Johnny Castillo, freshman undeclared major and Joana Revolorio, freshman sociology major, carry scissors among the crowd to protest education budget cuts during March for Education at CSUN put on by the Chicano Studies Department Wednesday. Sarah Smith / Staff Photographer
Students and faculty in the Chicano/a studies department held a walkout and teach-in event Wednesday to raise awareness of the increasing budget cuts and faculty layoffs.
David Rodriguez, chair of the Chicano/a studies department, and Theresa Montaño, co-chair of the California Faculty Association (CFA) and associate professor in Chicano/a studies, said they began organizing the event less than a month ago.
“We saw it as an opportunity to one, protest, and two, teach,” said Montaño, who is also an associate professor in Chicano/a studies.
The walkout started at 9:30 a.m. with a march around the perimeter of campus that ended up on the lawn between Bayramian Hall and Jerome Richfield Hall.
Keynote speakers included Rodriguez, Montaño, Luis Miranda of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) and Audrena Redmond, a representative of the CFA.
“This is what Chicano studies is about,” Montaño said in her speech. “This is what Chicano studies was founded on.”
Montaño said that more demonstrations are needed on campus in order to ensure students get quality education. “We want to make sure that what our parents fought for remains,” Montaño added.
As participants marched, they chanted, “Ain’t no power like the power of the students, because the power of the students won’t stop.”
After the march, professors held workshops on the lawn, which included topics that addressed the issues on campus and problems in Haiti.
Senior Abraham Ramirez, 22, a Chicano/a studies major, said he found out about the event through his professor, Dr. Rudy Acuña. Ramirez said he thinks it is necessary for students to be here after an overall 60 percent increase in tuition.
“It diverts our attention to trying to pay for (school), as opposed to other resources we could use,” Ramirez added.
Professor Renee Moreno, who teaches full-time in the Chicano/a studies department, said “I hope we call more attention to the fact that education is being cut drastically,”
Redmond said more protests in education facilities will happen on March 4, when CSUN will meet up with Monroe High School in a collective effort.
“We need you and we need you to bring 10 of your friends,” Redmond said. “Education is under attack.”
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