California’s economic chaos has been a rough challenge for students throughout the state, as many believe budget cuts continue to undermine education. However, some at College of the Canyons are not willing to sit and wait for the financial storm to pass. They are taking control of what’s going on in Sacramento—one student at a time.
“We’re focusing on educating students about the budget cuts and [providing students] with the chance to sign a petition and help to make a change in our education,” said Cultural Student Involvement Coordinator, Revena Gill.
The group’s goal is to obtain ten thousand student signatures, including faculty, in hopes of sending the signed petitions to the Capitol Building in Sacramento and calling attention to what they believe is a drastic downfall in education. “It’s important to know what’s going on with the budget cuts because it affects us the most, and if we bring more attention to the situation, hopefully in the future there won’t be any more cuts,” said Gill.
In order to increase student signatures and create more awareness for the conflict, Gill and her teammates for “Keeping Education Alive” are providing students with popcorn, wristbands that enable students to receive free pizza the following week, and a raffle ticket to offer a lucky winner scholarship money for books. Some students believe this is a marvelous opportunity. “I signed the petition because I really want to get free money for books,” said COC student, Mohamed Hariri. Others, however, are really interested in the benefit of the petition. “I believe education is very important, and it’s better to have an education than not,” said COC student, Elizabeth Deauzzi.
Like many people, Deauzzi believes education is an important factor in getting a job. And of course, being a full-time student as well as a mom, gives Deauzzi many reasons to sign the petition. “I’m hoping this will at least lower the budget cuts. It’s hard having to pay for school and taking care of a baby at the same time,” said Deauzzi.
With students like Deauzzi, it seems that Gill and her team do not have to work so hard informing students, since they already seem to know the consequences of the budget cuts. Yet, they have much more in store for the next two weeks. “We have a big surprise for the students next week. It’s more of a display than anything, but it will definitely be noticeable to the whole campus,” said Gill. In addition to this provocative surprise, there will be a representative from Sacramento, on the 22nd of February, at 2p.m. to speak to students about the budget cuts.
Many students believe, that budget cuts are severely impacting education and could do even more damage in the future. “We need to call attention to this problem now, and we need all the support we can get,” said Gill.