Student government plans to get answers from local and state leaders about the budget effects on higher education. This is a response to Associated Students Inc.’s budget crisis survey where class availability topped the list of concerns important to students.
ASI released the results from the “Dollar Dilemmas,” a series of events held to get student feedback on budget issues on their Web site, and plan to have answers to all the questions posted over the next two weeks. More than 300 students submitted questions or concerns about fewer classes being offered, furloughs and facility projects at booths on Dexter Lawn, the University Union and Robert E. Kennedy Library. ASI President Kelly Griggs said they are working on getting accurate answers for students.
“We saw a lot of speculation and a lack of information on issues like the Rec Center project and class availability,” Griggs said. Chief of Staff Jessica Patton and Secretary of Legislative Affairs Alicia Carney said they have already started to find some answers to the top questions by interviewing campus administrators.
Carney said Provost Koob told them that even with 92 classes cut fall quarter, students are taking more units and that the administration is working to make sure students graduate on time. The outcome of the meeting will be part of the ASI Web site dedicated to informing students. Griggs said they wanted to find a way to use the Web site to provide better communication to students on these issues.
ASI’s student government Web site will be a place to find current information and answers, updates on budget related news and a connection to the leaders in Sacramento, Patton said. The top issues for students are limited class availability, paying more for fewer classes and having those classes cut short by furloughs. There will eventually be a response to all student questions and concerns submitted.
“This will give students a heads up on issues important to them,” Patton said.
The Web site now has the full list of the questions and concerns raised by students at “Dollar Dilemmas.” Student representatives also took a copy to the California State Student Association (CSSA) to share in the statewide effort to lobby for education funds.
ASI is working with CSSA to find answers from state administrators in order to keep students involved in the process so that the project is focused on issues important to them, and currently, it’s the budget, Griggs said.
“We’re all dealing with the economy, and we have a responsibility to students to find accurate information,” she said.