September 20, 2009 11:46 PM
So, what's the story behind the faculty/student/staff walkout happening on Thursday? It's really a culmination, a build up of seemingly little changes in the university system. At first, there was the increase in tuition, then the class sizes getting bigger( having two sections for the same class becoming squeezed into one big class with max entry), less discussion classes held per week. These increases are affecting students. But, also, professors- the layoffs, furloughs, and, learning more about furloughs- I found out that professor's unpaid time off work is required to be on days off their research days- this, while seems like a "day off" actually hurts them instead of helps. Since, professor's side job is research, cutting into that is not fair.
Now, an interesting thing to take note is that professors are walking out. But, what about the lecturers? Lecturerers, get paid less than professors, but nonetheless, do a great job at teaching. They just don't have research. Like a teacher, a lecture-er may be part of a union and as part of their contract, they are not allowed to protest. As much as some have voiced their solidarity to support the walkout, they may choose to remain teaching on that day for fear of losing their job due to breach of contract. That may be why some teachers are staying to teach on Thursday.
Another interesting fact is that 25% of allocated resources from university is funding, funding for research. The rest is tuition for education. Due to the cuts, less funding has resulted and now, students who aren't on financial aid or scholarships or workstudy, are in a way, paying for those research funding which basically means that what used to be a benefit to be living in California ( certain privileges since Californians pay tax), those students are basically PAYING for their education now....and more. That is why it is crucial to join the walkout on Thursday. If not, at least support in some other way. I found this facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=138689602704
Whatever your position may be, being aware of how changes are affecting you is important in critiquing and questioning what public education has become and what will happen in the future.
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