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

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

‘Day of Action’ protests crowd Capitol, region

About 1,000 protesters swarmed outside the Capitol building at around noon March 4, rallying the movement against budget cuts that have caused class sizes to swell while tuition costs have increased.

The rally was one of many that took place across the region.

Parents, students and instructors from colleges throughout the state came in support.

The following is a sampling of voices that were present at the Capitol protest:

City College student and business major Carlos Gamboa, made his grievances regarding college funding cuts.

Gamboa said that his prospects for transferring to a four-year university have been affected by California’s current education funding crisis.

“I’m planning to transfer to Sac State or a UC institution, and these budget cuts are likely to jeopardize my efforts to do any of these goals,” Gamboa said.

Gamboa said he believes that the state should prioritize educational spending and cut down on correctional funds.

Gamboa also said that he lost his position as a student assistant at City College because of budget cuts and that he is currently without work.

***

Sam Maldonado, a City College transfer to UC Berkeley, doesn’t expect much to come about from a single rally.

“Primarily I am here to support the California Democracy Act,” he said passionately about his cause.

He believes that it is important that students and supporters of educational funding should take part in a progressive movement of speaking up and out to spread the word and build leaders within the state of California.

***

Jan Sherry, coordinator for government relations for Los Rios Community College District, came out to support students of Los Rios and California.

“I support what the students say to the legislature,” said Sherry, who wore a SCC Panther polo.

Sherry said he believes in the power of numbers and the influence that students can have in government by making their voice is heard.

“There’s 3 million of you guys in this state; you can make a difference,” Sherry said as he watched on at the rally with a glowing sense of pride.”You can make a difference.”

***
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Abraham Mendoza, a City College student, knew exactly why he had come out to the rally.

“I’m against the cuts,” he said.

The sociology major had one goal when he got out of his bed this morning: “To support the rest of this state basically, to support this rally.”

***

Melody Priceman, a first-grade teacher from the West Contra Costa Unified School District, said that teachers are facing a cut in health care benefits, broken promises and assurances, more than $700 in out-of-pocket expenses for health care for teachers with families, and teachers’ unions working against teachers.

“It’s so bad,” she said. “It’s scary.”

***

Ashley Scarborough, a UC Davis student parent, was out at the rally with her son with concern and optimism for the future as she looked at the turnout at the Capitol.

She voiced her concern not only for the cost of her own education but also the education of her son as budget cuts have also hit the elementary schools.

“When it’s time for my son to go to school how much is it going to cost?” Scarborough said.

Scarborough, a Women and Gender Studies student, said she wanted to be heard, adding that given the budget problems, it may be too late for her son to speak up for himself in the future.

***

Siri Schnydt, an English major from Sacramento State, was a speaker at the rally. She was determined to share her frustrations with budget cuts and a system that she feels is not working.

“I, like many other people, have not been able to graduate in four years,” she said.

Schnydt cited other students’ problems with the current situation: students staying in school longer because of the lack of availability of necessary classes, counselors unable to provide he time and attention that students need, and rising university fees coupled with a diminished quality of education.

“I was supposed to graduate last semester,” she said, speaking as a victim of the system she says is failing her.

She said she was forced to stay in school one more semester and pay full tuition,

“That’s $1600!” she shouted over the commotion.

Interviews compiled by John Reynolds and Christopher Geanakos.

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