As part of the March to Advocate and Reclaim California’s Higher Education (M.A.R.C.H.E) event, University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges students assembled for a rally at 10 a.m. on Monday at the Capitol building in Sacramento.
The rally was a push for adequate funding of higher education, according to a March 1 University of California Student Association (UCSA) news release.
The rally also aimed to demand that the state legislature reduce tuition by fully funding higher education and preserving the Cal Grant program, the release stated.
ASUCD Senator Felicia Ong said that she believes that students do not realize the true impact they can have on elected officials.
“Being in such close proximity to Sacramento, [UC Davis] students are at an advantage when it comes to advocating for higher education and voicing their concerns to our state legislators. I think the [M.A.R.C.H.E.] was a prime opportunity for students to participate in advocacy at the state level, not only because Sacramento is just a 20-minute drive away, but because it was an opportunity for students all across the state to come together, capture the spotlight, and demand reinvestment in higher education,” she said in an email interview.
Ong is working to educate UC Davis students on how the decisions of elected officials will impact them and the future of UC, with help from ASUCD advocacy units.
She said that events such as this are important for the future of higher education so that students feel empowered to advocate for quality education that is affordable.
“Although Prop 30 passed last fall, it doesn’t mean that we will no longer face cuts to higher education … In 2012, the average student debt after college was around $30,000. This is unacceptable considering that we are the leaders of our next generation that hold the potential to turn our economy around,” she said.
— Muna Sadek