The following is a statement from the three Sac State students who went in solidarity to the Fullerton occupation:
Today we witnessed firsthand and participated in a truly amazing growing student movement. Early this week news reached us that CSU Fullerton had launched a sit-in campaign in their administration building. We immediately got into contact with them and we began to build a relationship via phone. They kept us briefed on their changing situation throughout the week. The Sac State Coalition was able to send solidarity pizza to show Cal State Fullerton support!
The dynamics of their struggle were markedly different from the occupation at Sac State last week. First of all their demands were calling for a meeting with President Gordon whereby they could draft a new joint resolution of school priorities. The students wrote the first draft, and the administration responded with their own version. The resolution exchanged hands in volley for four days. An agreement was finally reached Thursday April 21st around noon. Through dialogue with Vice President Dr. Silas Abrego and other administration representatives a collaborative resolution was drafted they both publicly support. Immediately after the meeting the students called a press conference and stated there compromise.
In comparison to Sac State’s sit-in, Fullerton administration demonstrated concern for student safety and support for student civic engagement. Administration allowed for doors to remain open to maintain air quality and allowed for food and supplies to come in. CSUF administration willingness to respectfully work with students as it was clear that it was a peaceful sit-in was portrayed by reports of only having two campus police patrolling at a time.
Our trip to Fullerton was inspired by student representatives from ten different campuses who joined Fullerton and of course by the courageous acts we witnessed here today. A feeling of gratitude, responsibility, and awe was present among students of different schools. A sense that civic engagement and taking our futures into our hands is exactly what needs to continue the student movement. Inter-campus communication and coordinated campaigns will be key to successfully advocate at a campus, board of trustee and legislative level. The Sac State Coalition was thanked profusely by Fullerton students as we were an “inspiration” for their struggle.
Our experience from first leaving Sacramento to then cheering with the Fullerton students as President Milton A. Gordon signed the “Statement in Defense of Public Education” assured us that we just ran our first lap of this very long marathon. We arrived early Thursday morning at three am. We cautiously approached the campus and searched for Langsdorf Hall. Expecting to meet a line of police we were instead greeted by a campus janitor emptying trash. We asked for directions and he walked us over to his work space office to show us a map. As we were all studying the map, one of us asked… ‘Well do you know where the student sit-in is being held?’…. He smiled and said ‘Oh! Why didn’t you say so?’ He then proceeded to open his jacket to show us his ‘Take Class Action’ shirt, and said in Spanish ‘Yea! I know about the students. You know this president lives in a very expensive house and I haven’t gotten a raise in five years.’ We told him we were here from Sacramento State to show solidarity and support and he extended his hand in gratitude and said ‘Muchisimas Gracias’.
It is clear that this campaign for state level reprioritizing in affordable, quality, and accessible education will go beyond college students. This campaign is about our communities and will spread into our homes to our parents, sisters, brothers and grandparents. It’s been a great experience and we are bringing back to the Sac State Coalition lessons learn and energy to continue to work for a state we all want to live in.
Estevan, Jesse, Yeimi
Sac State Coalition