Fresno State SQE

Another semester Students for Quality Education and the California Faculty Association have worked tirelessly to create a more equitable education and workplace environment for faculty, staff, and students alike. SQE has continued to voice its demands so that the California State University System can implement needed changes so that everyone can have a better experience with the CSU system.

As you all may know the bill AB1460 was signed by Newsom on August 17, 2020. This was a huge step forward in creating a more diverse and inclusive education for students. The bill establishes that beginning the 2021–22 academic year the CSU system must provide new courses on ethnic studies on all twenty-three CSU campuses. This is a win for SQE since they have been behind a lot of the work that went towards getting Newsom to sign it.

These are the moments SQE works hard for they continue with the No Harm, Disarm campaign. This campaign has a lot of moving parts but its main demand is focused on defunding the university police department (UPD). This is meant to reallocate funds to other programs within Fresno State to support the needs of the student body across all CSU campuses. From the University Budget Books, we noticed that in just the 2019–2020 year the Public Safety and University Police Department received $2.6 million in Fresno State’s total budget. While the police department received an abundance of money, the Universities Health and Psychological Services received only $69,397 from the 2019–20 year. This is astonishing because this shows where Fresno State’s budget priorities are. What the campaign strives to do is to Defund the police and invest in affirming, life-giving resources & spending for Black people, Indigenous people, all people of color, and all people disproportionately harmed by policing & the carceral system. This is a way for the Cal State system to move away from funding policing and using those funds towards mental health and counseling services. Those groups of individuals who have historically been disproportionately affected by the policing system due to racial profiling and the biases these officers may hold, can and will influence their choices on how they approach people of different cultural backgrounds.

That being said we have to look at the numbers again, Fresno State is investing more into its University Police Department over their Health and Psychological Services. With only fourteen known individuals on the counseling services program. This is another issue, SQE is demanding that every campus have one counselor for every 1k to 1.5k students on campus. Fresno State does not meet those guidelines given by the American Psychological Association student ratio guidelines. We want our CSU campuses to hire more mental health counselors in the representation of the student body. Meaning we want diverse staff on board to fit student needs.

The next demand ties into the University Police Department issue, instead of having them present on campus we should fund well trained mental health crisis intervention teams on each campus that are unaffiliated with policing. This way we create campus safety and reassurance through our student body.

When we consider funding these essential resources for students we are always asked how it will get paid for. The problem is that we have the funds necessary to fund these programs to prevent social discord and student adversity yet we are using these funds on the police department. Especially during a pandemic where students are struggling academically to push through virtual learning.

Students at Fresno State are experiencing virtual learning and many are having a difficult time. Whether it is financial, educational, or personal students should be able to rely on their University to provide services. Counseling services have shifted to virtual sessions and many students have used this as a way to obtain counseling even though they are unable to meet in person. This is a way to maintain student engagement. The fact that counseling has shifted virtually made it a possibility to still get the help that they need.

Students in the LGBTQIA+ Community need safe spaces and welcoming campus environments. SQE is determined to demand the protections of LGBTQIA+ Students. The way to safety is by providing more safety zones defined by and for LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC students on campus. This safety zone must include trained staff who hold the history and support of the BIPOC and the LGBTQIA+ community. The staff members must also not tolerate heterosexist, homophobic, cisgenderist comments, even under the guise of “diversity of thought.”

In regards to Student Affairs Students for Quality Education demands all CSU campuses to implement restorative and transformative practices on each campus via Student Conduct and Student Affairs as needed and applicable. This follows with having mandatory, extensive, and repetitive unconscious bias training led by trusted organizations chosen by Black people, Indigenous people, all people of color, faculty, and students. While maintaining full transparency to these training sessions including what and when they are being conducted.

There should also be an implementation of reporting virtual harassment. This is because we are now in this virtual environment and this could be beneficial to those individuals who do not want to go in person to report such matters.

Thank you all for tuning in. This overview of Students for Quality Education and its demands towards the CSU system has made great efforts into the implementations of solutions to new and current issues.

http://fresnostate.edu/adminserv/budget/bb/2019-20/untitled.html

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