Students, faculty to protest for CSU funding increase


Vincent Moleski - The State Hornet

Jorge Quintana, a leader with Students for Quality Education, leads a crowd in chants at a roundtable discussion in the Global Lounge on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Quintana is recruiting students for an April 4 protest about state funding of the CSU.

Will Coburn

The California Faculty Association is holding a rally on April 4 to call on Gov. Jerry Brown to increase funding for the California State University system in the 2018 budget.

The rally will be held on the north side of the State Capitol on April 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The association expects hundreds of students and faculty as well as labor and community allies to attend, with legislators planning to speak around noon.

Catering and shuttles from Sacramento State will be provided, with the shuttles running every half hour from the J Street roundabout on campus to the Capitol starting at 9:30 am.

Buses from other universities are also planned to bring students and faculty from every CSU as Brown has been singled out as the target for the protest, according to the association.

Sac State professor Nicki Mehta said she wants Brown to “ fully fund” the system to avoid tuition increases.

“It’s something we’ve been chanting and proposing for a long time,” Mehta said.

Associated Students, Inc. passed a joint resolution with Students for Quality Education in support of the action.

ASI will be tabling this week to promote the event and provide posters and signs for students to bring to the Capitol.

The current budget proposal from Brown increases the budget for the Cal State system by 1 percent, which doesn’t meet the projected inflation rate of 2.38 percent.

“Brown is hoping to add more funding to the rainy day fund for the next governor, and to do so he’s pulling from other programs such as higher education,” said ASI president Mia Kagianas.

Mehta expressed concern that not funding higher education more could lead to doing the very harm to the economy that Brown is worried about, and said that graduate and undergraduate degrees are the stepping stones for families out of poverty.

“It’s raining right now,” Mehta said. “I get needing to save when times are lean, but when things are good they still say the same thing.”

ASI is concerned that a budget shortfall could lead to continued tuition increases for students.

“I would like to see a commitment to funding higher education to the point where it would stop a tuition increase and funding in the future so we don’t have to focus on the budget,” Kagianas said. “Bottom line — we want to see a really big turnout of students involved to fight the tuition increase.”