The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Student Senate representing City College at protest march in Sacramento

The Associated Students Senate, along with other approximately 4,500 students, teachers, and supporters from numerous schools, attended the “March in March” rally in Sacramento Monday.

The present attendees braved heavy rain to protest budget cuts and fee increase on higher education in Sacramento, CA.

Story continues below advertisement

To keep the name of City College held high, the 17 students escorted by Dean Dr. Ben Partee, associated student government advisor, wore vivid-red shirts with the school’s logo on the front, and the word “Representin'” on the back, provided by EOPS Peer Advisor, Steven Charkhian.

Despite the gray skies, students began to march at 10:20 a.m. from the California Auto Museum in Old Sacramento, while carrying a variety of colorful signs to express their discontent.

To help accommodating the stream of protesters walking through the city, police officers closed both L Street and 10th Street. Both were part of the route towards the state Capitol, where students arrived at 10:55 a.m.

“I don’t think it’s acceptable that government is thinking about providing less money to our education system, which should be a priority,” said Ruby Limón, associated students senate president.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed a budget, which suggests an increase on City College fees, from $26 to $36 per unit, and a general fund reduction of $500 million for the UC and CSU system, beginning July 2011.

“We came to make sure the state knows how their decisions are affecting us,” said Jeffrey Englert, associated student government vice president of external affairs.

“If tuition increases on City Colleges, it will also increase on four-year universities,” sociology and psychology major Janeth Ruvalcaba said. “We [students] need to stand up for our rights and assure we receive an affordable higher education.”

For almost two hours, the students and protesters stayed in front of the Capitol under the pouring rain, which soaked and destroyed the majority of their signs. However, the weather seemed to not be affecting them at all.

Speakers who attended the protest maintained the crowd’s vivacity and eagerness at its maximum level, not only by addressing the ways students were affected by the budget cuts, but also by shouting in unison chants such as: “Hey-hey, ho-ho, these budget cuts have got to go!” or, “No cuts, no fees, education must be free!”

Limón said students had a lot of enthusiasm and passion when defending what they believe should be done in regards of their education.

The rain ceased at noon and the protests continued until 2 p.m.

After leaving, members from the City College contingent shared their thoughts about the “March in March” rally.

“After today, I feel that there has to be more action done by students who are going to college because if we don’t do it, who will?” Ruvalcaba said.

“I was surprised to see how angry students were, but it was great to see the unity of schools from around California coming together for a mutual cause,” Englert said.

“Now I can see how I’ve become more aware of the importance of being involved with everything that’s happening on City Colleges, the CSU, and UC system,” said Eve Charbonneau, associated student government public relations officer.

“Events like ‘March in March’ have taught me how powerful our voices can be when we work hard for what we stand for. Coming here today was definitely a great experience to all of us.” Limón said.

More to Discover