The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

WST takes initiative to promote knowledge of California budget

Paying for college is a common issue in today’s society. While some students are fortunate enough to receive financial aid for college, a portion of students do not. Some students have to work while attending college in order to pay for it while others are forced to take out huge loans to pay for their higher education.
The Warrior Street Team (WST) decided to help educate students at California State University, Stanislaus about movements to make higher education more accessible. They emphasize the importance of students taking action and inform students about how California’s budget affects higher education.
We students are gathering together and speaking up to make state legislators, as well as the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, to hear our voices. And with some help from the WST our voices are being heard.
The WST is the lobby core for Associated Students Incorporated (ASI); they are essentially student representatives who concern themselves with campus matters and issues that students have about the campus. The WST also provides students with current information about campus and state-related matters.
On Oct. 9, the WST set up a table in Main Dining where they had a cardboard poster with the names of the numerous institutions in California as well as labels with varying numbers to denote the funds set aside for them. WST members at the table engaged students by having them match the monetary labels to the institutions they thought received the respective number of funds.
“We are reaching out because we want students to know how much of the CA budget we receive,” Santosh Hass, Media Chair for the WST, said. “We want to have informed students so that if they ever feel like events are unfair in the legislative process, they have an idea of the way it works so they can do something about it.”
The WST members moved the matches on the cardboard poster to the correct spot and students could see where California’s higher education budget is divided. Members of the WST then compared funds distributed to other institutions and explained how a surprising portion of those funds set aside for higher education affect CSU Stanislaus.
“After seeing how much the government funds for higher education I was actually surprised to see that they do give us a good amount, but we’re not the top priority,” Freddy Casillas (sophomore, Spanish) said. “I feel that we do deserve more funding for higher education […] especially [for] students who don’t get a lot of funds or don’t get any at all.”
The WST also coordinated and provided a workshop for students later in the day from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m in the Lakeside Conference Room. The workshop discussed important topics like more information on California’s budget, Proposition 30 and the Middle Class Scholarship Act.
In 2012, Proposition 30 was passed which protected the universities like CSU Stanislaus from state funding cuts. If Proposition 30 had not passed, a $250 million funding cut would have devastated California universities and resulted in operating budget and staff reductions, student tuition increases and enrollment caps at all 23 CSU campuses.
Luckily, however, college students and higher education supporters rallied enough support for Proposition 30 to ultimately pass. That is why voting is so crucial, the WST stressed, because your vote does make a difference and can save you from having to pay more for a higher education.
“I’m glad I came,” Ana G. Nava (junior, Psychology) said. “It was very informative and one thing I actually didn’t know was about the Middle Class Scholarship Act which I know is going to help a lot of students.”
The act, recently approved by California legislature this past summer, will provide eligible students with a lower rate of tuition. Students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify.
Some students are resigned to the fact that they will not receive aid, but now that this act has passed it’s important to fill out a  FASFA.
The WST certainly provides very informative activities and workshops for students on campus. Attending these events can be very beneficial, as they present current important issues to students who can utilize and act on the matters.
Looking to the future, the WST will be hosting a “Get to Know Your Legislature” open forum Oct. 29. The WST is planning to get legislative representatives from Turlock and Modesto to sit down for a question and answer session with students at CSU Stanislaus.
For more information stop by the ASI office on the second floor in the Student Union building.

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WST takes initiative to promote knowledge of California budget