By Kalama Hines
On March 2, for the seventh consecutive year, the California State Capitol was prepared for “March in March.
The protest, which first graced the streets of Sacramento in 2009, allows students of the California Community College system to have a voice and demand affordable higher education.
As reported in previous issues of The Express, in 2009 an estimated 5,000 people gathered for the first annual “March in March,” while more than 10,000 were in attendance in 2011.
This year’s installment of the protest found only a few hundred.
An event that once boasted the attendance well into the thousands, now hosts a mere 400 maximum, and many of those present were quick to depart. As speakers took the microphone on the steps of the capitol building, in hopes of inspiring others, the crowd steadily dissipated.
Also, of the more than 8,000 students who attend Las Positas College, a modest 22 students took part.
It is the opinion of The Express’ editorial board that that the complacency of this nation’s youth is reaching a dangerous level.
A cause that should inspire intrigue from most of the millions of students in the California Community College system, has seemingly gone unnoticed by those it affects most.
Access to affordable education is an absolute necessity for the advancement of this nation. Without an educated population, the people of this nation will find themselves drinking Brawndo and being damn proud of it.
As stated during the protest, the “Master Plan” for California Community Colleges is free education for all. As it stands now, despite California offering the cheapest community college rates, a full-time student is asked to pay nearly $1,000 per semester.
Coupled with textbooks, that often run over $100 apiece, and budget cuts causing students to stay in a two-year school for four or more years, CC students may often find themselves paying nearly $10,000 for an education that is intended to be free.
But if we do not use our constitutional right of free speech to stand for something, we do not deserve that right.