On March 4, over 1,000 students from all over the state marched from Raley Field to the Capitol building at 10th street and Capitol Mall. 20 of those students were from Las Positas College.
The March in March is an annual demonstration to protest budget cuts for higher education and a loud way of asking for further subsidization. This year’s march was fairly short, with the departure from Raley Field at 10 a.m. and the demonstration on the Capitol steps lasting roughly an hour.
“This is my third year doing it,” said ASLPC Director of Communications Stephanie Suarez. “I really like the chants, I love marching with everyone.”
The event is capped off with speeches and chants lead from a podium just in front of the Capitol’s main entrance.
Suarez considered this year’s event a success. One speaker on the podium referenced the passing of Proposition 30 as a triumph for college subsidization in California.
“The reason why March in March is so important is because we want students to have a voice in higher education,” said LPC student Newton Hua. “Recently we heard about counselors that got cut, EOPS got cut from Foothill College. We as students want them (legislators) to understand that they are a part of us.”
EOPS is a program that assists special needs students to learn and obtain a college education.
“This is our state. This is our school,” Hua said.
At LPC, the Transfer Center was recently scaled back to near oblivion and other severe cuts were made.
“Prop 30 was not expected to pass, but with your help and your effort, it did. It was due to your support, you the students of California,” said one speaker.
The protest went smoothly and, beyond one minor incident of an unauthorized person grabbing the microphone, was without problems. Organizers quickly interrupted the one man who attempted to make a speech.
Last year’s march was plagued by ‘Occupy’ protesters using the demonstration as their own, and arrests were made after protesters failed to move after a disperse order was made by state police.
“As we were gathering for the march, we heard this huge UC Santa Barbara cheer,” said student Mounia O’Neal, from De Anza College. “It takes some incredible student organizers to get people all the way up here. They must really care, and that’s such a good feeling. We want to be able to go to school and afford it, and we want our friends to be able to afford an education.”