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Cal State Fullerton students sit in for second day


Students at Cal State Fullerton are staging a sit-in outside the offices of President Milton A. Gordon and are refusing to leave unless he signs a document they're calling "a declaration to defend public education."

The protest began Monday with about two dozen students from the Fullerton campus and Cal State Dominguez Hills staying overnight in Langsdorf Hall, the main administration building. The students have been peaceful, and there have been no arrests, officials said.

Sit-in2 The students have met with Gordon twice to try to get his support for a statement that calls for increased funding for higher education and for educators to "reassert the value of learning and knowledge not only as an economic necessity, but also as a social, cultural and democratic good."

"This is about working together and both sides being happy with it," said student organizer Cameron Mahdad, 19, a sophomore business major. "Once we get a universal declaration that has been worked on with administration, students, faculty and staff, other campuses will get their presidents to sign, and with this, hopefully public education can be protected.”

Campus officials said that one of the key sticking points is a letter accompanying the declaration  that suggests that Cal State Chancellor Charles B. Reed has refused to bargain for fair contracts with  faculty and staff.
"It represents one side of a labor-management negotiation, and the president can't be expected to sign such a statement," Cal State Fullerton spokesman Christopher Bugbee said.

Gordon did, however, issue a statement saying he supported many points of the declaration and commending the students for their civic engagement. The vice president for student affairs is meeting with the students to try to find a compromise, Bugbee said.

Students and faculty at all 23 Cal State campuses held rallies, marches and sit-ins last week to protest rising tuition and state funding cuts to higher education.


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Upper photo: Cameron Mahdad takes a nap in the hallway of Cal State Fulleron administration building  after spending the night participating in a sit-in to protest education cuts. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Lower photo: Cal State Fullerton students take part in the sit-in. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (29)

More huge education cuts are fine with me. My property taxes are too high. I don't see what good these demonstrations are doing--the state is broke and no more money is coming from taxpayers. There's no way public education can be protected because the state is in too much debt and taxpayers are in too much debt. Colleges themselves are corrupt--they collude with student lenders and credit card companies and have done practically nothing to control their costs. BTW thanks so much, students, for setting us up for the next bubble--the student loan debt clock is now at $905 billion and it's rising fast.

I admire the students who are willing to stand up for themselves and defend their right to education. I say "right" because the field of education is the new frontier of discrimination: those who have money can get their degrees, find better jobs, and become successful; those who don't have the luxury to go to expensive schools, rely on the Cal State system to have a chance for a better future. Increasing the fees, cutting classes, enforcing fulough days and cutting faculty's salaries will eventually prevent many students from attending universities.

Wrong Maria. So wrong. Education is not a right. It is a privilege and too many do not take advantage of the opportunity. I worked two jobs, took out then private student loans and went to school non-stop for 4 years to get my engineering degree. The only discrimination are those who think as you that education is not attainable unless you have money to go to college. I was the first of my family to ever attend college much less graduate. I am proud I didn't need a government handout to get through and did it on my own instead of demanding taxpayers pay my way through university.

Digital you moron , if illegals weren't eating up state resources, they would have more money to fund higher education. Also, student loans have to be paid back even in most bankruptcy cases , so your big number is useless much like you are.

The university system in California is for profit. It always has been and it always will be.

I notice that these students didn't have to worry about getting to their after class jobs. I assume that means they dont have jobs and are therefore PARASITES!!!

Why don't the students protest their schoolteachers high salaries, free benefits, huge retirements and 3 hour a week work hours? That would be more productive.

The pain has barely begun. Millions will twist in the wind before this is over.

The rich get richer and everyone else gets poorer and sicker unnecessarily


This guy is an idiot. Has he looked at the budget deficit? Everyone has to accept cuts or the state goes bankrupt. Immature, spoiled, idiot.

Maybe if universities would stop stealing from kids and charging obscene amounts "just because they can" and instead lower operating costs and administrative compensation then maybe this country can finanlly restore some sanity.

Day when you get go school full time and state and fed paid the college tuition for low income student is over, you had to go out and work and take classes same time, probably take longer to graduate. Is better if you do intern anyway, i see many got their BA degree and had problem finding job for years because they never work before or had internship.

