Last week I overheard two senior faculty members at UCLA discuss their plans for this Thursday's walkout. And, I hear that professors are holding teach-in's instead of classes on the 24th. Normally, I rarely see faculty, much less senior faculty, decide to join in protests over University budget cuts. I've been a student or staff member in the UC system since 2002, and I've seen 7 straight years of budget cuts from the state to the UC and 7 straight years of student fee increases at a University that prides itself as a "tuition free" institution. Every year the University and California has faced the "worst budget crisis" ever! This time the UC office of the Prez is proposing 32% increases in student fees!
The state of California is jacked up in how it runs the state budget with really out of wack priorities. It's embarassing to see that California is the ONLY state that spends more on prisons than on public higher education! So to balance the state budget, which is all crazy because of many things (see: 2/3 super-majority for budget vote, term limits, and three strikes), the state has continually cut funding to public higher education but increased prison funding. I learned at the July UC Regents meeting that during the Great Depression the state did not cut funding to public higher ed, AND the highest paid administrators and faculty voluntarily took pay cuts! But in today's UC, President Yudof and other top administrators continue to take in serious salaries and have even gotten raises! In my three years as a (lowly) staff member in the UC, I never even got a cost of living increase, and these guys get raises!
But I digress...
The point is... We won't take it ANYMORE!
In a University where 40% of the undergrads are Asian American, we have to take a stand!
In a University where 20% of the grad students are Asian American, we have to take a stand!
In a University where... ok, so there aren't a lot of faculty who are Asian American... but we have to all take a stand!
These budget cuts and fee hikes impact Asian Americans more so than others in California, simply by the simple fact that we make up large numbers of the students. STAND UP Asian Americans! Walk out this Thursday! Send a message to Sacramento that there are A LOT of us showing potential voting power (we will vote your asses out if you don't fix stuff NOW!) and to make ourselves heard since we don't have hardly a say in the dialogues that the UC Regents have at their meetings.