Fresno State Furloughs

August 3, 2009 9:09:48 AM PDT
The campus has gone quiet at Fresno State as employees face the first day of forced furloughs.Students and faculty at Fresno State have dealt with their fair share of obstacles over the last several weeks. And starting Monday, they'll have to get used to fewer resources on campus.

Fresno State student Luis Tejeda is cramming for a math test. Come Monday morning, he and his friends won't be able to study in the student union. The university's brand-new, multi-million dollar Henry Madden Library will also be off limits. "We usually come here to study all the time. We do a lot of group sessions together. So, yeah it would bother us a lot, we wouldn't know where to go if this was closed tomorrow."

Monday marks the first of 24 unpaid furlough days. Twice a month, for the next 12 months, about 800 Fresno State employees will not be allowed to come to work, answer work-related calls, or send and receive e-mails. That amounts to a ten-percent pay cut, and on those furlough days, the campus will be virtually shut down.

"It's kinda funny. In orientation they teach the students, use the facility, use this, use this, it's part of your fees. That's why you pay the fees. That's what you pay that amount for. And here we are. We continue to pay more, and here we are getting less," said Fresno State Student Nathan Svobota.

Shirley Armbruster is a spokesperson for Fresno State. She's also a furloughed employee. She said the entire 23-school C.S.U. system is trying to fix a $584-million dollar budget shortfall. Of that total, Fresno State needs to trim $44-million-dollars.

Despite mandatory furloughs, fewer classes and a 32-percent hike in student fees, Armbruster said there are still more cuts ahead. "We have about $16.3 million dollars that we still are covering and that will be through different cut backs and other administrative cuts."

Armbruster said they do have a plan to carry out those additional cuts, but at this point, we're not sure who or what will be affected. We do know however that the Campus Police Department is exempt from furloughs and the athletic department is still working on a plan to take their furlough days.

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