The Lumberjack

Rallies at the State Capitol for sufficient CSU funding

Students embrace during speech at the rally. Photo by Dajonea Robinson.

Students, faculty and allies of the California State University system from all 23 campuses made the journey to the State Capitol to send Gov. Jerry Brown a message, it is time to fully fund the CSU.

Video by Dajonea Robinson.

Allison Rafferty is a biology major and was one of many students who came down on a bus from Humboldt State to join the demonstrations on April 4. Rafferty rode down to represent HSU and to call for funding for the CSU system.

“I request Gov. Brown to consider opening the fund that he’s allocated for CSU,” Rafferty said. “The CSU requested money and Gov. Jerry Brown approved a third of that. Right now, they’re in revisions. In May, they’re going to post their revisions and in June, they’re going to propose the final budget that goes to a vote.”

Rafferty hopes more funding will come through so people in her major and others will be able to get classes and graduate on time.

HSU student warns others of the potential outcome of funding crisis. Photo by Dajonea Robinson.

Jacqueline Delgado is also an HSU student. Delgado decided to come to the Capitol to stand in solidarity with everyone and to get justice for Josiah Lawson.

“I’m also here to get [Justice for Josiah] and this unsolved murder to be recognized. It is an unsolved murder of a fellow student that was murdered a year ago in Humboldt County,” Delgado said. “The school and the county does not recognize that this happened. It has been an entire year that nothing has been happening and we’re trying to get this movement to be heard. We will no longer be silenced.”

David Bradfield is the California Faculty Association representation chair and board of directors member who now lives in Humboldt County. Bradfield spent 34 years teaching music and digital media arts at CSU Dominguez Hills. Bradfield decided to take the trip down to the Capitol.

“I care very deeply. I spent 34 years teaching at Dominguez Hills and I care very deeply about the mission that we do, the people that do that mission and the people that we serve,” Bradfield said.

Reza Sadeghzadeh is a communications major at HSU. Sadeghzadeh traveled with his peers to the Capitol from HSU to express concern of the insufficient funds of the budget.

“Since they cut the whole CSU budget, we’re going to see a tremendous negative effect on our campus. A lot of professors are being laid off, activities and cultural centers are being defunded, so it’s a very serious issue,” Sadeghzadeh said. “The governor really needs to understand that the students here and the students in the CSU are the future of the welfare of California. In order to thrive as a state, we need to take care of the foundation, which is the students.”

HSU students not only stand in solidarity with fellow CSU peers during the rally, but demand justice for their fellow student. Photo by Dajonea Robinson.

Elizabeth Phillips is a student on campus who also came down on the bus from HSU.

“Students like me who need an education are about to be priced out of our education. Education is not for the people, it’s not supposed to be free. They don’t want us to get an education so we’re stuck working the remedial jobs,” Phillips said. “We need to see more people of color being a part of the faculty. The only way we’re going to get there is if we can afford to get in the door. I’m $25,000 in debt just from two years at HSU. That’s a lot of money, and for other students, I don’t want them to take on that burden. So I’m here for the future, and I’m here for me, now.”

Phillips works for the Multicultural Center as the social justice summit co-coordinator. Phillips is also a part of a loose coalition of students who started the walkout for WASC to protest the budget cuts.

“I worry that if we give the CSU full funding for free tuition, the students will get it for the first couple of years, but then after, people get greedy and start skimming the surfaces,” Phillips said. “I’m happy that we’re here, but I want people to keep a watch and understand we don’t need as many administrators as we have. We need more students and faculty, counselors–there’s other stuff that we need that we’re just not allocating our resources correctly. Everyone needs to watch out for the future.”