Timothy White, chancellor of the California State University, held an open forum on Tuesday, May 3 in the University Theater.
The forum, held as part of White’s tour of the 23 campuses in the CSU system, featured opening remarks from White and Associated Students, Inc. President Melissa Bardo followed by a question and answer session.
“I think of us often as the three-legged stool,” White said. “We need a strong and robust student body, faculty, and staff as well. If you think about those three legs of the stool, if any one leg became fragile or shorter relative to the others, then the stool would tilt, and at some point it would fall over.”
After White’s brief remarks about his visit and the general state of the CSU system, White fielded questions from attendees, such as Denise Fernandez, a former Sacramento State student and member of CSU Students for Quality Education.
“Quality of education is achievable — European countries have it,” Fernandez said. “You talk about achieving [students’] dreams, but how can you do that with the rate of inflation? You talk about funding —what about Proposition 13, or your salary?”
Fernandez also demanded answers from White on behalf of underrepresented students at Sac State.
“How will you make sure there will be equity…as chancellor, what are you going to do to make sure we have a more equitable CSU system?” Fernandez asked.
Sacramento State professor of bilingual and multicultural education and the vice president of the Sacramento chapter of the California Faculty Association, Margarita Berta-Avila, also spoke during the forum, showing support for students.
“Every day students here on this campus are struggling…to have an education, [and] have access to education, while they are simultaneously working two or three jobs,” Berta-Avila said. “You just shared you have [had] similar experiences. So you can relate and understand the frustration and sense of desperation that many of our students feel when they see that those goals and achievements that they have been working hard for might not be obtainable for them.”
White responded to a question Berta-Avila had by assuring the audience that the CSU system is committed to the well-being of underserved students on campus.
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