Students Stage Sit-In to Protest Classes Lost Under Budget : Valley College: The rally hampers registration. A leader urges a demonstration at Assemblyman Bane’s office.
About 100 noisy students took over a portion of the Valley College administration building Wednesday for 90 minutes--one minute for every class they said was cut this semester because of state budget constraints.
The 1960s-style sit-in was part of a daylong rally planned by student government leaders and others to spark student outrage over continuing state budget cuts to education, said Rene Chavez, one of the organizers.
Campus police quietly watched the sometimes rowdy demonstration. The noontime event hampered new students registering for the spring semester and disrupted counseling activities, said Mary Ann Breckell, vice president of administration.
Doug Bruce, a demonstration leader, urged the students to continue their protest at the office of Assemblyman Tom Bane (D-Van Nuys). “We’re putting on the pressure,” he said. “We’re on the move.”
Bruce said he had been at Valley for six years because “67% of the classes” he needs to graduate are inaccessible.
Jack Sterk, Academic Senate president, urged students to pressure not only the state but the Los Angeles Community College board of trustees.
“The latest buzzword going around Sacramento is reorganize ,” he said. “And that is a euphemism for cutback.” Sterk added that Valley has not received its fair share of district allocations.
Alaine Jelsvik, former student government president, asked students not to blame Valley College officials for their dilemma. “The administration here has been fighting this for two years,” she said.
Jelsvik urged students to attend a meeting of the Los Angeles Community College District board of trustees next Wednesday to protest budget cutbacks.