Students and faculty picket on 19th and Holloway avenues

SF State students protest against the college budget cuts on Mar. 2. John H. Bird / staff photographer

Students and faculty members demonstrated on 19th and Holloway avenues today in demonstration against pending budget cuts. The protest was in collaboration with a statewide day of action.

“Hey hey, ho ho, budget cuts have to go” activists shouted as they picketed the major intersection.

Neither the scattered rain showers nor winds stopped SF State and City College of San Francisco students and faculty members from speaking against Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed 2011-2012 budget, which would cut $500 million each from the CSU and UC systems, $400 million from California community colleges and would leave SF State with a $32 million deficit.

“Classes are getting bigger and students can’t get the attention they deserve,” said Sheila Tully, a lecturer in the anthropology department at SF State. “The quality of education is deteriorating when [schools] don’t have enough money to provide students with resources.”

Tully, who teaches three classes this semester and has a total of 220 students, is approached each semester by students who say they can’t afford to continue a path toward higher education.

“The mission of the campus is to teach students not to impoverish them,” she said, while she took a break from the picket line.

The protest began at 11a.m. with approximately 20 students and faculty members. By the afternoon, approximately 100 protesters marched from the streetlight on 19th and Holloway avenues to the University’s shuttle stop.

Protestors held picket signs reading ‘Give a shit,’ among others, and made their way to the Cesar Chavez Center, where speakers, an African protest dance, spoken word poetry, a rap song about the cuts and an a capella group rallied the participants.

“Graduate on time, join us in the picket line,” shouted Barbara Marquez, 22, a senior at SF State. Marquez, a political science major, said she went from a 4-year graduation plan to a 5-year plan as a result of budget cuts.

According to Marquez, the political science department only accepts 10 percent of its students to its core requirement classes.

“I don’t receive financial aid and I’m already at $20,000 in debt,” she said. “Apparently I’m rich, making less than $20,000 a year.”

Not everyone on the sidewalk was as enthusiastic or passionate as his or her fellow colleagues and professors.

Juan Samarripa, a 23-year-old kinesiology major at SF State stood and observed the picket line while he waited for his bus.

“I participated last year but not this time because I have to work,” he said.

Samarripa believes students bring awareness to the campus community by protesting but would be more successful if they talked to their local politicians.

At the conclusion of the performances in the student center, the protestors left the building to march their way to CCSF where a rally will take place.

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