Students don’t want to be cut

By Victor Mora / Staff Writer, Karissa Rivera / Staff Writer

No grant for STEM (Allison Perez / Asst. Photo Editor)

By Victor Mora / Staff Writer, Karissa Rivera / Staff Writer

A protest was held outside of the Martin Luther King Jr. building at Riverside City College on Oct. 19 to protest the loss of mentors of the Science Technology Engineering Math center.

The free speech area was packed students and mentors of the Science Technology Engineering and Math center in response to administration not living up its dedication to student’s success and learning centers that meet the needs and expectations of students; as promised in their mission statement

The protest specifically focused on the programs grant not being renewed, which resulted in the loss of resources, including materials offered and the loss of jobs held by student mentors.

Students and mentors distributed flyers, carried signs, passed around petitions to inform students on the issue and to have them participate along with the protest.

The protest was aiming towards getting administrations attention, so that they can take action to reverse their decision in not renewing the grant.

Student views on the protest were mixed.  

“Cuts are going to get way worse and this is just the beginning” said RCC Student Ashley Anderson. “They need to think about networking with other clubs and the student Senate to help push the issue.”

Advocates of the center expressed their disapproval about the closure of the center due to ending of its grant.

However, as a result of budget cuts affecting education, a competition for funds between programs is being created.  

This was evident in an exchange between a former STEM tutor who lost his job and a member of the math lab who disagreed with the protest.

The member of the math lab believes that Riverside City College should not focus on grants, but to put more institutional money from the district into programs like tutorial services in the math and English labs.

 “I believe in the concept of the program, but not the way it is what was ran here,” said Riki Hicks, member of the math lab.

Another former tutor responded to what Riki said.   

“I’m disappointed that seventy jobs were lost by students and this is why I’m protesting on their behalf,” said former tutor Joseph Pickett.  

Mentors are speaking out as well about the disappointment with the administration.  

“The protest is directed as a local small scale argument,” said mentor Adriana Curiel. “We want the administration to serve us and do what their mission statement says.”

Raise your hands in the air (Allison Perez / Asst. Photo Editor)