Someone should require that these students take financial accounting before staging their "sit-ins". There 'aint no money kids - and when there 'aint no money, that means cuts.

We need some taxpayers to go and stage a sit in right next to these students.

These taxpayers would refuse to leave until the president signs a statement saying he will lower the cost to the taxpayers by raising tuition and cutting staff salaries.

I really don't understand what these students are complaining about, they are getting a high caliber education at a low price. The issue at hand is not the quality of education but the amount of money that is being taken from their financial aid package. With tuition being raised it would mean less financial aid money or better yet, less free money. Many of these students will need to find a job or other sources of income to help pay for their education. Yet, where in the world can you go and get financial assistance to go to college or once again, get yourself a world class education for an economical price.

These students should really stop complaining and get back to hitting the books.

The only reasons anyone could suggest that education funding cuts are a good thing would be if A) they were a big fan of well-educated citizens from other countries taking our jobs, B) they are jealous that they didn't get to go to school themselves and don't want others to have what they missed out on, or C) they think ignorance is really sexy.

Otherwise, I would think all Americans would want their children to get as much education as they could possibly get for as good a price as they could get it. You want your son or daughter to do better than you? To take care of you when you get old? Then make sure they're capable of doing more than working on an assembly line. Current educational trends really put that in jeopardy. We're going to have an illiterate, bitter populace soon.

Taxes taxes taxes taxes talk about a myopic world view. What a sad existence.

they want to defend public education funds but they also want the state to continue to give non taxpaying illegals access to the system....sounds like they need to pick one or the other or stop complaining.

There is no "Right" to a public education...sorry. If you really want to "picket and strike" do like we did in the 60's.....protest the billions being spend on WARS instead of education, protest the billions being spend on PRISONS instead of education....oh, excuse me.....we are already spending hundreds of billions on public education and we still have dummies!!!

Digital 3D, you are blaming us students, the future of this country, about student debt when in reality it was the your generation that got us into this whole mess? Students loans are taken out to help your generation, as well the ones that are succeeding you, to get out of this crappy economy.

Unless the Chancellor of Fullerton has the ability to squirt golden eggs out his behind - or has volunteered to take a pay cut - these kids are sitting (and apparently sleeping) in front of the wrong door. They want the Chancellor to sign a declaration?! Apparently they have learned nothing in college so far. His declaration would mean nothing.

The State is broke and has been broke for a long time. It has been borrowing money to meet expenses, including tuition. Students should pay the full cost of attending college. The tax payers should not have to pay.

The waste has been obscene. 70% of community college students don't get a degree. (See recent LA Times article.) LAUSD drop out rate is over 50% (see Times.) Illegal aliens are taking our tax money at all levels of education. These sit-in students are protesting to the wrong person about the wrong thing.

The students attending state colleges and universities are getting the deal of a lifetime. If they don't like it, let them go to a private college like Stanford and pay triple or more for the same education. I am one of the idiot taxpayers funding these clowns and I am sick and tired of their whiney attitude. Grow up and look around.

The CSUF campus is on a building boom when students would prefer to take classes online. The buildings are monuments to the past method of delivering education, and present monuments to people's egos. To rightsize the CSU system, you need to require faculty to be present, teaching classes more than a few hours a week. The campus is a ghost town on Fridays from 12 noon onward. Secondly, there are too many administrators. They need to trim them down to size. Thirdly, faculty evaluations need to be used to get rid of horrible instructors. There are so many who could care less about their students. Fourth, you need to roll back tuition to fall in line with the economic times. They have continued to raise tuition and the result is no better education. Lastly, get rid of Milt Gordon.

These are the anarchists and trouble makers of tomorrow. Taxpayers shouldn't have to subsidize this type of behavior. Plenty of good kids out there would jump at the chance to attend a university. There is no "right" to a college education, and these people should be grateful for the opportunity.

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. That's the world today and just because I have money that makes me a bad person. no way These kids need to learn about hard work, not handouts Nothing is free unless you are Mexican and can suck the system dry. Oh yeah, the state is broke ..too bad now go feed some more illegals out of your pocket not mine.

The Chancellor of the CSU system makes over $400,000 a year. Tell me, is he going to have his pay and pension cut, too?

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