Students, faculty fight for accessible higher ed at Trustees meeting

CSU students and faculty advocated for a more accessible and equitable California State University during the Trustees meeting Tuesday, advocating for free higher education.

Gloria Juarez, a student from CSU Dominguez Hills, thanked him for being privatizer of the year, and not taking student struggles into consideration.

“What if we made sure college was accessible to all?” Juarez asked. “It won’t be easy but it can be done.”

Christina Yamagiwa, a student at CSU Long Beach, said she and her peers reject the Trustees’ assumption that California won’t fund the CSU. She said students demand that management reject tuition and fee increases, that the CSU clearly and directly expose the use of any and all funds received, that the cap on administrative salaries be lowered by 20 percent, and that faculty be given a 5% salary increase.

“We fight for equality and a quality education across the board. We will not stop until our demands are met,” Yamagiwa said.

Cal State LA Professor Molly Talcott, who serves as Secretary of CFA, said the faculty stand with students in their call for access and students’ right to free quality higher education.

Talcott said, “California is the 8th largest economy in the world, with a GSP of over $2.3 trillion dollars. What stands in the way of [CSULA student] Christian’s vision of free higher education for all in California is nothing more than lack of moral vision and a heavy dose of political cowardice on the part of his elders… They know we can do better by them. And we on the faculty heartily agree. Board of Trustees: Which side of history will you be on?”

CSU Sacramento Professor Cecil Canton pointed out that while CFA agrees with Chancellor White that there is a need to increase the number of graduates with bachelor degrees, faculty disagree with when the “train wreck” is coming and why. It’s already here, he said.

“While the CSU boasts of increasing the numbers of students it admits to the 23 campuses, it does not acknowledge that it has failed to increase the number of tenure-line faculty consistent with that growth on any campus,” said Canton, CFA’s Associate Vice President of Affirmative Action, adding that temporary faculty percentages have swelled to 60 percent. “…The train wreck is already upon us! And it is the students who suffer from your failure to see that it is you who have caused it. Since the year 2000, student tuition has increased by 283%! 283%! Even though students are paying more than ever in tuition they are getting less for their education.

“The California Faculty Association will act on behalf of our students, staff and faculty and to protect our university by striking on April 13th, 14th, 15th, 18th, and 19th. Please do not underestimate either our resolve or our commitment. Make no mistake, the train wreck is here. And you have caused it.”