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Students in Southern California, including many who are participating in the hunger strike protested at Chancellor Reeds front door. Reed was giving a dinner party that night where other Trustees attended.
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LONG BEACH (CBS) — The chancellor of Cal State Long Beach got an earful from outraged students Tuesday night, as he threw a pricey party.
Assisted by an ear-splitting bullhorn siren, a couple dozen protesting students made their presence known outside the dinner at the home of Cal State Chancellor Charles Reed.
They chanted, “Reed, reed, stop the greed, give the students what they need.”
The students were angry about what they felt was outrageous spending by the leaders of the Cal State system at a time when students and faculty were being called upon to make sacrifices.
“So when you see them make decisions, like raise our fees by 9 percent and then raise the salary of San Diego State University President Elliot Hirshman by $100,000, there’s a clear, huge disconnect,” said Dave Inga, a graduate student at Cal State Fullerton.
Many of the Cal State leaders, who attended the dinner, including board of trustee members and some university presidents, were greeted at the sidewalk outside Reed’s house by the protestors.
Chancellor Reed, who greeted them at the door, kept his distance.
Reed was the subject of an exclusive reportthis week by CBS2/KCAL9 Investigative Reporter David Goldstein. The report exposed excessive spending on dinners and transportation, among other things, totally nearly three quarters of a million dollars.
“Alright, do we really need to spend $5,000 on a dinner or 35 bottles of wine,” one protestor questioned?
One Cal State Trustee, Steven Glazer, senior adviser to Governor Jerry Brown, walked out to talk with the student protestors.
“How can you possibly justify getting housing and car allowances when you’re making six figures and you’re telling your students, that are starving and getting put out on the street, that they’re not allowed to get classes. And that they can’t fight and that they can’t eat,” a protestor asked Glazer.
“I voted against all the pay increases for the university presidents over the past year. And I was happy that today, as a board policy, we have now frozen presidential salaries,” Glazer said to the crowd.
A spokesperson for the Cal State system said that the dinner was paid for with foundation funding, not out of taxpayer money.
The board of trustees will wrap up its two-day meeting on Wednesday.
Local students go on a hunger strike and join students in southern California, to try and force Chancellor Reeds hand.
Read the article below:
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — Angry about tuition increases and cuts in courses and enrollment, a dozen students atCalifornia State University have taken their protest beyond marches — their usual tactic — and declared a hungerstrike.
On Thursday, the second day of the fast, supporters were preparing a kale, apple and celery juice concoction for the protesters at the Northridge campus. The students have pledged to forgo solid food for at least a week, perhaps longer if the administration does not move to meet some of their demands, which include a five-year moratorium on student fee increases and a rollback of executive salaries to 1999 levels.
The fasting protest was the latest display of anger at the 23 California State University campuses. The system has lost roughly $970 million in state financing since 2008, and administrators have said they have no choice but to increase tuition.
But while California’s governor and Legislature are responsible for the state budget that the system relies on, university administrators have received the brunt of student and faculty furor. Protesters say the administration has allocated too much money for their own salaries and perks, and not enough for faculty and facilities. Negotiations with the faculty union have broken down.
“It’s like they forget that we’re the reason the university exists,” said Sarah Garcia, one of four students at the Northridge campus who is participating in the fast. “What we have now is so much less than we thought we would be getting when we enrolled here.”
Ms. Garcia, a sophomore majoring in deaf studies, said she is taking only one required class this semester because she was unable to enroll in any others.
Ms. Garcia voiced her frustration to prospective students touring campus on Friday, even as she encouraged them to enroll. As visitors passed a table with information from the protesters, she asked them to sign a petition supporting their efforts. As they signed, another student prepared the juice concoction for the protesters.
Faculty members, too, are moving to express their displeasure. The union representing faculty members, which has been supportive of the student protests, announced last week that members had voted to authorize a rolling strikeat campuses statewide after efforts to reach an agreement on a contract stalled after nearly two years of negotiations.
The rolling two-day strike, which would most likely take place in the fall, would be the largest in state history and would affect more than 400,000 students, the union said.
Faculty members on two campuses, Dominguez Hills and East Bay, held a strike last fall, the first in the faculty union’s nearly three-decade history. The union has asked for a 1 percent raise and says administrators have asked to freeze faculty salaries, which have not increased since 2008.
But even more concerning than the salary issue, they say, is the university’s reliance on part-time lecturers, some of whom teach a full load of courses but do not have tenure. Those lecturers make roughly $50,000 a year, about half of what a tenured professor makes.
University officials are trying to end a policy that automatically renews contracts for such lecturers; the union is arguing that such a change would limit academic freedom.
Emily Magruder, a humanities lecturer at Dominguez Hills, said that when she began teaching eight years ago, she had about 45 students in each class. Now, she said, her classes have ballooned to 60.
