turned away,” he said. “They weren’t even given the opportunity to attend. It hurts because these students are largely students of color, and low-income students. They’re students like me.”