Monarchs protest budget cuts

Proposition 30 was a funding band aid placed over a gushing wound.

By:  Brittany Bagwell, Valley Life Editor

 

The socialist club and ASU joint protest Thursday highlighted the steady erosion of school funding here at Valley College. About 30 students marched on campus with banners and bull horns demanding the return of much needed services. The continual deep cuts to the campus budget have had far reaching detrimental effects for students and faculty.

Brandon De La Rosa, a chemical engineering major was a member of Valley College’s track team before the program was cut. “A lot of kids were relying on this for scholarships, this hinders our future endeavors. The programs coaches were fired and forced to take assistant coaching jobs at other colleges. People who are still on the team have to take the bus 2 hours to West LA for the track meets.” said De La Rosa.

Minh Tran highlighted the challenges to students who are at a financial disadvantage and for whom community colleges may be their last chance build a future for themselves. “We have fewer classes, less library hours, less tutoring.” Said Tran “Why don’t the LACCD board members take a pay cut? Why is it on the backs of the students? It is not fair to blame the students; they have been failed by the system.”

Tran is right. Community colleges are often the last stop for students to pull themselves up.  Many students need a lot of resources to succeed, and these resources have been steadily stripped away in the name of balancing the budget, which still remains unbalanced.

Albert Sarian, sociology major and president of the socialist club gave a speech that summed up the feelings of many who were in attendance “We’re sick and tired of classes being cut, stuffed full like sardine cans. We’re sick of our professor being laid off.”

Philosophy professor Zack Knorr marched alongside the student protesters at the rally “The district has a rainy day fund, we need this now. We need to advocate for community colleges.”

The marchers stopped to chant in front of the administration building where a vote for the next president of Valley College was being held.  Alexi Johnson, sociology major outgoing ASU president spoke to the marchers “We need a president who is going to advocate for students. Prop 30 was just a band-aid.”

A board covered with band aids was brought out that asked students how the budget cuts affected them at Valley. Each band aid was a student’s experience, each one another obstacle to graduation, each one a barrier to success. The board of band aids was completely covered in 10 minutes.

All students are encouraged to attend the second protest march on Thursday May 22 at 1pm in Monarch Square to lend their voices and help reverse the decline of higher education at Valley College.

Your thoughts?