About 200 City College students walked out of class midday on March 4 to participate in the Education for All rally held in Gorton Quad which was in connection with the statewide California Day of Action, an effort to speak out against severe budget cuts to public education.

Associated Student Council Senator Patrick Namwembe helped organize the rally which featured many student speakers and displayed messages from students written on long stretches of butcher paper.

“I feel like the students are not actually aware of the funding being cut and how it affects the quality of education” Namwembe said. “We need to stand up and act right now. It might be too late down the line; we are the only force that can create the change we need it right now.”

Sara O’Dell, a speech communication student, who participated in the walk out, reacted to City canceling winter intersession due to budget cuts.

“They want us to have a good future and get a good job, but without this education we can’t go get those jobs,” O’Dell said. “A lot of students here are paying for their own education and they’re working full time while going to school full time.”

Cuts to student support services were also mentioned by rally attendees as a primary reason why they walked out of classes.

“They’re cutting a lot of the programs like tutoring and counseling, a lot of us need those services in order to get by,” added O’Dell. “We need the help, with the cuts to the services, it just sucks.”

Psychology major Melissa Fulk said she is most outraged by rumors that the cost per unit may be raised drastically next semester.

“My professor told us that tuition costs for next semester are going up. They’re thinking $40 per unit, (and) that’s ridiculous,” Fulk said.

College district Chancellor Constance Carroll, who was at the rally in Gorton Quad, called the march “an important step toward equity in funding our community colleges, as well as other public needs.”

Fulk captured the general consensus of many of the rally participants, “I really want to finish school. Instead of a four-year plan, it’s going to be more like an eight or 10-year plan. It’s stressful.”

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