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VALLEY COLLEGE : Student Leader Fights Budget Cuts

Student government Treasurer Rene Chavez at Valley College is heading an effort to spark student protests against state budget cuts for education.

He and other student leaders are organizing a rally from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday in Monarch Square on the Van Nuys campus.

“One of the primary reasons why we’re doing this is to get the attention of students and let them know why classes are being cut. . . . They don’t know,” Chavez said. “We are not getting our fair share at all.”

Several weeks ago, Chavez and Associated Students Chief Justice Eathan Guler started circulating a petition to express students’ “fear of losing more of our academic freedoms to the whims of bureaucracy.”

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Chavez said 100 classes may be axed due to budget cuts this spring.

Copies of the petition were given to all instructors, who were asked to join students in signing the forms. Chavez said he had obtained at least 2,000 signatures as of Friday.

Teachers also are being encouraged to suspend classes during Wednesday’s rally.

Chavez said another reason for the rally is to encourage students to attend the Feb. 12 meeting of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees to support Valley’s efforts to acquire more funding.

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“It’s very important that we get student representation. . . . We need students to be out there,” he said.

At least two buses will be provided to take students to the meeting at East Los Angeles College, Chavez said.

Meanwhile, Chavez has lined up several speakers for Wednesday’s rally.

They include Profs. Farrel Broslawsky and Lawrence Jorgensen, district Trustee Patrick Owens and representatives of the National Coalition for Sane Freeze and the Los Angeles Chapter of Jobs for Peace.

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