With increased tuition fees, fewer classes offered and no promise for the future, students at California State University, Stanislaus have had enough and decided to take a stand at a rally on Thursday.
“It is frustrating because we are paying more for less educational opportunities,” said Anna McCracken, a junior at CSU Stanislaus. “It is a lose, lose situation. They are finding more ways to get more money from us but they are giving us less.”
The “Strike and Day of Action: Flunk the Legislature” rally aim was to bring awareness to students about the 196 percent tuition fee hike increase since 2002 and the over 100 classes cut about three semesters ago at CSU Stanislaus, according to Malu Huerta, president of the Students for Quality Education club at CSU Stanislaus.
“There are a lot of people that just don’t know what is going on,” Huerta said.
Organizations present at the rally included the Warrior Street Team, Student California Teachers Association, Students for Quality Education, Socialists Organizers and Warriors Fight Back. They all wanted to help spread the word that state legislators are not funding education like they should be.
To help take action against the legislators, organizers for the rally recruited students to register to vote. Their goal was to register 900 students — about 10 percent of the CSU Stanislaus student population.
“It is very important to stay involved and tell the legislators to fund our education because right now they aren’t,” said Inner Pahal, Associated Students Incorporated president.
All CSUs are trying to recruit 10 percent of their student population to become registered voters to help make a difference at the state level to save education funding, said Pamela Contreras, ASI vice president for external. CSU Stanislaus is competing against California State University, Humboldt to get the most students registered to vote and whoever loses has to wear the other school’s mascot costume.
“Our main goal is to make people aware of what is going on,” Huerta said.
Many of the students that gathered for the rally on Thursday — or were just walking by — appreciated the campus organizations getting the word out there.
“It is really encouraging that our student representatives are making sure we are educated on topics and they give us the opportunity to voice our opinions,” said Ellie McCracken, senior at CSU Stanislaus. “They make it easy for us to share our opinions and be heard.”
“They are trying to make us graduate on time but how can we graduate on time when the classes we need aren’t even offered,” she said.
By the time of the rally on Thursday, the state budget had not been passed leaving the level of funds for education unknown to students.
“With the budget not passed, we can possibly get a 5 percent fee hike in January,” Huerta said. To contact Maegan Martens, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.