Budget Cuts

By Amanda Newfield

As students of this institution, it is our responsibility to
fight for our right to receive our expensive education in its
entirety.

Our fees have been increased and our professors are being forced
to teach us fewer days each quarter. We should be enraged, but
we’re not.

Is my generation really this apathetic?

There are a few students on campus who really care. Some even go
as far as holding up signs and chanting rhymes to get the attention
of the administration.

But the vast majority of students on this campus sit back and go
with the flow.

This quarter, Pizza with the President’s was renamed Brown Bag
with the Presidentsbecause when your school is laying off
professors and cutting classes, giving out free pizza to students
seems irresponsible, to put it politely.

As many of us witnessed, this quarter’s Brown Bag with the
Presidents turned into Protest with the Presidents, with members of
Students for Quality Education demonstrating from one end of campus
to the other, ending their march at the event.

At the event, President Michael Ortiz had little encouraging
news about cuts for the 2009-10 school year.

“We’re asking you to pay more and get less, we’re asking the
staff to work more and get less, so all of us are suffering because
of the situation we’re in,” he said.

As the Editor in Chief of this publication, I have the
opportunity to become very familiar with the news of this campus,
especially news concerning budget issues.

Going into this year, I was sure my peers would be livid upon
realizing the extent of the cuts being made to their school, cuts
that affect the quality of the education we receive.

But when the first few weeks of class had gone by, not much had
changed.

Students continued to come to school and then leave without
questioning why their education had been watered-down and why their
fees had been increased so drastically.

Ortiz has previously said that this is not the end of cuts for
Cal Poly. The years to come will be some of the most difficult
years this school has faced.

My question is, when will the students of this school care
enough to take a stand?

“Furlough Friday” has become the new cool thing to say, yet
those two words represent a nearly 10 percent cut that our faculty
and staff are facing.

I understand the entire nation is afflicted with this economic
turmoil, but why does education have to suffer to this extent?

The CSU system was founded with the ideal that people have the
right to be educated, and I believe this right is now being
threatened.

Our legislature has been slashing our higher education system
and we, the students, are allowing it.

We are fighting the university president, who does not have the
power to put the state cut-$30.8 million back into Cal Poly’s
budget, when we should be fighting the ones who made these cuts in
the first place.

We are on the right track with “Vent at the Tent” and the
letters that were created to be sent to the CSU board of trustees,
few students took the time to fill out the form to voice their
concerns.

The cuts and the threats of continued hardship should wake
students up. Our education is slipping through our fingers. There
are no second chances in this game. The time to act is now.

Reach Amanda Newfield at:
editorinchief@thepolypost.com

Social norms aren

Social norms aren’t normal

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