We will fight

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California community colleges represent open doors for people who don’t have anywhere else to go. It’s common knowledge that community colleges are meant for students who may not meet the traditional college student stereotype and may be confused about their life goals. Community college gives students opportunities to explore, enhance and hone their interests and skills in order to fouler a direct and well thought-out path.

Not everyone has their life laid out before them, which is what’s so great about community colleges: They’re a haven for those who need time, services, and most importantly opportunity.

This is especially true here in California, where communities are rich, vibrant and diverse. Skyline students represent myriad lifestyles and backgrounds. We have students from different countries, older students that have come back to improve a skill, students forging through their disabilities, and students who are trying to transfer to higher levels of education. We are proud to have such a mixed community because it enhances our atmosphere and cultural appreciation.

However, one of our shining touchstones here at Skyline College and other California community colleges could be snatched away by the California Community Colleges Student Success Task Force.

The Task Force, which seems ironically named given their suggestions, is submitting a draft of recommendations to California legislative powers that would diminish many of the highly valued resources provided to California community college students.

For example, in Chapter 3 of the 80-page report drafted by the task force, Recommendation 3.2 affects students with Board of Governors fee waivers. If these students do not meet requirements such as keeping their grades up and not exceeding a cap of 100 units, their fee waiver would be revoked.

Recommendation 4.1, titled “Align Course Offerings to Meet Student Needs,” would affect the courses available to students, ensuring that only students aiming to transfer or earn a degree or certificate would be able to take certain courses. This leaves other students just looking to sharpen a skill or expand an academic curiosity out in the cold.

Furthermore, the students who do not meet the task force’s strict criteria would be forced to pay out-of-state tuition. With fees already rising, students are finding it hard enough to gather enough money to pay for school. Many agree that completely eliminating fees in exchange for education is preposterous, but there is absolutely

no reason that students should pay $200 a unit! The above recommendation is of great concern because it would leave out students who come to community college to improve their lives. This attack on education cannot proceed. According to the City College of San Francisco’s campus newspaper, the Guardian, “The Student Success Task Force is funded almost entirely by private interests, including, The Lumina Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.” These are only two recommendations that could affect students by March 2012. What it all comes down to is greed. Here at the Skyline View, we understand the aims of the task force and see that it may help students stay focused, but we believe that the demands are both troubling and unjust. Low-income, immigrant and disabled students would suffer greatly from these measures. Soon enough, these students

won’t be able to afford an education at all. The future of our country depends on an educated society. Our future generations have many problems to face, and it is simply unjust to stand by and let this happen to our educational system, which should be valued and treasured rather than flipped upside down to exclude people who need it the most. We at the Skyline View urge all students to get informed about the impending legislation that we’ll soon be squaring up against. We encourage all students to make themselves aware and push to stand up for their right to an education as well as everyone else’s.

 

How You Can Help:

Contact one of the 21 members of the task force. Here is a link to their contact information: http://www.ccsf.edu/Organizations/Academic_Senate/TFSS_MembershipList.pdf

Additionally, you can call Governor Jerry Brown at (916)445-2841 or email him at http://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php

There’s also California Community College Chancellor Jack Scott who can be reached by phone at (916)445-8752