A rally beginning the "Buck Starts Here" campaign was held at Sonoma State University at noon on Thursday, Feb. 23 in the Stevenson Quad.
The program at the Rohnert Park campus included Dr. Ruben Armiñana, President of Sonoma State University; Dr. Ben Ford, Chair of the Academic Senate; Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane; Mayor of Rohnert Park Jake Mackenzie;
VP of Legislative Affairs for the California State Student Association (CSSA) Sean Richards; and Alex Boyar. President of Associated Students at SSU. Many other students participated.
The "bucks" are actually mock $650 million bills, which represent this year's unprecedented cuts to the California State University. A student's hand-written story about how cuts to higher education have impacted his or her life is on each one.
Students at all 23 CSU campuses are dropping them into a big clear box that is traveling from campus to campus, making its way to Sacramento, where it will be delivered to Governor Brown during the California State Student Association's advocacy day in March.
The campaign was launched this November by the CSSA, which represents the CSU's 412,000 students.
The Bucks Start Here also serves to educate fellow students about funding cuts to higher education, and let them know how they can make a difference.
"The campaign events involve all realms of the campus community," said CSSA legislative chair and Sonoma State University student Sean Richards. "Faculty, CSU presidents and various guest speakers are also taking part in the effort, reinforcing that for the future of California and its students, the bucks start with higher education."
"Students can occupy campuses, but that won't get much accomplished," Richards says. "If they focus their frustrations toward lawmakers making the decisions to cut funding, it's the most effective and proactive approach to make a change."