“You can’t have the contact you want to have with students, and you spend an enormous amount of time grading,” she said. “Research is supposed to be the backbone of academia, but to survive economically, this is the only choice.”
Since the 2007-8 school year, tuition at California State University has climbed to $5,472, from $2,772. Tuition is higher during the summer sessions, which many students rely on to take courses that otherwise fill up quickly.
The anger escalated last year when San Diego State University hired a new president with a salary of $400,000, about $100,000 more than his predecessor, while increasing tuition by 12 percent. In January, the board of trustees approved a plan to freeze the use of state money for pay increases until 2014, although they will continue to allow individual campuses to use money from private donors and foundations when it is “deemed necessary.”
The system’s financial situation could become even worse. If voters do not approve a tax measure on the November ballot pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the system will face another $200 million cut, which administrators have said would force them to further cut enrollment, eliminate roughly 3,000 faculty and staff positions and shutter some academic and athletic programs.
Already, enrollment on most campuses will be frozen next spring, and campuses limit the number of courses students can enroll in.
“The budget has made it extremely difficult to do what we want,” said Mike Uhlenkamp, a spokesman for the chancellor. “We are really burdened by what is going on in the state, but we don’t control purse strings. Putting a moratorium on tuition increases sounds great, but if we would have done that five years ago, we would have lost many more students.”
Mr. Uhlenkamp said that most administrators had not had a raise in five years and that the increases were needed to attract top candidates.
But doing so could become more difficult. “California was once the model system, and now that seems to be breaking down at every level,” said Ronald G. Ehrenberg, the director of the Higher Education Research Institute at Cornell. “Cal State was the opportunity that many of the poorest students in the state had to make it into the middle class. By forcing them to restrict enrollment numbers, you’re almost eating the seed corn of the future.”
Calling all students!
Wednesday, April 25th from 12:30-2:30 in the Orchard suite of the union. We will be having a Strike School. It will be a teach in to educate students about what is going on with the faculty strike vote, how students can support, and a look at current student strikes.
Mediation efforts to reach a new contract for the CSU faculty broke down on Friday after months of meetings. The good news is that the Chancellor’s representatives have pulled some of their take-back proposals off the table. Our mobilization efforts are working, but we are not done yet. The Strike Vote will begin Monday, April 16. I encourage you to vote Monday at Noon in the Library Breezeway.
You probably saw the email that went out yesterday afternoon from Vice-Chancellor for Human Resources, Gail Brooks. Sadly, not everything in that email was accurate. Brooks wrote that her side would like to bargain a contract, but she apparently was not informed by her staff that on Friday they refused CFA’s suggestion to return to face-to-face bargaining.
What is further left out by Brooks is any mention of the Chancellor’s failure to respond to CFA proposals about a variety of key issues: workload, shared governance, academic freedom, salary (including payment of raises agreed-upon in the past and not paid by the Chancellor), and intellectual property, to mention a few outstanding issues.
While there was some movement toward resolving a few issues of contention, when CFA proposed the sides actually return to the bargaining table to hammer out a settlement, Chancellor Reed’s representatives and consultants refused.
Since the Chancellor’s representatives walked away from the table, the mediator officially moved us forward to the next step in the legislatively-mandated process: fact finding with a neutral third party (non-binding).
The new developments make the strike vote that begins on Monday all the more pressing. We must keep up the pressure for the Chancellor to actually settle our contract. In short, the CSU proposals involve maintenance of “status quo” contract provisions currently in force on some issues, a series of take-backs on other issues, and no movement on a number of major CFA proposals. Doing so would make this round of negotiations the first time in the history of collective bargaining that the CSU faculty has accepted a contract whose main changes consisted solely of take-backs. We simply cannot agree to a contract on these terms.This is unacceptable. Our colleagues have gone without agreed-upon raises, have accepted furloughs, and have endured huge increases in workload to help the CSU weather the economic crisis of the last few years. Faculty deserve better. Students deserve better.
Voting will begin Monday, April 16 on whether union members will grant the CFA board of directors the authority to call a strike if the legally required bargaining process comes to an end without a settlement. I encourage you to vote Monday at Noon in the Library Breezeway.
President, CFA Capitol ChapterAssoc.
Prof. of SociologyCSU Sacramento
On March 1st students rallied together to support the fight for Higher Ed. 350 students rallied in the middle of the school and then marched around campus to show the administration that the unfair cuts, mismanagement of funds, and the lack of respect for education has to stop!
Tomorrow, March 1st Sac State students will rally together and stand united for higher education. This is our time to show the administration that we as students will no longer take their abuse. We will no longer allow them to raise our tuition, forcing our departments to cut classes, and we demand accountability!
They should be doing their job, instead they are abusing their power. Where is the money going? To give Presidents raises? That money should be going to student services. Give us the classes we need! Give us the teachers! Give us the quality education we are paying for!
If you believe in this, then come to the library quad at noon, and stand in solidarity with other students who believe in an affordable, accessible, and a quality education.