Student group discuss letter to CSUF president

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Students from We! Alternative Voices for an Alternative Future gathered Tuesday night to discuss the content of a letter that would be addressed to Cal State Fullerton’s new president, Mildred Garcia, Ed.D. Among the students’ concerns were rising student fees, increased administration salaries, free speech on campus and the legacy of prestige of the university.

In administration meetings she has spoken in, Garcia has said she maintains open communication with students. We! wants to take advantage of the opportunity she has given students and contact her to make her aware of the various concerns to see if she will address them.

Garrett York, a psychology major, said the administration has been phrasing the problem with rising fees as “caused by the legislature,” and the legislature has not funded the CSU system as it should have.

“I’d like to see a president who is willing to sacrifice her salary alongside the faculty and tuition increases toward the students when the next round of budget cuts come instead of having everyone but the administration suffer for it,” said York.

Lex Deschuytter, a history major who wants to see the prestige of the college maintained, is against privatization of the university.

“In some literature, we’ve been referred to as students as human capital; I take offense to that,” said Deschuytter. He would like to put some sort of student voice in the Board of Trustees to enforce democracy in the institution that runs the campus.

“Happiness is down, prices are up,” Deschuytter said.

Jaime Wharton, a graduate student of history, wants to remind Garcia that there are CSUF students who know what is going on in the CSU and the issues on the Cal State Fullerton campus. She said the library hours do not extend far enough into the evening. It closes at 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and when she gets out of class at 10 p.m. she is limited on resources to use for homework.

Wharton also said she feels students’ rights are violated when the campus imposes free speech zones and a free speech hour. However, the campus allows outspoken religious preachers to come onto campus and tell people they are going to hell, which can be offensive to some.

“This guy is spewing hate speech; he can use amplified sound, and he can come on campus whenever he wants to. He makes point-blank accusations. But students are not allowed to do that,” said Wharton.

Students who have complained to the administration about the use of money on campus are told to contact the legislature, and are told that the CSUF presidents do not have a say in the issue, Wharton said.

Deschuytter said We! is writing the letter to Garcia, which they will call “Be Heard,” to give students a voice.

Garcia, former president of Cal State Dominguez Hills, is an advocate for online education, which students involved with We! see as a problem with quality higher education.

We! is not officially recognized by the university, but has faculty and staff associated with it.

We! Alternative Voices for an Alternative Future meets every Tuesday night in the Humanities Building Room 125 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss issues for CSUF students. Any student can attend the meeting, and they encourage people to come because they want students to care about the university.

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