Our View: CSU tells faculty and professors it’s quiet time
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Sunday, October 7, 2012 18:10
The Cal State University system has politely asked professors and faculty to shut up about Proposition 30 in their classrooms.
With the clock ticking, some professors have been using their classrooms as platforms to warn students about the consequences of Prop. 30 failing this November. The $250 million trigger cut has most people in the CSU system sweating.
However, as important as it is for student voters to be informed about what is on the ballot, it is also important that professors and faculty not influence students’ votes.
Between the threat of the trigger cut, new fees and raising tuition, it is hard not to present Prop. 30 to students without framing it a certain way.
So, word from the CSU Chancellor’s Office is that professors must refrain from Prop. 30 talk in class.
We mostly agree with this.
Due to the nature of Prop. 30, we understand that it is hard to evenly defend the other side of the issue in a CSU classroom. It just does not add up.
Just hearing the words “$250 million” and “higher tuition” are more than enough to likely sway student votes.
As students, we also have very selective hearing. Many of us will lose interest halfway through these presentations, day-dreaming about seeing The Black Keys or bar hopping on Second Street this weekend. There is just no way to accurately display both sides without wasting class time.
So, as important as this election and ballot is, it should not be taking away from class time.
It does not make sense to have a 15-minute Powerpoint presentation on Prop. 30 at the beginning of a biology class. Students are here to learn first and foremost that politics should not be involved.
However, if it is a political science class, then Prop. 30 — and everything else on the ballot for that matter — should be fair game.
Instead of just focusing on one proposition, professors and faculty should just be encouraging students to vote. There should not be any elaborate presentations or politically charged opinions involved.
They should just be another voice in our ear — or devil on our shoulder — telling us to get out and vote come Nov. 6.
This is something that can be done quickly at the start of any class period. It may be the little push students need to get into the voting booth.