Thursday, December 8, 2016

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Aztecs Take Action

The university launches its e-advocacy efforts in the wake of a $7.8M budget reduction.
By Lorena Nava Ruggero

With a $7.8 million funding reduction to San Diego State announced today, the university asks Aztecs to take action.

Online advocacy

The Aztec Action Network, a new grassroots, e-advocacy website, provides information about legislative initiatives that affect SDSU and the California State University, and provides Aztecs an easy-to-use, customizable form to e-mail state and local legislators. University administrators hope that alumni, students, faculty, staff and community members will use the site to let elected officials know about their commitment to higher education and SDSU.

“San Diego State University has a long and proud tradition of contributing to the welfare of the San Diego region, California and our nation,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman. “These accomplishments and efforts have been proudly supported by our alumni, our students and their families, our faculty and staff, and the state of California.

“Now, our state faces significant challenges and we, as citizens, must make important choices regarding our future. We believe that supporting higher education is one of these critical choices.”

Virtual tools

The network is an opportunity for Aztecs to support the university and make their opinions known to their elected officials.

Aztec Action Network users can also sign up for the Action E-List that alerts them when their involvement can make a critical difference, and the MegaVote weekly e-mail that provides a customized summary of their local congressional representatives’ voting record.

Besides advocating on behalf of SDSU, Aztec Action Network users can also use the site to:

  • Find local legislators
  • Compose e-mails to elected officials at local, state and national levels
  • Stay up to date on elections and legislative issues

Critical need

The governor’s budget proposal for 2012-13 is expected in mid-January 2012. In November, the CSU Board of Trustees forwarded the governor’s office a budget request of $333 million in additional funding. This funding would replace a portion of the funds reduced this year.

Since 2007-08, the state of California has decreased funding for the CSU by more than $1 billion, translating into $95.2 million in budget reductions at SDSU to date. The result is decreased student enrollment and expanded class sizes, making it harder for students to graduate on time.

At the CSU system level, the board of trustees reduced enrollment systemwide and increased undergraduate tuition fees by $498 per year for most students, effective fall 2012. Even with students paying significantly more than in years past, revenue has not kept pace with state budget reductions.