It is official! Today is the 31st day since an SQE rep issued a request to meet with BOT representatives to discuss the four suggestions that we have developed to help deal with the current issues that reside in the CSU system. Today CSU students have announced that 13 students will be launching a hunger strike May 2nd at 6 CSU campuses.
Here is the official press release:
April 27, 2012
Contact: Noor Qwfan, Students for Quality Education
(661) 477-2931; noorqwfan@gmail
Mildred Garcia, Students for Quality Education
CSU Students Poised to Launch Hunger Strike
Student Debt Tops $1 Trillion Leaving Students Hungry for Change
Long Beach, CA – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau officials say student debt is rising for several reasons, including tuition increases—which many colleges say are needed to offset big cuts in state funding—have many students taking out bigger loans to pay for their public education. Along with threats of denying access to 16,000 students by freezing enrollment, more fee increases in Fall 2012, loss of faculty and staff who provide essential teaching and services to students, Chancellor Charles Reed and Chair Robert Linschied continue to approve salary increases to campus presidents who will be doing the same job as they did at another CSU campus.
On March 20th, Students for Quality Education (SQE) presented a set of solutions to Chancellor Reed and Chair Lisncheid. They also requested to meet with them both to discuss their concerns and solutions. Hours before their press call the morning of April 27th, SQE submitted an Open Letter to Chancellor Reed and Chair Lisnchied “as a formal request and second attempt to schedule a meeting.” On the press call, students discussed the background of SQE's fight, and the demands that students have put together. Donnie Besson, a graduate student at CSU Long Beach began the press call stating, “CSU students have fought back against budgets cuts to education and we've tried just about everything you can think to prevent the dismantling of our public university system. We've lobbied our state legislators, we've mobilized thousands to our state capital, and we've presented new strategies to our Board of Trustees so that we can change the course and try efficient alternatives.”
Chair Robert Linscheid’s response dated April 17th, failed to genuinely address students’ concerns and request to meet. Instead, he wrote, “you are welcomed to submit them [suggestions] to your elected student leaders.” It is due to their discourteous responses and callous leadership, SQE announced this morning that 12 CSU students from 6 CSU campuses will launch a hunger strike starting May 2, 2012. Yeimi Lopez from Sacramento State University declared, “Our classes have been cut and our programs slashed. We are thus taking the torch and are escalating our direct actions. We are taking a stand as students of California, for our sisters and brothers at the community colleges and K through 12.”
SQE is a statewide student group on 18 CSU campuses and is committed to addressing the educational injustices and inequities students are facing in the California State University system. For more information about Students for Quality Education and the hunger strike please visit our website at www.csusqe.org
And yes. I am one of those hunger strikers. I am ready to do this! I will start blogging my experiences starting today and will continue to update you over time. I started a twitter to keep you all updated.