Students Need to Get Out and Vote!

Sal Polcino, Staff Reporter

Attention all California college students; there are two really scary events on the horizon: Halloween is tonight and in six days, the general election.

Everyone knows that All Hallows Eve is meant to be terrifying, but not everyone is aware of the frightening implications if certain decisions in the Nov. 6 election go the wrong way.

The future of all students who attend any college or university in the state of California is on the line. State funded schools, many that are already critically underfunded, are in danger of having to make major cutbacks in classes, faculty and staff. State colleges and universities will have to drastically raise tuition.

Here at GCC our budget is already short. President Jim Riggs said at a recent faculty meeting that the “sky is falling” on GCC: with or without the passage of Proposition 30 there will be cutbacks of faculty and staff and as many as 200 classes cut by spring 2013. If Proposition 30 does not pass, more classes and possibly entire departments will be cut.

What does this mean to students? There will be fewer classes to choose from which will make it harder to earn degrees, certificates or credits for transfer. Of course this will also affect grants and loans: if students can’t get the classes they need to make full time requirements they will not receive financing. Those who plan to transfer to a state college or university, may not be able to afford the higher tuition.

Here’s Proposition 30 in a nutshell:

Proposition 30 proposes a temporary tax hike which will mostly affect taxpayers with an annual salary of $250,000 or more, and that money will go to funding schools K through 12 as well as state funded colleges. Be aware that there is a different proposition on the ballot (Proposition 38) that does not include colleges in its allocation of funds.

VOTE YES ON PROPOSITION 30! Tell your friends, tell your family and urge anyone who attends college, or knows someone who does, to vote yes on Proposition 30.

So what else is scary about the election?

The Republican platform certainly contains some frightening concepts. If you are a woman, or care about women ( most men have moms, sisters or a woman in their lives) think carefully about the GOP’s record on women’s rights. Equal pay for women in the workplace, rights for women to choose and Roe v. Wade are all in danger with a Romney/Ryan administration.

Both Romney and his running mate bring their strong religious beliefs along with them. Remember, our Founding Fathers endorsed “separation of church and state.” This fundamentalist thinking will affect Gay rights such as marriage, hospital visitation and discrimination in the workplace.

Judging from Gov. Romney’s foreign policies, stated in the Oct. 22 debate, he would send arms to Syria and be quick to attack Iran if it doesn’t react fast enough to embargoes. He also said Russia is our biggest threat and thinks Iran is a land-locked country that borders Syria. Wrong.

Romney promises to balance the budget and get the country out of debt in four years. He also promises to cut taxes 20 percent across the board and increase military spending by trillions of dollars at the same time. This is a pipe dream.

Romney has also shown, in the three televised debates this month, his apparent disrespect for the president — the office that he himself covets.

President Obama has accomplished much in his first four years. Voters must remember that his administration inherited a large debt and two foreign wars along with the terrorist threat of al-Qaida.

Obama ended the war in Iraq, killed Bin Laden, and is preparing for withdrawal in Afghanistan by 2014.

Don’t fall for the Republican line, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” The question should really be, “Are you better off than you were 12 years ago?” It takes time to recover from bad decisions made by a previous administration. Obama is just getting started.

In his first four years, Obama has enacted the largest reform of student aid in 40 years, passed the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010, established the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to assist in financial education for all Americans and expanded the Pell grant pool by eliminating private lender subsidies for student loans.

For a complete list of President Obama’s achievements go to

Don’t let Romney/Ryan take us back to the Bush era.

Get out and vote! Do not let anyone convince you that your vote doesn’t count. If three people vote, the third vote is the tie-breaker. There are possibly 10,000 eligible voters at GCC alone. If all eligible students vote, that could be a quorum, pushing an issue in the right direction

There are many more important issues on the ballot next Tuesday. Please see El Vaquero’s voting guide and important links in this issue.