(Turlock, CA) – California State University (CSU), Stanislaus students, faculty, staff launched an aggressive online campaign Tuesday, urging legislators to “Stand up for California” and keep the doors to higher education open to Central Valley students by supporting Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget plan.
Following a rally on the Turlock campus, students, faculty and staff set up mobile action stations that allowed ralliers to immediately email Senators Tom Berryhill, Anthony Cannella and other Valley legislators urging them to protect the CSU system from more cuts by maintaining existing revenues.
Celeste Mitchell, a CSU Stanislaus senior said, “Too many people here in the Central Valley live in poverty, and keeping the doors of higher education open is the only way to break that cycle for so many families.” Mitchell, a 23 year old former foster child, added, “After earning my degree, I want to put it to use to help others in my community. Sadly, if fees keep going up and financial aid keeps getting cut, hundreds of thousands of California students won’t have the same opportunity.”
After $1 billion in cuts made to the CSU and University of California systems earlier this year, Governor Brown’s budget plan maintains current revenues so California won’t have to make even deeper cuts to education that is so critical to our future.
“For years I’ve been looking forward to my own son entering CSU Stanislaus, and that dream will come true for us next year,” said Frank Borrelli, a property services manager who has worked at CSU Stanislaus for 25 years. “Like every parent, I want my son to have not only the best education, but the best experience. That’s in jeopardy for all our students if the State keeps on cutting.”
A state budget that doesn’t maintain existing revenues — the approach some valley legislators prefer — would mean $15 billion more in cuts, and hundreds of thousands of qualified young people turned away from California’s public colleges and universities.
“Ten thousand students could be turned away from CSU this year so we’re counting on Senator Cannella and other valley legislators to come together and protect higher education by supporting to maintain existing revenues,” said CSU Stanislaus Computer Science Professor John Sarraille. “If we fail to do so, California will fall further and further behind when it comes to building the trained workforce we need to attract new economic investment in our state.”
CSU Stanislaus students and educators are among families, seniors, parents, business owners and others who have put aside their differences to support Governor Brown’s balanced approach to closing the state’s budget gap and move California’s economic recovery forward. The governor’s plan includes cuts he has already signed into law and a proposal to maintaining existing revenues that has been held up by partisan gridlock.