CSU Chancellor receives an icy reception

Louis LaVenture,
News and Sports Editor

If you were on Cal State East Bay’s campus on Monday afternoon, you could hear something brewing. Faculty, staff and students staged a demonstration at the Cal State East Bay Hayward campus to bring attention to the looming strike, when CSU Chancellor Timothy White visited the University Union. White gave a brief speech and then took questions from the largely hostile crowd.[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]”We want him to know that his house is on fire”[/mks_pullquote]

The California Faculty Association approved a strike in April to protest the two percent pay increase implemented in the CSU 2015-2016 budget. The CFA has asked for a five percent increases in pay across the board as well as additional raises for part time and adjunct positions.

“We want him to know that his house is on fire,” CFA President Jennifer Eagan said. “What are you doing to avert the strike? What is he doing to stop this?”

White, alumni of East Bay from when it was known as Cal State University, Hayward, shared fond memories of his time at the school and mentioned his son also graduated from the school in 2011. However, the good feelings were short lived, CFA members and supporters yelled, waved signs and some even had tape over their mouths in defiance of the lack of progress in the pay negotiations.

After the speech, there was 40 minutes for an open question-and-answer session with White. During White’s first response, several audience members voiced their frustrations, to which White replied, “Are all of you here in the front row alumni? With that level of respect?”

The comments drew boos from most of the 200 people in attendance. Midway through the visit, people banged on the door repeatedly, however, school officials capped the number of attendees and did not let the room reach its capacity of 343 people.

A member of the CSUEB Theater and Dance Department told White, “I am appalled that I was aggressively approached by an officer. This is not a police station, this is not a f—–g prison.”

The department recently saw some cuts in staff and courses, which was also brought up at the meeting.

“No, it is not my job to know the details,” White said. “It’s not my job to know that level of details because I think they are nuances.”

Nearly every question asked was accompanied with an explanation of the individual’s personal connection to the campus and community. White answered every question; however, many audience members felt he was evasive.

“They have been steadily building a reserve of money since 2010, the same year the staff took voluntary furlough,” Eagan said. “We want answers not lies.”