Faculty and students of UC campuses are taking the system's budget cut crisis into their own hands and walking out on Thursday Sept 24th. It’s been announced that 10 UCs are taking part of this walkout--UC Berkeley being one of them. This year alone UC faculty experienced a cut of 4-10 percent in their salary, including 26 furlough days. Students are being hit by the budget squeeze as well. There has been an increase in tuition, less financial aid is available and school resources have been cut.
According to Dan Mogulos, Executive Director of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley: “last year in the fall 1500 classes were held on Thursday, there is no way of knowing how many classes we’ll be canceled for that day.” Mongulos says the number of faculty participating—as of right now—is 100 out of 2130 faculty members. Mongulos says this number is expected to change as the day gets closer.
According to Mongulos faculty members have the right to walkout, but before they do they need to ensure their students have material to work on. “If they—professors—walkout, they have to notify the students ahead of time and make sure the course material is done.”
More after the jump...
John Hurts, a professor in the graduate division at Cal, says he will be walking out along with his students “I think if anyone believes in public education and higher education... it’s important to support it—the walkout”
Hurts has been a professor for the past 50 years and says this is the worst case of budget cuts he has ever seen. The budget cuts have forced him to reject students this semester. “A lot of my courses have lost their GSI (Graduate Student Instructor) I can’t offer many sections. This fall I supervised at our undergraduate minor in education and we turned away almost 300 students.” He hopes that by walking out it will show people that UC faculties are not accepting the cuts and will fight until the end.
One thing both Hurt and Mongulos agree on is that it’s going to take more than one walkout to make a case to the California State Legislature—explaining that there is no better investment than in higher education.
Previously on Youth Radio:
- Who Is Really Affected By College Budget Cuts?
- Budget Cuts Force Students To Work Multiple Jobs
- School Budget Cuts Add to Students' Confusion