Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Good turnout for CSU, Sacramento rally - despite the heat

SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - A crowd of about 200 faculty, students at staff took part in a noontime rally at CSU, Sacramento today, the first of many such activities as the three groups get together to fight the fee increases visited on students and the furloughs (pay cuts) forced on employees.

Some of the student speakers were choked up as they tried to explain how much the fee increases (32 percent total for this year alone) were hurting their ability to even go to college. Several faculty gave fairly rousing speeches, despite a sound system that was below inadequate - a bullhorn with a microphone attached.

Student speaker at rally
Student speaker at today's rally

The sound system - such as it was - was still considered illegal by campus police. The police had banned the use of any amplification and told the leaders of the CFA to simply raise their voices when they spoke. The bullhorns were used anyway, a protest themselves of the campus administration's attempt at keeping the rally from growing very large.

Had the flames been fanned sufficiently (and loud enough for people to hear), it's possible the group might have marched on the offices of CSU, Sacramento President Alexander Gonzalez.

That would have made for some good theatre, and perhaps grabbed more media attention.

Regardless, the 25 students enrolled in my Column Writing class attended and this week will be writing columns - their first attempts.

Loud speaker
A 'loud' speaker

Let us teach sign
Sign in the crowd

Column writing students to cover noon rally at CSU

SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - Students from the column writing class at CSU Sacramento are going to get to work with live ammunition right away.

Today, they will attend a rally on the CSU, Sacramento campus to protest the student fee hikes and the faculty furloughs (which are resulting in about a 10 percent pay cut for faculty).

They will also have a little extra to write about: The university, very quietly, is telling all faculty to fill up the rooms in which they teach, even if the classes have an agreed-upon limit. So students will be packed in tighter than sardines (and perhaps without chairs to sit upon) and their professors (getting paid less) will have more people to teach, papers to grade, and tests to review.

Oh boy!

Once the students write their columns, the columns will be linked to this page.