Colleges set to rally against budget cuts in higher education
Zach Hannigan, Connection Staff
February 29, 2012
Filed under News
California community colleges and universities are coming together on March 5 for the March in March for Higher Education event to protest against public school budget cuts, according to the event’s website.
The protest is a student-driven mass event held annually for the last three years. This year’s march will begin at Southside Park at 10 a.m. and end on the steps of the Capitol, where a rally will be held at 11 a.m. Bus parking will be held at Raley Field in West Sacramento, according to the event’s website.
“The goal is to increase public awareness of the need to improve accessibility and affordability of public higher education in California,” Los Rios College Federation of Teachers President Jason Newman said in an email.
According to the event’s website, students are marching for lower fees, full-time faculty, counselors, affordable textbooks and more classes.
“The students will put an emphasis on the millionaires tax which they hope will generate more revenue for California colleges,” Newman said.
Associated Student Government senator Petra Duke Maxey said she expects approximately 5,000 students to attend the rally.
“We’ll come together at the capitol and we’ll protest the cuts to support services and the tuition increases,” Maxey said. “Those are some of our main concerns.”
Maxey said the rally will feature three student speakers who will voice their opinion about the budget cuts and the decline of higher education in California.
“I hope it puts a stamp for the assembly members and the senators about how important this is to students,” Maxey said.
The event is historically significant as the largest and most visible student protest movement in California. The March in March is supported by student and faculty organizations within community colleges, California State Universities and University of California systems, Newman said.
Cosumnes River College faculty is supporting the event by providing a bus with funds from the faculty union to bring students from Raley Field and back, Newman said.
Maxey reiterated the importance of this event and is excited to be a part of something bigger than herself.
“It’s one of those rare opportunities where you’re going to be with like-minded individuals and be a part of something special,” Maxey said.