Associated Student Inc. will be holding a budget crisis debate series Monday through Thursday on Dexter Lawn, allowing students to voice their concerns about the economic disaster hitting the California State University system. The event may prompt an interview with Cal Poly President Baker or Provost Robert Koob regarding the feedback ASI receives from students attending the series, said recreation, parks and tourism administration sophomore Alicia Carney, who serves as ASI’s executive cabinet secretary of legislative affairs.
Dexter Lawn and the second floor of the Robert E. Kennedy Library will feature giant sandwich boards for students to write on from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Every day there will be a new budget topic to provoke thoughts and written discussions on the “Walls of Concern.”
A major topic of concern students have regarding the budget are the professors’ mandatory furlough days.
“Since the teachers took a 10 percent pay cut, they also were supposed to decrease our workload by 10 percent so we aren’t learning everything that we should learn in a quarter. So we are losing out on academic material,” electrical engineering senior Tim Brown said.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the “vent tent” will be set up on the lawn. Students can stop in from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to talk with an ASI member about how the budget crisis is affecting them. Students will also have the opportunity to write down a question concerning the budget crisis on a whiteboard. ASI members will take a picture of the student, if he or she allows, and tape it up next to the question.
“We want to put a face to the problem,” Carney said. “Students are really frustrated, understandably, about what’s going on. We want to give students an opportunity to have their voices heard.”
Psychology junior Hannah Bauss is concerned about the number of classes that have been dropped this quarter and impacted classes.
“I think everyone has been affected by (the budget crisis) mostly in the sense that it’s making it even harder for me to get into classes for my major. And it’s already super hard to get into them as it is,” she said.
Students who give feedback to ASI will get a cookie on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Board of Directors and the University Union Advisory Board will hold a panel discussion on the lawn from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. to answer budget-related questions specific to individual colleges. Students are welcome to attend and ask questions about how the budget cuts will affect their department and college.
Carney said ASI is serious about giving students a forum to voice their concerns to the university.
“We want them to know how serious this is. It’s not just sacrifices; this could decide whether or not people get a higher-education degree,” she said.