Class cuts looms over students

With budget cuts becoming a hindrance, Riverside City College students, faculty and staff fear for their education and for instructor layoffs.

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By Anastasia Morris / Editor’s Assistant , Dylan Slusser / Editor’s Assistant

By Anastasia Morris / Editor’s Assistant , Dylan Slusser / Editor’s Assistant

With budget cuts becoming a hindrance, Riverside City College students, faculty and staff fear for their education and for instructor layoffs.

It seems that class cuts and layoffs are being mentioned in community colleges all over California. With the poor state of the economy it is unlikely that this is the last people hear of budget cuts. According to a recent budget cut analysis, it is unlikely that California will be facing deeper budget cuts.

The May revision has given community colleges a bit of wiggle room with spending.

The May Revision cut various social services funding as well as the funding to University of California’s and University of Southern California as well as the California Student Aid Commission grant program.

This will give upward revenue of $6.6 billion. With this increase in revenue its hope that the cuts won’t be as deep. Students and faculty are in the dark with the future situation in regard to budget cuts.

“The staff is united, we just feel like we have no voice,” said RCC English professor Tucker Amidon.

Other faculty feel that all the faculty are united as well.  

“We (the faculty) are unified. Absolutely, there will be no further cuts to instruction,” Wind ensemble conductor Kevin Mayes said.  

Higher levels of education produce a greater number of skilled professionals in the Californian workforce.

 “The reduction of financial support from the state is of great concern to community college constituents,” said RCC Vice President of business services Norm Godin. “While most faculty, staff, administrators and students are aware of the budget crisis; everyone is concerned about the reduction in course sections thereby severely limiting access to public education.”

Dariush Haghighat, the Faculty Association president expressed frustration with faculty members and their lack of unity among themselves in fighting class cuts.

“There’s an elephant in the room: and it is the knowledge that as students and faculty, we may be getting the short end of the stick,” said Haghighat.

Instructors like Wind ensemble conductor Mayes sees the RCC faculty as hammering out the best solutions possible under bad circumstances.

“We were given a budget number and we met it,” said Mayes. “We were given a very large dollar amount of cuts that had to be made and out of those cuts only a small percentage were made to instruction.”

How does it affect the students at RCC?

One student, Lilly Buckley said that if she was able to get into any of the classes she needed.

“Not at all, and that it’s getting worse this semester,” Buckley said.  

Cuts to instruction can be detrimental to a vast array of RCC students, ranging from students finishing their transfer requirements to new ones just beginning their academic pursuits on campus.

“I couldn’t get into the computer arts class that I needed this semester,” said student Jason Rank.

Many other students cannot get into their required classes due to availability.  

“I was unable to take a class to satisfy my physical science IGETC transfer requirement,” said Chris Zervas, RCC student. “And I’ve heard that there are more class cuts coming up this spring too.”

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