SMC takes it to the Capitol
Schools across California are gearing up for the "March in March", a protest in the state's capitol in effort to prevent the proposed budget cuts of Governor Jerry Brown,which could drop Santa Monica College's budget by 20 percent. With the proposed cuts increases in tuition are guaranteed, and the possibility of having a winter session in years to follow could be slim. With the already shrunken summer session, it could become more difficult to take short courses at SMC.
Previous budget cuts have already affected the education system, proven by the simple fact that there are not enough classes for everyone at SMC to take. With some classes having add-lists reaching over 100 students, the proposed cuts could potentially create more class-crashers than actually enrolled students.
Associated Students has taken on the task of raising awareness about the proposed cuts. In just over one week, the A.S. gathered nearly 1,800 post cards which were hand-delivered to the legislature in Sacramento in protest of the increased cuts by ten SMC faculty and three students.
SMC's representatives voiced their opinions on the proposed cuts to legislature over this past weekend. Next on the list for the A.S. is to recruit students to attend the March in Sacramento, who hopes to be 150 students strong at the event on Monday, March 14th, which stretches from the Automobile Museum to the Capitol. The march begins at 7:30am and will go until the rally ends at noon.
While the interest in the march might vary, a drop in budget is sure to effect students across California.
"Cuts don't just come in the form of class sizes," said A.S. President Tiffany Inabu. "They will affect everyone on this campus."
On the A.S. quest to gather protest postcards from students on campus, there seemed to be a striking coincidence of students who cared enough to fill out one of the protest cards based on the types of classes they were taking.
Between two same-sized art and science classes, the science class turned in approximately 35 cards, whereas the art class turned in nearly 100, according to project point-man, Tobias Deml. An interesting coincidence, considering science classes have seemed to have the longest list of attempts to add.
With the budget committee approving funding for three buses to be sent from SMC to Sacramento, totaling a $6,500 expense, the A.S. will have space for its' 150 student goal and plans to have buses depart at 10:30pm Sunday, March 13, traveling through the night and arriving in the Capitol that next morning.
Students who sign up for the trip must pay a $10 deposit, which they will receive back upon boarding the bus. In previous years the A.S. has not required a deposit and reports losing significant amounts of money when students did not show up.
At this point the only thing to stand in the way of SMC's participation in the march is finding enough advisors for the students who want to participate, as well as students who are willing to commit to spending the night on a bus and make the trek across the state. There is required to be one faculty advisor for every 15 students, so there will need to be ten advisors for the A.S. student participant goal, six of which must be full-time faculty to satisfy school code. Currently at least four advisors have agreed to chaperone the trip, with others showing interest.
And with approximately 160 students showing interest but only about ten officially signed up and paid for, the A.S. hopes to increase the number to maximum capacity, which according to Deml shouldn't be a problem. "I think we'll get it," said Deml.
"Now that we are able to focus on the bus ride, compared to both the bus ride and getting the post cards filled out, we should be able to do it," said Deml.
The push to muster up enough numbers to make SMC's presence count in Sacramento will continue on into this week in hopes of filling the 150 spots of approved seats to Sacramento.
Interested students must sign up at the A.S. Office in the Cayton Center Room 202 or sign up online by 7p.m. Thursday, March 10.
For more info visit smc.edu/associated_students or call (310) 434-4250.