Milo Yiannopoulos and limited CSUF finances the focus of Academic Senate meeting

In Campus News
(Nicolette Belk / Daily Titan)

Despite violent protests and multiple arrests, Cal State Fullerton President Mildred García said that Milo Yiannopoulos’ visit to CSUF went about as well as could be expected.

“Our University Police, alongside all that helped them, prevented situations that could have been horrific,” García said at Thursday’s Academic Senate meeting. “Our preparation and cost for all safety was worth what we paid.”

Of those arrested, García said only one was a part of the CSUF community and thanked those who were involved in the Unity Block Party,recognizing those who worked in preparation and during the event to ensure the values of free speech.

Not everyone agreed Yiannopoulos’ visit went well, and after García spoke, Students for Quality Education member Liz Sanchez condemned her for allowing Yiannopoulos to appear on campus.

“Mildred García has failed her students,” Sanchez said. “‘Alt-right’ trolls get to bring ‘alt-right’ extremists like Milo Yiannopoulos to our campus … Because Mildred García says we must welcome all ideas into the CSUF marketplace and protect their speech – hate speech.”

Yiannopoulos’ appearance was not a university-sponsored event, said the university’s chief communications officer Jeff Cook, and García said on Sep. 6 that she had no power to stop Yiannopoulos from coming to campus unless he presented a direct threat.

Sanchez said historically marginalized students at CSUF are being “targeted, harassed and even threatened” inside of the classroom.

The meeting continued with no response to Sanchez’ comments until the end.

“While I certainly don’t support Milo or any of his teachings or white supremacy … I feel remiss that I didn’t speak up and say ‘Just because President García permitted him to come on campus, it doesn’t mean she supports white supremacy,’” Kanel said.

García said the total cost of the event is still being calculated but will be made public when it is known.

García said what is known is that the university “continues to remain fiscally strong.”

The university carried $68 million from the last fiscal year to the current one, but as those funds are designated and CSUF’s expenses “continue to escalate,” it will “continue to suffer from not having adequate baseline funds,” said Vice President Danny Kim, who presented the fiscal state of the university.

“All of the available baseline funds have been allocated to the departments,” Kim said.

The university’s total budget for the current fiscal year is roughly $464 million, which is about $14,000 per student.

“If you compare this to the national average, that is pretty low. So it just demonstrates the level of efficiency and the amount of work that all of you do given the limited amount of resources,” Kim said.

Throughout the presentation, Kim shared specific areas where the university budget cannot sustain itself, specifically citing the recent 1 percent salary increase gap and deferred maintenance projects on campus.

“Right now, we see 44 percent of our baseline budget from the state and then 56 percent of tuition and other revenues,” Kim said.

For the coming fiscal year, (Gov. Jerry Brown) has dedicated $102 million to CSUF, a significant decrease from the $157 million the school received the prior year.

Although it is the largest CSU, Kim said CSUF continues to be the campus that receives the smallest allocation of funds from the state.

“If you are one of the campuses that generated high amounts relative to other campuses, then they reduce the general fund allocations,” Kim said.

García encouraged the senators to utilize connections and community members to lobby for more money from the governor.

“We know he’s coming out with $102 million. It’s certainly not going to be enough so we’re going to need all of your support to continue to advocate for the budget for the CSU,” García said.

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