California’s Crisis of Higher Education

by E Wayne Ross on October 27, 2009

IndyMeida: California’s Crisis of Higher Education

On October 21, 2009 – hundreds of students at Fresno State walked out of their classrooms and held a rally at the university’s Peace Garden to protest the massive cuts to higher education and the California State University system. Students voiced their concerns with the unprecedented tuition increases, canceled classes, furloughed faculty and staff, and reduced enrollment opportunities. They then took their message to the sidewalks and streets of the campus calling out to students, faculty, and staff to take a stand and join the walk out. Many did. By the time the march reached Shaw and Cedar Avenues, all four street corners were overflowing with students speaking out on behalf of themselves and the future of higher education in the state. “I hope that this walkout will increase community awareness that the budget cuts to the CSU are delaying our graduations, forcing would-be students out, and creating a precedent that “its ok” to cut education when really funding education gives back in more ways than one,” explained Whitney Thompson, a women’s studies major at Fresno State and a spokesperson for Students for Quality Education, the organization spearheading the event. At the end of the march, the students presented Dr. Welty with a list of demands, which Welty indicated he would address at a later meeting.