Friday, April 15, 2011

April 15th Press Release from Sac State Student Protesters

We have organized some 1,500 students, faculty, and staff to rally in support of quality education. We then claimed a space from the admin for the purpose of promoting sustainable education. We were able to respectfully maintain that space to educate others, and ourselves and to develop leadership in a communal environment. Through these methods of direct action we were able to force administration to meet with students to hear their demands. Gonzalez was cooperative with students in developing a webpage discussing both student demands and his response to them on the CSUS website. Our efforts have been supported by the actions and shows of solidarity on an international, national, and statewide level.

We have reclaimed this space to bring attention to the three demands we have asked of President Gonzalez. Since then, we have been able to maintain our peaceful and nonviolent atmosphere with no property damage. While we’ve reclaimed this space, we have invited classes to use the area for learning and advocacy. Hundreds of students have been engaged with the issue of budget cuts, shared their personal stories, and shown their support for our continued occupation, including a group of high school students during an orientation. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members from other campuses have joined us in our efforts. Legislators have reached out to students as well, including Assembly member Dr. Richard Pan, and Senator Leland Yee. Students have also used this space to symbolically convey their concerns about the budget cuts through artistic expression including drawings, design, musical performances, and a spiritual cleansing of the administration building. In addition students have properly cleaned the area as well.

In response to President Gonzalez’s statement, we the students have not asked for the passage of these propositions, but for the public support of President Gonzalez. This is and always has been a fiscal issue. Despite the consistent tuition increases that students have been forced to endure, irresponsible spending and bloated administrative salaries have lead to the degradation of the quality of our education. Although President Gonzalez ambiguously stated that he would raise an unspecified issue of ours to the board of trustees of the next meeting, we will continue to hold him accountable for the lack of quality of our education as well as fight for his support in our cause regarding affordable, accessible and transparent CSU.

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