With a new semester under way at CSUN, students arrive back to campus with more questions and a sense of urgency. The California budget crisis has seem to hit an all time low this fiscal year. CSUN alone will face close to five hundred eighty five million dollar budget cut. Professors are forced to take nine furlough days this fall in addition to a ten percent pay cut. However the Professors are not the only CSUN regulars feeling the pinch. Tuition has gone up to almost three thousand dollars and finical aid has been decreased. Universities across the country are facing budget cuts as well, but California seems to be taking a more drastic route.
There is more to be outraged about than raised tuition and decreased pay, our education is in serious jeopardy. With over crowed class rooms and professors being forced to take furlough days, we the students are being cheated. Most might think having less classes is cool, I feel it is severally handicapping our ability to learn and to succeed in the future. With less class meetings the amount of information we should be learning is decreased. Mean while students at other universities remain in eighteen week semesters learning what the furlough days have taken away. With over three million college students in the state of California, this year’s financial irresponsibility could be the end to higher education here in California. Which in itself is another scary issue. With less out of state students interested in coming to over crowded universities with over worked and under paid professors, the economy will take another huge hit. Furthermore the top professors California has fought to maintain will simply go else where. There is will be a decrease in the number of college graduates, which today’s society has grown to depend on.
“It’s going to be harder for me to continue to be in school,” said Nancy Santana, 25, a single mother who attends San Diego’s Miramar College and worries her financial aid will be reduced. “I may be forced to cut school and find a job without a degree.”
California’s once prestigious higher education system has now become little more than a joke. What would be incoming freshmen are going out of state and graduate students are looking else where as well. I myself am graduating from CSUN in May 2010. I am looking for graduate programs, however none are in California. I do not want to pay higher tuition for over crowded classrooms and irritated professors. Once students move to another state for a better quality education, the likelihood of them returning to work in an economically challenge state is extremely low. This is not just a CSUN issue, this is a state wide issue that desperately needs to be taken seriously before it is too late.
The UC system, which has about 220,000 students, is raising student fees by 9 percent, reducing freshman enrollment by 6 percent and cutting at least $300 million from the budgets of its 10 campuses. UC is forcing most of its 180,000 employees to take furloughs and pay cuts of up to 10 percent, which officials say will make it harder to stop competing universities from poaching academic stars.
There is a “Vent Tent” on the CSUN campus. I assume the media is covering this crisis on other campuses as well. I encourage all students to speak their minds. Because without action, there will be no results. Being cheated out of a month of learning is not cool, it will effect our ability to find careers in the future.
Throughout the day, students at a “Vent at the Tent” event signed petitions or aired their complaints on videotape, to be forwarded to Gov.Arnold Schwarzenegger. Students spoke of higher fees, of being shut out of classes, of losing financial aid. And of being unable to graduate. Some faculty members, who lost 10 percent of their income to furloughs, spoke of being on the verge of financial collapse.