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CSUS students scramble to replace cut classes

POSTED August 25, 2009 10:10 p.m.
With the start of the fall semester rapidly approaching, California State University, Stanislaus junior Amanda Crocker thought she was all ready for the first day of class. That was until she checked her e-mail and found out one of her required courses had been cut from the university’s schedule.
Crocker is just one of the nearly 1,500 CSU Stanislaus students who were affected by the recent course cancellations the university had to make to come in line with state budget cuts.
“It’s a huge inconvenience for students to have to make all these changes to their schedule just before school starts,” Crocker said.
The state lopped off almost $20 million from CSU Stanislaus’ budget over the last year. Some of the losses have been met through spending cuts, employee furloughs, and an increase in student fees, but ultimately some classes had to be eliminated to cover the gap.
“We did all the things we could do before we cut classes. It was our last option,” said Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Herman Lujan. “It’s a sad time when we can’t provide educational opportunities to the students we have.”
The budget cuts forced CSU Stanislaus to cut about 100 classes from the fall semester, said university spokesperson Kristin Olsen. The decision on which classes to cut were made by the college’s deans and faculty and the lost classes run the gamut of lower and upper division sections in almost all programs, Olsen said. Some courses, like general education requirements, will have increased class sizes to make up for the reductions in offerings.
“We have maxed out the space in all our classes,” Lujan said.
The cuts have sent some students scrambling to find replacement classes.
“It took a while, but I found an open class that fulfills the same requirement as the course that was canceled,” Crocker said.
But others haven’t been so lucky.
“It’s a real struggle for some students to find courses that fit into their schedule and meet their requirements,” Olsen said. “Some are finding themselves on long wait lists.”
In an e-mail notice sent out to students about the course cancellations, the university advised finding a replacement class before Friday, when financial aid  is processed. Associated Students, Inc. President Diana Hereida said some students have to keep a full-time status to retain their financial aid, health insurance, or even continue playing sports.
“They just want to get into a class, no matter what it is,” Hereida said.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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