A Student’s Perspective of the Day of Action

Yesterday, I gathered with college students and faculty from across San Diego County. We gathered as part of a statewide “Strike and Day of Action” against budget cuts to California schools.  The strike was called for after a meeting held at UC Berkeley on October 24 where more than 800 students, teachers and staff gathered to discuss the issue.

Community members rallied for education at Balboa Park

The walkout started at individual schools and culminated with a rally in Balboa Park for the entire region.  The rally was followed by a march to the governor’s office downtown. San Diego State, UC San Diego, and San Diego City College were just few of the schools in attendance.

The rally was not what I expected entirely. I expected a bunch of angry students, which there were, but it was much more than that. There were families there. The people gathered in Balboa Park were not there just for themselves, but for the future.

Community members rallied for education at Balboa Park

The frustration that has been building over the last couple years showed as attendees shouted, “What do we want? Education! When do we want it? Now!”

“You can only take so much before you fight back,” said Sara Pianavilla, a San Diego State junior.

San Diego students were certainly not alone in their fight as rallies were held across the state, including ones in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento.

No student, faculty or staff member of California’s public schools has been unaffected by budget cuts. With fee-increases, layoffs and mandatory furlough days, we have all suffered.

Personally, the cuts to the number of classes is what has impacted me the most. Unable to get the classes I needed forced me to attend summer school in order to graduate in time. It wasn’t the inconvenience that bothered me, it was the fact that I should have been able to graduate in four years with no problem, but instead had to pay the extra tuition for summer school.

Community members rallied for education at Balboa Park

Community members rallied for education at Balboa Park

Like myself, many of the students gathered were seniors and after May we won’t have the same personal investment in this issue. So why were we there? For that mom and her little boys who want to go to college too.

~ Nicole Lee is an SDSU senior majoring in Journalism and Media Studies.

1 Comment

Filed under Admissions, Alumni, College Community, Events, University News

One response to “A Student’s Perspective of the Day of Action

  1. Dear Colleagues

    While I agree with the students that the situation stinks … why did the situation get this way?

    For all my adult life (50 years or so) the decision makers have done “easy” things and “profitable” things but rarely the difficult. The underlying “value” dimension of decisions has not been in the conversation. It is a disgrace … and the academic and intellectual community must take some considerable part of the blame.

    Accountancy is a failed profession. The world’s numbers are not making much sense because so much of the reporting is now governed by rules that report what the law makers wanted and not what is reality. The great corporate and banking failures is a failure that starts with greed, but ends up with a failed professional community and a failed intellectual community.

    The idea that a State the size of California is working on a cash based accounting system is ridiculous … not to mention all the government on the planet except one or two … and major public entities like transport systems. This is another example of professional and intellectual failure. Without a balance sheet it is difficult to relate the operating numbers to the underlying assets that are being (or should be) maintained!

    And the foolishness of the GDP growth metric … what has the cost of health care got to do with “product”? Product is good health … but that is never valued in a quantitative way though I would argue that good health is pretty valuable.

    Until we get metrics right … we will get decisions wrong.

    My generation of leaders first consumed all the value of prior generations … and then they started to consume the future that ought to be the legacy of any generation, not a liability. Shame on the decision makes of the present and the past 40 years.

    Lets get a serious conversation going … and then get some serious upgrading of the process that determines what the future is going to be like!

    Peter Burgess
    Community Analytics (CA)

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