Advocacy News

California Faculty Association Protests Students’ Lack of Access to CSU

CFA - Fund the CSU
California Faculty Association members protesting the lack of student access to California State University. Top row, left to right: Kim Geron, professor at CSU East Bay; Kevin Wehr, CFA secretary & chair of communications; Jorge Quintana, CFA intern & CSU Sacramento student; Steven Filling, president of the Stanislaus chapter. Bottom row, left to right: Martha Ancajas, CFA intern & CSU Sacramento student; Margarita Berta-Avila, chapter president for CSU Sacramento & CSU Sacramento professor of education; Jennifer Eagan, CFA president.

Photos by Erika Sizemore

California State University turned away a record numbers of qualified applicants – 1 in 10, or 31,000 – last year, for lack of space. On Jan. 11, Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his proposed 2018-19 state budget; the 3 percent increase for the 23-campus CSU system, say CSU leaders and others, is not enough to help fix the problem.

On the same day, California Faculty Association members staged a pop-up art installation called “Every Student Deserves a Seat – Fund the CSU” on the North Lawn of the State Capitol.

The installation – 1,507 empty white chairs, with each seat representing 20 qualified students – was meant to symbolize the increasing lack of access to CSU and quality public higher education.

CFA - Fund the CSU
Pop-up art installation on Jan. 10 at the State Capitol. There were 1,507 empty chairs; each chair represented 20 qualified students turned away by CSU for lack of space.

Brown budget plan proposes $92.1 million in additional state funding for the CSU. CFA is calling for an additional $422.6 million in state funding for the CSU, which would allow for healthy enrollment growth of an additional 18,205 students.

“By not allowing qualified students access, we’re failing them before they even have a chance to walk in the classroom,” said CFA President Jennifer Eagan. “It’s time for our state to stand up for the CSU—for our students, for our university, and for the future of California.”

See calfac.org for more information.

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