CSU Stanislaus students have been protesting the administrative decisions that are being made at their Turlock campus.
The visible activism really picked up once Dr. Hamid Shirvani, President of CSU Stanislaus, announced that the university would be discontinuing its Winter Term beginning with the 2010-2011 academic year and a California State University, Stanislaus General Faculty vote of no confidence on November 20, 2009.
Students have protested in groups at the CSUS President’s office, walked out of classes early to march the campus in protest, and even protested in front of CSUS President Shirvani’s Turlock home.
Kristin Olsen, CSU Stanislaus Senior Director of Public & Legislative Affairs, says that several protests have taken place and that they are allowed as long as they are peaceful.
The CSU Stanislaus Police Department has not had to take any forceful action while defending against protests.
Olsen said the protests have not crossed any thresholds that have led into incidents such as the November protestors take over of a UCLA building, the UC Berkeley building take over, the UC Santa Cruz building take over, and the more recent San Francisco State University building take over.
While a protest at Shirvani’s home did not elevate into a crime such as the protest that caused destruction to the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s home this last weekend, it does cross the line of being inappropriate by addressing the CSUS President’s professional work in his private personal life situation. It’s been said that Shirvani wasn’t even home while his wife was home alone to deal with, what a normal person could consider, a somewhat fearful situation. Protesters identified in videos have been proving that some of the protesters were not even students at CSU Stanislaus.
YouTube.com videos of the protest have been posted with potentially threatening comments such as “ITS TIME FOR COMMUNISM TO TAKE OVER!!!!! LET”S KILL HIM!!!!!! j/k”
In regards to the safety of CSUS President Shirvani, Kristin Olsen said “Any credible threats are taken seriously on campus regardless of who on campus the threat is made against. The University Police’s priority is to ensure that all the members of the campus community are safe.”
Olsen feels that the protesters’ energy would be better spent taking their protest to Sacramento and talking to legislators about the need to reinvest in higher education.
“The legislators are the ones who have the power to be able to fund the CSU system or not.”
Previous to the “CSU Stanislaus Cuts 2010-11 Winter Term Due to Budget Cuts” announcement, President Shirvani had to announce more bad news on July 10th when CSU Stanislaus reported having to close 2010 Winter and Spring admissions.
In the article “Budget Cuts Force CSU Stanislaus to Close 2010 Winter, Spring Admissions,” the cuts were due to an unprecedented budget reduction from the State, California State University, Stanislaus must close admission for the 2010 Winter and Spring terms, consistent with all other universities in the CSU system.
Shirvani said “We regret having to implement more enrollment reduction strategies, especially since we have been growing steadily over the past four years to meet the increased demand for higher education in the Central Valley. Nevertheless, the Governor’s and Legislature’s cuts to CSU have left us with no other choice but to reduce enrollment in order to maintain academic quality.”
Shortly after the July 10th announcement, the California Faculty Association released their vote of no confidence in CSU Chancellor Charles Reed on July 14th.
The article “CSU Faculty Votes to Accept Furloughs, Vote of No Confidence in CSU Chancellor” states this vote came after faculty voted to accept two unpaid furlough days a month for one year.
At its July 21st meeting, the CSU Board of Trustees finalized a plan to manage the $584 million system-wide cut that includes furloughs, student fee increases, and enrollment reductions.
The November 20, 2009 article “CSU Stanislaus General Faculty Votes ‘No Confidence’ in President Hamid Shirvani” states that the results of the California State University, Stanislaus General Faculty vote of “no confidence” ballot will be reported to Charles B. Reed, Chancellor of the California State University system, the Board of Trustees of the CSU and members of the California Legislature.