By Anshi Aucar
Professor Tim Harrington and 20 of his Visual Media Design (VMD) students protested in the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Office after finding out that several classes in their program were eliminated at 11:30 pm on Nov. 19, exactly 30 minutes before priority registration opened.
The VMD program was subject to four class eliminations from their Spring 2020 calendar. Among those cut were several courses which are required for program completion.
Many students expressed their frustration by holding signs which read “When you only get $$$ if we graduate, but you cut the classes that we need to graduate” and “Hands off my Graduation.” Other students created visuals that compared the increased budget for administrators to the decreased budget for class offerings.
International students who attended the protest expressed their concerns: to be able to maintain residence in the country they have to be enrolled in 12 units to maintain their status and to them that means having to add classes they don’t need, pay for them and wait until the class they need is available for them to take and hope it doesn’t get canceled.
Vice-Chancellor of Academic AffairsTom Boegel spoke to students saying that they had to cut the classes that weren’t part of a specific program. Like aircraft, classes were one of the classes among many others that had to be cut. He explained that administrators performed a cost analysis to see what courses benefit the school more and if students are actually succeeding in said courses.
Representatives of AFT 2121, the faculty union, attended the protest as well as showing support for the professors of the VMD. Boegel said, “We have been talking to department chairs about this continuously, on their input on this.”