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Sierra College students march on state Capitol

By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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Rainy weather didn’t stop students’ voices from being heard at the State Capitol Monday. Thousands of students, teachers and supporters rallied together in Sacramento to protest against cuts to higher education, including more than 100 Sierra College students. Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed to cut $400 million from community colleges and increase fees to help with the state’s $26 billion budget deficit. Community colleges across the state have already been hit hard with cuts, Sierra College included. In protest against Gov. Brown’s proposed cuts to higher education, people from all over the state gathered at the steps of the State Capitol for March in March, a rally in support of higher education. Sierra College student Morgan Leskody attended the march last year and again this year. “We feel this is an important issue – we don’t want cuts to education,” she said. “Education to me is one of the most important things that shape our society.” Leskody is a full-time student taking 19 units, while working four jobs and taking two internships. Luckily she has the financial help from her family to pay for community college, but next year as she attends CSU, Sacramento or San Francisco, she will have to pay her own way. Leskody is studying communications at Sierra College and knows first-hand the benefits of attending community colleges. She said she’s hopeful that message came across Monday. “I’d like to say that many students coming out and marching could make an impact,” Leskody said. “Often times we cut funds to education and in the future, we realize this is a big mistake. In my eyes, it’s not really good for anyone.” Associated Students of Sierra College arranged for a bus to transport students to the event Monday. The rally was a day of solidarity against budget cuts that could affect the state’s education system. Sierra College sociology professor Megan Seely came out to support her students. “I think it’s very important as a faculty to stand with my students,” Seely said. Seely said it was really strong, positive energy at the march. Students stood with signs that read messages such as “Dictatorship is easy if we are poor and ignorant,” and “More degrees, less fees.” “They were standing together as students,” Seely said. For many students, the march was a way for them to voice their opinions. For some students, “it’s the difference between being able to continue their education or not,” Seely said. “(Students had) that ‘aha’ moment that politics does matter in their lives. As a faculty member … to see students take a stand and find their voices is just amazing.”