The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

“WTF” (Where’s the Funding)

City College students march to the West steps of the Capitol to protest for the March in March. Tatanisha Crockett | [email protected]

It was about 9 a.m. March 5 when City College students started to gather in the quad, preparing to march to the Capitol and participate in the “March in March” higher education protest.

“They say cut back; we say fight back,” bellowed Student Associated Council Treasurer LaDonya Reed.

Roughly 50 City College students shouted as they first took light rail and then marched to join 8,000 more students from various CSUs and community colleges as they headed to the west steps of the Capitol.

According to Clubs and Events Board Secretary of Public Relations Jeannette Carpenter, the students were protesting the sharp budget cuts to financial aid, including PELL grants and the ballooning costs of textbooks.

“We are tired of publishing companies charging highway robbery-esque prices,” said SAC Secretary of Public Relations Brad Moriel. “I had to pay over $800 for the textbooks required for classes.”

Other issues that concern students at City College are fewer faculty members teaching fewer classes, easing the burden of student loans and the reduction of the number of courses offered at City College, Moriel said.

“Anyone who is a student knows the extreme difficulty we face when the registration time comes around,” Moriel said.

Once the crowd of protesters reached the Capitol, speakers were prepared to address the issues of the protesters. As California Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg addressed the crowd, protesters began shouting, “Show us!” demanding that  politicians demonstrate their commitment to solving higher education issues.

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Steinberg used the opportunity to talk about his proposed legislation, SB 1052 and 1053, which would develop Open Educational Resources for California’s colleges.

According to Deputy Communication Director Mark Hedlund, development of Operational Educational Resources would furnish 50 of the most commonly used textbooks in digital format for free.

Steinberg acknowledged that the Legislature has made deep cuts to higher education to help balance a huge shortfall to California’s budget.

“We’ve cut billions of dollars, and I’ve hated every minute of it,” Steinberg said.

Steinberg also signaled that California needs to put higher education at the top of its list of priorities.

“Once we can eliminate the deficit and move forward, the first place the state needs to reinvest is in higher education,” Steinberg said.

According to the Vice President of the City College Indigenous Peoples Club Reuben Banuelos, the best way for colleges to impact funding for higher education is to organize clubs and colleges and educate students on the importance of voting and
other political action.

“Darrell Steinberg and his staff member made these awesome speeches, but like they said, it’s up to the [Assembly] and the Senate to vote [on the legislation],” Banuelos said.

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