Community colleges march against budget cuts

Thousands of students from the CSUs, UCs, and California Community Colleges arrived to March in march on the capitol building and demand that there be no budget cuts and fee increases. (Scott Fong)

Thousands of students from the CSUs, UCs, and California Community Colleges arrived to March in march on the capitol building and demand that there be no budget cuts and fee increases. (Scott Fong)

Skyline students joined together with community colleges across California for a rally in Sacramento at the Capital building.

Upwards of 2,500 students joined forces to make their voices heard about recent state budget cuts that affect tuition and enrollment costs.

The rally to support education began early for Skyline students. About forty students piled up into a charter bus at 7:00 a.m., where they headed to Raley field in Sacramento.

Raley field was packed full of buses filled with students from community colleges across the state, including Skyline’s sister school’s Cañada and San Mateo.

At ten o’clock the march began, from Raley field, across Tower Bridge, over the freeway, and to the Capital’s north steps. Loud cheers and catchy chants could be heard from great distances during the march. Some common chants were “Don’t hate, educate!” and “Education, not incarceration.”

Once at the steps, students kept on chanting, cheering, educating, and even played drums for the event. Speakers commenced at noon, which included Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, who voiced his thoughts on the economic situation saying “We need to keep the doors of education opportunity open for all,” during his speech to the masses at the rally.

Julie Vazquez, a student at Skyline College said it is great that so many students showed there support at the rally.

“It is meaningful gatherings like this that will help students complete their higher education without having tremendous debt when they finish,” Vasquez said.

Although community colleges didn’t get hit hard with budget cuts in February, “We are still facing very real threats, particularly when the Governor’s May revise comes out” SSCCC President Richael Young said.

Not only did community colleges attend the rally, but there were also many high schools there too, including Oceana high school in Pacifica.

Oceana graduate and current Skyline student Alex Rayas believes that education is our future, and cutting funding for education now will only hurt California in the future.

“G.E.D.’s and High School Diplomas should not be the standard, we must strive to raise ourselves out of the economic crisis we are in,” Rayas said.

The rally finished at about 2 p.m., where many of the marchers march back to their busses. There were about a hundred people that stayed after the event to keep promoting the cause.

Skyline students headed back to Campus at 3 p.m. with a sense of accomplishment. Although thousands marched on March 16, the impact on legislations decisions will not be known until the budget revise in May comes out.