HAYWARD, Calif. - Students and faculty at California State University in East Bay marched April 13 to the administration's offices, and then occupied the building in protest. Organized by Students for a Quality Education and the California Faculty Association, the civil disobedience was in protest of budget cuts and fee increases for students, and cutbacks on staff and benefits, while administrators' salaries are increased.
The building occupation demanded the resignation of CSU Chancellor Chuck Reed and a list of other demands discussed and adopted during the occupation. Similar building occupations took place on other campuses. Some students wore face paint with scars symbolizing the painful slashing impact of budget cuts.
Before the march and building occupation, students and faculty organized a "People's University." Workshops talked about the attack on education and the rights of public workers, especially teachers, throughout the U.S., as well as campus issues that included lack of childcare, parking and student services. Other demands included democratizing the state university's board of trustees, budget transparency, fair treatment for unions and workers, and a recommitment to the California Master Plan for Higher Education.
According to the California Faculty Association, "the California State University has lost some $1 billion, let go more than 3000 faculty, slashed course offerings and tripled student fees. Tens of thousands of eligible students have been turned away or given up because of rising costs and inability to get necessary classes."
Photo: David Bacon/PW