Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cal Poly Pomona Students respond with a Study-In & Camp-Out

More on the Cal Poly Pomona situation. The following press release came out on June 10, 2009 from members of MEChA and CSU Students for Quality Education at Cal Poly Pomona in response to the canceled Summer courses:

Cal Poly Pomona Students host a Study-In and Camp-Out on campus to Protest the cancellation of summer classes

Pomona, California – Students at Cal Poly Pomona are camping out at a Study-In in front of the University Library to protest the cancellation of all state supported summer classes, supposedly because of the state budget crisis.

Students say they will continue the protest until their demands are met.

Oscar Rodriguez said, “This is a drastic change that sets back thousands of Cal Poly students. Summer quarter is essential because that is when students take the classes we were not be able to get during the regular academic session. We are trying to get out of college and become the engineers, teachers, scientists, nurses that California needs. But we can’t graduate because we can’t get the classes we need.”

On Friday evening, June 5, Cal Poly students received an email stating that all summer classes were cancelled due to a projected state budget cut to the California State University system of between $400 million to $700 million.

Students demand that:

-- Summer classes be reinstated

-- There be transparency in the management of resources

-- Faculty and staff get job security to keep teaching and providing student services

-- Governing bodies that are responsible to advocate on our behalf take a stand to protect the Master Plan of Higher Education.

Due to California’s economic crisis many programs and services that Californians depend on are faced with massive cuts. Education has been one of the hardest hit. The deep cuts threatened to the California State University system will have a rippling effect across the state.

Cal Poly Pomona’s share is about $20-$35 million in cuts. This cut is “equivalent of completely closing down three of our colleges,” according to University President Michael J. Ortiz. As a result of these cuts, he argues that “we must cancel state-funded summer classes to have enough money to provide classes next fall, winter and spring quarters.”

However, CSU’s economic woes did not come over night. They were created within the past years through a history of financial mismanagement and misplaced priorities from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In addition, the CSU chancellor and administration have historically done a poor job prioritizing students and their needs. They have not pushed for enough money from the state to finance the CSU; instead they comfortably depend on regular student fee increases to keep the university going.

Since 2002, student fees have increased more than 113% while there are fewer and fewer class sections offered, forcing students to postpone their graduation.

This summer students will have to juggle with the decision to postpone graduation further, or pay the ridiculous $220-280 per unit fee through the Extended University where classes are still not guaranteed to be offered.

Faculty members also have felt the impact of these cuts along with students over the past years. As fewer classes are being offered, faculty has been forced to take in more and more students into their classrooms, all the while being at risk of losing their jobs.
More info about the students' study-in can be seen here: http://cppstudentsunited.blogspot.com/