The California Faculty Association (CFA) is striking today at CSU East Bay, meaning many students’ classes have been canceled.
Some students may take advantage of the time to catch up on assignments or study. Other students may use it as a day off to relax or find some way to recharge their batteries for the rest of the quarter.
While the manner in which every student treats today is his or her own to decide, it is important not to lose sight of what is going on.
We are bearing witness to a struggle in higher education, which continues to become more volatile.
The CSU Trustees yesterday passed a decision to increase student tuition fees by nine percent beginning Fall 2012, the third such price hike in the past year.
For a full-time undergraduate student that means an additional $498 to receive their education, increasing the total annual cost to $5,970.
The idea that today is a “day off” while faculty strike is as empty of an idea as the thought that the state is trying to protect higher education. The struggle for our future as students in the CSU system continues regardless of whether we have classes today.
We must take an active role in how that future will be determined and today’s strike is one such place to begin.
To be clear, we are not taking a stance on the CFA strike or telling our fellow students what their stance should be. Every student has the right to decide where he or she stands on the issue.
What we are arguing here is that students must go further than simply deciding where they stand. Every student must be willing to put his or her viewpoint into action.
If you agree with the decision and cause of the CFA, join them in their strike and get directly involved with them. If you disagree with the decision and cause of the CFA, express that viewpoint and get involved in what cause you believe best represents your viewpoint.
Today is not a day to sit on the sidelines while an important fight for our future as students takes place on our very own campus. Indeed it is a clear opening for students to take advantage of a slight reprieve from classes to take the time to get involved.
If we choose to sit out any fight over higher education we make the conscious decision to place our future entirely in the hands of others.
Are we as students really willing to just accept a decision that will cost us an additional $498 just to go to school and get our education? Are we willing to sit by and not let our voices be heard on what we believe is the place in our education system that faculty should hold, the very same faculty we receive our education from?
This is our higher education system and our future. We can let today go to waste or we can use it as the spark that begins a much larger flame of student involvement.
The choice is yours.
Disclaimer: Due to a conflict of interest, our Editor-in-Chief Mark Laluan was not involved in the editorial process for this article.
This entry was published in The Pioneer Online on Thursday, November 17th, 2011 at 1:23 pm.