Stand Up for California: CSU Fresno students fight to keep the doors open

“Keep the dream alive.” That was the message at Cal State Fresno today, as teachers and students rallied in the quad and urged Valley legislators to stand up for higher education. The rally came on the heels of a similar event earlier this week at Cal State Stanislaus.

During the rally, the crowd was able to immediately e-mail Senator Tom Berryhill and other Valley legislators thanks to the mobile action centers setup by student and faculty organizers, generating dozens of e-mails and phone calls. Afterwards, students took the action back online by hand delivering additional messages and stories to Senator Beryhill’s Fresno office.

Hector Cerda, a graduate student at the college, predicted a grim future unless public universities keep funding at existing levels.

“For students like me who come from working families, college is our dream, a dream passed down from our parents and grandparents. More cuts will result in higher fees and reduced access, turning this dream into a painful disappointment for too many students.”

Indeed, some valley legislators have proposed cutting up to $15 billion from California’s public colleges and universities on top of the $1 billion in cuts made earlier this year. That’s why students, teachers, faculty, parents and the community get it. Now they’re making sure legislators do too.

“If we don’t maintain existing revenues, California risks breaking the promise it made to generations of young people – the promise that if you work hard you can succeed, no matter what your background,” Lisa Weston, PhD, Chair of the English Department at Fresno State.

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