Board Praises Student, Faculty Efforts to Rally Budget Cuts

The involvement of students and faculty in the rally against the state budget cuts headed the GCC Board of Trustees meeting Monday.

“Our students have awaken the sleeping giant [the state] by saying, ‘We are not going to take it,’ ” said Vice President of College Services Nancy Knight.

Students and faculty members filled the buses and headed north to Sacramento on Monday afternoon, in hopes of having their voices heard. A rally was planned for all community colleges’ students and staff in the capital with the recent budget cuts on their minds.

“There are extreme measures going on in the state and here at our own college. The coming year we are looking from double to triple cuts in revanue. Unless we get help from Sacramento, we will be less 500 classes than we had two years ago. That is 30 to 40 students loss per section — you do the math,” said Steve White, vice president of instructional services.

GCC has certainly done the math, and the outcome is dismal: Many classes have been cut, teachers have been laid off, and students have been turned away from the admission window since the first budget cut of more than $2 million.

Antonino Patti, president of ASGCC, made it clear what the students will accept if the school is forced to double the fee for future classes.

Patti said, “We want proportionate cuts. If we make a higher credit fee, we want some good to come back to the school — not only the state to pay the deficit.”

Patti also reminded the staff that there will be rallying in Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles on March 28. Many area community colleges, including GCC, will rally against the budget cuts.