By Amanda Newfield
Students protesting the cancellation of summer school chanted
“cut your salaries, fund the university” as they filed into Ursa
Major of the Bronco Student Center for a meeting with University
Michael Ortiz Thursday, June 11 at noon.
The protestors demonstrated in the form of a study-in and
literally camped out with tents across from the library after
receiving the email sent to all students stating that all summer
classes were canceled due to a $400 million to $700 million
projected state budget cut to the CSU system.
Emotions were high as students expressed individual and
“The purpose of the study-in is to show the university that
we’re watching, that they can’t make these without our
consultation,” said Chris Rodriguez, a graduating gender ethnicity
and multi cultural student, who was one of the students
demonstrating this past week.
Rodriguez, along with many others, expressed a collective
concern rather than individual issues at the forum.
“Even though it’s finals week it doesn’t mean that we are not
paying attention, or that we will stop studying, because we care
about our education,” Rodriguez said. “We are also going to let the
university know that we are not content with the way they have
managed our funds. We feel there needs to be a reevaluation, and a
restructuring of the administration.”
Rodriguez expressed strong feelings about the situation as he
and other demonstrators held signs and brought up questions for
Ortiz and other administrators during the open discussion.
“The administration has shown no dignity in the work that they
do,” Rodriguez said. “In fact it’s just an insult to students.”
Other students expressed a call for unity across Cal Poly,
rather than pointing the finger at the administration.
Student and outgoing ASI Vice President Marcy Daramola believes
the dialogue between students and faculty should be strong in order
to pull through this difficult economic time.
“As ASI Vice President it is fitting that this comes at the end
of our term because it’s something that Jeff [Weintraub] and I have
believed in this whole year, transparency,” Daramola said.
Daramola expressed her belief that the administration is acting
on behalf of the welfare of the students.
“They are not trying to screw students over,” Daramola said.
“Without us they don’t have a job. I don’t agree with every
decision they make, but they are here to serve students. I truly
trust the administration, having worked with them this whole
Daramola believes students have the right to voice their
opinions but also feel students should do their homework and
understand completely what they are protesting.
“If you walk through the BSC, there is a pie chart that tells
you where the money goes,” Daramola said. “The information is out
there. If you don’t take advantage of it then you can’t complain
because you didn’t take that extra step.”
Ortiz was the main administrator answering questions and
concerns during the forum and expressed his frustration with the
“I didn’t create this budget problem, but it is my
responsibility to deal with it,” Ortiz said.
Despite the heated nature of the meeting Ortiz assured students
that he was going to make decisions with their best interests in
“All decisions that I’ve made since I’ve been here have always
looked at the needs of the students. They have not always been
popular decisions but that’s always been my first priority,” Ortiz
The decision to cancel summer courses was ultimately made by
Ortiz along with a team of administrators.
“I’m looking at how I can provide services to the students in
the fall winter and spring quarters without reducing those
significantly and summer cancelation appeared to be the only
solution,” he said.
For more specific information regarding summer courses visit the
summer school 2009 website
Ortiz addresses summer school cancellation
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