Normally students don’t care much when they hear that summer school will be cut due to the budget, but on Wednesday, May 18 at Cerritos College a group of more than 30 disgruntled students and staff protested and stormed the Board of Trustees meeting demanding that more classes be added to the summer schedule.
Due to ongoing speculation about how much funding Cerritos College will receive next Fall from the State of California, the summer schedule of classes was cut down to roughly 200 courses offered during the summer period. This is a drastic drop from the 685 classes that were offered last summer, and an even more staggering difference from the 1,242 classes offered during the summer of 2009.
“At (the) very least they (Board of Trustees) should restore summer session to what it was last year,” said Student Marco Tolento told Patch.com. “I just need one class to transfer to a U.C., a class that is normally offered, but for now that class is not being offered.”
This sentiment echoed throughout the group of student protesters. One engineering student said that this whole situation prompted him to go on anti-depressants because the stress of it all was just so overwhelming. He needs just one class to take other required courses, but for now, that class is not part of the shortened summer class list.
Before the meeting, president of the Board of Trustees Tom Jackson told Patch.com, “Students are upset because all the funds are being cut from Community Colleges and CSUs but we are doing the best we can.”
During the meeting, Board Member David El Fattal presented a power point presentation that gave mainly, “positive news,” according to El Fattal. “We won’t get any extra funding, but at least we will get what is owed to us.”
As of now the Board of Trustees has enough in the budget to pay all campus staff and faculty for two months before receiving funding from the state. While the projected scenario for funding seems positive, Cerritos College will ultimately face a budget deficit by 2013, according to El Fattal.
The $87 million projected budget in 2012/13 is expected to suffer a $3 million budget shortfall.
“The recession will only last for a while, but robbing us of our education will last a lifetime,” said Philosophy Student Joseph Silva.
Jackson ended the discussion and public comment session by stating, "that all comments would be duly noted."