Student contribution: Protesting isn't enough

Nick Lera graduated from the University with a bachelor’s degree in English literature in 2009 and is a graduate student in the Teacher Credential Program.

With college consolidation, a $33-million deficit and severe staff cutbacks looming, SF State is facing some unprecedented hurdles.
As the University looks to cut beyond Professor Frank Bayliss’ “low-hanging fruit”, we all face difficulties brought on by the starvation of our cherished public institution.
In facing this tragedy, I have little doubt that SF State students will respond, as we are fain to do: with sign holding, group chants, and letters of concern.
These San Franciscan means are well-documented and well-known locally and nationwide – so much so that they have long been relegated to the realm of satire and caricature.
These responses have their place, but buried beneath their adversarial surface is a current of solidarity that, when tapped, can do much more than shout obscenities at a rising tide. A current of solidarity can do much more than bind us together temporarily for those few fleeting hours designated by our Facebook events page.
While Gov. Jerry Brown decrees the difficult austerity measures of his office, it falls upon us now more than ever to unite through that current of solidarity that has always flittered through the veins of the San Francisco.
And in a community as politically diverse as ours, we must cling to the things that can truly affect our community’s well-being.
When janitorial staffing is cut, write that letter of concern; but also, make an extra effort to beautify our campus. When classes become harder and harder to get, hold up a sign and let the administration know how you feel; but also, embrace the time you get with your peers and do all you can to enrich the learning environment.
When the student center cuts staff and Bursar lines get long, advocate for those workers who have lost income; but also, be kind in line and help make our shared experience that much brighter.
In our snap-paced society the universal consciousness of our community is often fragmented by virtue of interest, occupation, major, political leaning or fantasy novel preference. And yet, we are everyday afforded a socialization forum that has become a unifying privilege overseas.
During this time of difficult decisions, I put it to you that we all, despite any differences among us, owe it to our collective self to take increased responsibility for the well-being of this beautiful learning community we share.