We feel that we have been successful on many levels:
a) We have met with Chancellor Reed and will meet again with him with in the next two weeks. There was much video of Chancellor Reed taken where he publicly admits that his number one concern on CSU campuses is the happiness of the campus presidents. Not students, faculty, staff or even improving graduation rates. Chancellor Reed became upset and began yelling at students when we kept asking him about admin raises. He was also divisive by telling students that he didn't know why students were not upset that faculty received raises (see post below!). Video to follow.
The Chancellor also revealed information that will help students to expose information about the CSU auxiliary funds which will help us learn where "private" funding going and where it is actually supposed to be going to. This really puts the ball in our court, we just have to play it!
b) The Board of Trustees voted on a salary freeze for campus presidents!
Read about it here ------> http://www.citytowninfo.com/career-and-education-news/articles/csu-board-of-trustees-freeze-pay-raises-for-presidents-12051101
c) We relieved media attention on a international scope! There was also a special investigation done my CBS Channel 2 news about the corrupt spending practices done by the CSU chancellor's office! Watch here ----> Investigation Reveals Questionable Spending By CSU Chancellor’s Office « CBS Los Angeles
d) California State Senator Ted Lieu has issued a request for Chancellor Reed to resign in light of the information in the CBS special report!
e) Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom has requested to meet with students about the hunger strike and our goals next week!
How exciting is that! Our work has not been in vain! We stand strong!
Students End Hunger Strike on Day 12
Tired and weak, they break their fast celebrating Senator Leiu’s call for Reed’s Resignation
For the past several years, students from across the state have participated in many different types of protests against fee increases and executive compensations. Many have even attended every single Board meeting to personally testify and share their struggles to the Board of Trustees. Each time, their stories and struggles were acknowledged with silence and at times discourteous responses. It is due to their callous and distasteful leadership, 12 CSU students launched a hunger strike on May 2, 2012. The 12 students started the hunger strike at their respective campuses: CSU Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Northridge, Sacramento, and San Bernardino. One of the hunger strikers explained, “Chancellor Reed and the Board of Trustees are using the budget crisis as a reason to radically restructure CSU into a more corporate, privatized university system.”
Despite protests, legislative criticism, and 12 students fasting, the CSU Board of Trustees continued with their agenda to again discuss executive pay increase at their meeting on May 8 and 9. Students decided to protest at Chancellor Reed’s house; who was hosting Trustees and Campus presidents for a dinner party. Trustee Glazer came out to talk with students. He stated how proud he was that, “today, we voted to freeze salary increases for campus presidents.” What he forgot to mention was that the new amendment will allow presidents to receive a higher pay than their predecessors through auxiliaries; these groups range from the student bookstore to the student paper to privately funded foundations. More importantly, the approximately 90 such groups scattered across the state will not be limited in the amount they give to new presidents. According to an article in the SFGate, “three CSU presidents and Chancellor Reed receive extra pay from foundations. Reed's salary is $451,500, including $30,000 from the CSU Foundation.”
At the Board meeting on Wednesday, Donnie Bessom, a hunger striker addressed the Trustees, "Last night I looked through the window of Chancellor Reed's house and I saw a young woman serving all the trustees and presidents their food. I wondered if she heard about Raiza Arias, age 18, who was hospitalized this week because she wanted to risk her health and fight against the privatization of the CSU.” Although Raiza is better now, students felt the medical need to also end the hunger strike. As of midnight this morning, the CSU hunger strike officially ended. While, none of their demands were met and Chair Linschied never met with students, they feel this phase of their campaign was a victory. As a result of student outcries and the CBS investigative report, Senator Ted Lieu wrote a letter to Chancellor Reed, “You publicly stated that the taxpayer money was “absolutely” well spent. If the allegations are true and you continue to maintain your position that taxpayer funds should be spent in this manner, then you need to resign. At a time when you are making drastic cuts and raising tuition fees on students, spending taxpayer money to subsidize your lifestyle and those of already well-paid CSU presidents is shameful.”
SQE hoped their action brought a voice to the 40,000 students who have been turned away from the CSU due to lack of priorities and mismanagement of funds. “We are committed and ready to continue exposing the corruption that exists under Reed’s leadership. If we don’t stand up and do something about it, the door to a public CSU can be closed forever” affirmed Natalie Dorado, a hunger striker from CSU San Bernardino. SQE has gained tons of support from other students, faculty, staff, and parents of future college students and will be reaching out to State Legislators to work on putting their criticisms of Chancellor Reed’s leadership into concrete changes within the CSU structure.
Students for Quality Education (SQE) is a statewide student group on 18 CSU campuses founded by students in 2007. SQE is committed to build a statewide student movement to address the educational injustices and attacks on students, faculty and staff in the California State University system. www.csusqe.org