Monday, May 14, 2012

Address to the Board of Trustees

It feels so good to have solid food again! Don't everyone jump up to cook for me now, there is plenty of time and room in my stomach for everyone to feed me lol Just kidding but seriously despite the minor discomfort from my stomach getting used to solids again, its great to have my energy up! I'm really looking forward to being able to work out again. It's a long slow process in which I systematically introduce foods back into my diet.
Here it is, the address that I gave on Wednesday to the Board of Trustees. Since then, I have thanked President Karnig and spoke to Trustee Lou Monville today at the welcome reception for the new campus president at CSUSB. Hope you enjoy it...

Good morning, my name is Natalie Dorado. I am an Economics Major at Cal State San Bernardino. I am an organizer for Students for Quality Education and am one of the students who have been on hunger strike for 8 days now. We are tired but our spirits are strong. This hunger strike is one of the first of its kind in history getting international attention.  We have been fueled to step up our work even more around our work surrounding our four demands to bring a life of dignity for students.
1.       Five year moratorium on fee increases
2.       The elimination of campus presidents car and housing allowances
3.       Reverting admin salaries to 1999 levels
4.       The extension of free speech zones to include the entire campus
We put forth these demands because of the very concerning state that the CSU is in due to the failed leadership of the system.
What is even more concerning as a student is the chancellor’s tactics when talking and meeting with students, he kept telling students that he didn’t know why students weren’t angry that faculty received raises.
The Chancellor was also divisive as a leader by telling students that he feels the primary concern on the CSU campuses is to keep campus presidents happy, not students, not faculty , not staff or even the goal of increasing graduation rates. Less and less students are able to graduate on time system wide due to course load caps and unavailability of classes.
His public admission of this is evidence of the things that we have come to play on a system that was intended to be the people’s university, not a place for profit to be gained. The CSU is the people’s university where as a people we can dream, as a people we can hope and grow strong in knowledge so that we can give back to society and foster these dreams in future generations.
Our faculty is the embodiment of these dreams and desires. Many CSU faculties are graduates of this very system. Faculties are in a fight for a life of dignity in a system that they give their lives to. They give their passion and strength to students every week, after week.
Our campus communities feel a fire now building with the passion of the collective injustices done to us by this governing board. We feel the fire and the urgentness of this fight to defend our system from attacks from our state and board of trustee mismanagement. We feel that our system has been taken from us, has been corrupted, perverted and twisted into something that demoralizes students and our communities.
We are here to tell you that we refuse to be demoralized by your failed leadership. And your failure to keep your promise Chancellor Reed for a quality system in which we can all participate.
We are fighting for our lives. We are fighting for our future and we are fighting for justice. We will continue to fight to reclaim what is ours. We will continue to stand in solidarity with faculty, campus employees and campus presidents hand and hand, now harder than ever. Like JFK said “If not us than who? If not now than when? “
We write history now. Now is your chance to be part of our movement to make this state even greater. Please step up to the challenge and serve the people who the system belongs to. Thank you and Thank you again to President Karnig.

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