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

A march for change

Students march to the state capitol to protest the cuts in education and proposed increases on Monday, March 4. |  Kelvin A. Sanders Sr. |
Students march to the state capitol to protest the cuts in education and proposed increases on Monday, March 4. | Kelvin A. Sanders Sr. | [email protected]

College students from campuses all over California traveled to Sacramento March 5 to rally at the annual March for Education on the west steps of the state

According to the Sacramento Police Department, approximately 2,000 to 3,000 people protested at the event.

The City College contingent joined thousands of other marchers at 10 a.m. in front of Raley Field, armed with signs and bullhorns, ready to make their voices heard
for education reform. From there, they began their march toward the Capitol.

Before marchers were within view, their chanting carried from blocks away. As protestors grew closer, the chanting became louder, and their message was more clearly heard to those waiting at the Capitol.

City College students came together earlier that morning, meeting on campus at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Performing Arts Center fountain, giving other students an opportunity to join the march.

Honors Society Vice President of Communications Blair Kittle stood above the crowd and cast a megaphone invitation out across the quad.

“Students, it’s time to advocate what you want,” shouted Kittle. “Do it today!
March to the Capitol!”

Kittle said he he was marching because he thinks it’s important to fight for change.

“Primarily I got involved with this because I’m on the Student Senate, but I’m marching because I believe that we need to represent ourselves to the legislature,” Kittle said.

“Today we’re marching in opposition of a few things and in support of a few things,” Kittle said. “The primary purpose is to show that we exist and to make sure
[the Legislature] notices us, and that we’re in the forefront of their minds.”

According to Kittle, the Student Associated Council was well prepared to represent City College students unable to attend.

“Several of us in the Student Senate have legislative visits scheduled today to talk about specific lobbying efforts,” Kittle said. “Some of the things we’re going to
be doing are opposing the new unit cap on the budget, [and] we’re going to be talking about the nature of community colleges and what that’s supposed to be about.”
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Discussions included other items relevant to City College students as well, such as child care.

In addition to expressing opposition to the get-in-get-out education environment created by unit caps on financial aid, Kittle said the SAC would also oppose the new shift of adult education to community colleges.

Lonzo Sheppard, a business marketing major, has marched for other causes but said this was his first March student protest at the Capitol, which he planned on filming. According to Sheppard, he planned to use the footage to make a You- Tube video for extra credit.

Law enforcement made its presence known by driving squad cars, riding bicycles, on motorcycles and from high up on horseback. As protestors flooded the streets, police directed traffic and ensured public safety.

Daniel  Thomas, advocacy officer of the Latino Caucus of California Community Colleges Clark, appealed to the emotions of the crowd and encouraged students to use their voting power to remove elected officials who do not give education the attention it deserves.

Clark implored students to schedule regular visits with their local leaders, to continue to register fellow students to vote and to educate them on the importance eradicating voter ignorance.

“Leaders need to be reminded that colleges need to be funded beyond Prop. 30 because that is not enough,” Clark said. “And if they do not, we will unseat them and find policy makers who will rebuild our higher education system in accordance with the master plan.”

Devon Murphy, a second-year student from UCLA, spoke out on behalf of students to policy makers.

“We want affordability, we want accessibility to our schools, we want that education,” Murphy said. “Higher education is ours.”

By noon, the crowd at the Capitol began to disperse. One City College student, Barry Lee, music major, wondered aloud, “Is this even going to do any good?”

According to Kittle, it did.

“It always makes a difference,” Kittle said. “If we didn’t talk, there would be no one to listen to, so that’s what we have to do.”


Additional reporting done by Assistant Online Editor Nikki Head

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