SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Students at San Francisco State were furious Thursday over proposed cuts to the university’s nationally-recognized ethnic studies program.
With reports of deep budget cuts possibly targeting the renowned College of Ethnic Studies, an overflow crowd of upset students packed a Thursday meeting to make their concerns known.READ MORE: Environmentalists Suing Over Proposed Richmond Housing Development At Contaminated Waterfront Site
Some students told KPIX 5 this has been a problem years in the making, with its roots dating back moves school administrators made in 2009. At the meeting, students in the crowd voiced their opinions and trying to save their school.
The meeting was packed with at least 300 SFSU students and an estimated 100 or so more that spilled out into the courtyard.
Due to budget cuts set back in the 2009-2010 school year, come this fall, the College of Ethnic Studies will lose 40 percent of its staff.
The funding the school has been struggling with for years is finally reaching a breaking point, because the reserve fund the college has been using is now gone.
SFSU President Les Wong issued a statement on the shortfall.READ MORE: UPDATE: River Fire Erupts in Nevada and Placer Counties; Evacuations Ordered in Colfax
“Be assured that no plan exists to reduce the yearly budget for any of our six colleges, including the College of Ethnic Studies,” the statement read in part. “While our 2016-2017 budget for the University has not been finalized. We expect this year’s allocation to closely resemble last year’s.”
That response isn’t sitting well with students, who feel like this field of study is imperative to their education and understanding themselves better.
“I want to learn about my culture, because in high school I wasn’t,” said SFSU freshman Evelin Dominguez.
The College of Ethnic Studies was founded during the 1969 student strike and protest when they insisted on being taught more about America and all the various cultures that make up our country.
Almost 50 years later, what those students fought for might be gone soon.MORE NEWS: California Drought: Cotati Farm Rescuing Livestock Abandoned Due to Water Shortages
The university will continue having this conversation with students in a meeting