Proposed Cuts Draw Criticism

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed cutting $7 million in the state budget from outreach programs in the California State University system, according to an Associated Students Inc. press release.

The Educational Opportunity Program, which provides academic and financial assistance for disadvantaged minority students, is one of many outreach programs that Sacramento State offers, according to the Admissions and Records Web site.

“Outreach programs are essential for recruitment and retention of college students of lower socio-economic standing,” said ASI President Angel Barajas, who participated in two outreach programs _” the Educational Opportunity Program and the College Assistant Migrant Program _” upon his graduation from Woodland High in 2000.

Before working with the two outreach programs, Barajas said he wasn’t considering attending a four-year college out of high school. He added that he is the first in his family to attend a four-year institution.

Barajas and Executive Vice President Robbie Abelon proposed a resolution at a March 22 board meeting asking Sac State President Alexander Gonzalez and the university to take a stand to assure that funding for outreach programs will be a priority and will not be reduced.

The legislation, if passed at today’s board meeting, will be distributed to Gonzalez, all outreach programs, and the ASI Budget Advisory Committee.

“Outreach programs ensure that the doors for higher education remain open to those who need it most,” Abelon said. He said such programs are important in order to continue to provide necessary opportunities for students.

“Outreach programs focus on recruiting high school seniors and community college transfers, and promoting CSUS goals of providing a quality and affordable education,” said Emiliano Diaz, director of Outreach Admissions and Records.