ASG advocates for fewer budget cuts

Rashad Muhammad, Staff Writer

The Associated Student Government (ASG) is the San Diego Mesa College student government responsible for many things such as: fundraising, management of funds, Mesa College sponsored clubs, as well as dozens of organizational activities. Their prime focus for this semester is advocacy for programs and initiatives that will derail continued budget cuts.
“Our focus for this semester is to stop the budget cuts that are not only affecting Mesa or the district of San Diego, but also affecting the entire state of California,” ASG President Cherie Deogracias said.

ASG organized numerous rallies and legislative functions in order to better advocate for financial assistance on behalf of the student body. Some ASG members went to Sacramento to encourage members of California state government to ease the reduction of our budget.

ASG Secretary Martin Pollak believes that the budget cuts has something to do with how our school system is viewed.

“Well…realistically, everybody is getting cut: the military, fire department, and even the cops. Unfortunately community colleges are just a prime target. It’s unfortunate because a large amount of our workforce attend community colleges,” Pollak said.

“It’s hard for community colleges to compete with UC schools and other universities because most politicians that you hear about don’t advocate for community colleges,” he added. “They’ve graduated from well-known schools and other prestigious universities so they would have no way of knowing how it is for somebody that goes to a college like Mesa.”
Pollak’s views are common with Mesa College students, like engineering major Jonathan Khaled.

“I mean, you don’t hear about universities or the other big name schools getting their budgets cut,” Khaled said. “And even if they are getting cut, I guarantee you it isn’t as significant as ours.”

ASG has worked with many committees, members of faculty, and state legislatures to secure the cross California.

“We work with many people across the state,” Deogracias said. “For example, we are currently working with California Senator Darrell Steinberg who has proposed two bills, (1052 & 1053), that would establish an open-source digital library for undergraduate youth.”

ASG is proactive in bettering the college experience at Mesa College.

“We give $15,000 in scholarships every spring, we assist in student grievances like stopping the raise of parking fees this semester, and we help fundraise for dozens of clubs,” Deogracias said.  “…In order to sustain a more comfortable standard of learning, we must stop these budget attacks.”

In order to build a better future for Mesa, ASG advocates students to campaign against these reductions in educational expenditures. ASG encourages students to provide a helping hand.

“Our success depends on the students because a government doesn’t work without the assistance of its citizens,” Deogracias said.