Students Fear Fresno State Budget Cuts

3/13/2008 Fresno The California State University system expects to lose $386 million if the governor's proposed budget gets approved.

Fresno State could see a $24 million cut in its operating budget.

Many students on campus rely on financial aid and diverse course offerings to earn their degree. These are just two of the issues students and university officials face if their budget's cut.

Philip Vieira is a junior at Fresno State. Like many students on campus he relies heavily on financial aid.

"A lot of good brain power comes from people who are financially unable to provide for education themselves," Vieira says.

But during a packed forum president John Welty prepared students like Vieira for the effects of governor Schwarzenegger's proposed budget cuts.

Welty claims about 600 students who rely on financial aid would be turned away, student fees would increase by about 10% and course offerings would be reduced if the budget is passed. "And there will be many students who need classes that are already with us that may have difficulty getting those," Welty says.

Welty and a panel of professors encouraged students to help fight an education budget cut by getting involved and contacting legislators.

Lisa Weston, Fresno State Professor, says "We need to be angry. We need to say and we need to encourage others to say not just no to cuts please, please sir I'd like some more, but yes to the CSU."

Weston is fearful cuts would also affect faculty forcing her out of the job or increasing her already busy work load. She says, "It's about the future of California. It's about being able to sustain higher education for the average Californian.

Professors set future meetings with students and plan to take their concerns to the education subcommittee in Sacramento which meets in April.

By mid-May the governor is expected to make revisions to his plan.

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