Friday, March 20, 2009

CSF Students Protest

College of Santa Fe Students Protesting the Possible Death of CSF

These was taken right before sundown. There were a couple of dozen College of Santa Fe students protesting the lack of action on HB577, which would allow the state to negotiate the purchase of the college, which otherwise will shut down this year.

UPDATE: After posting the photos I got an e-mail from one of the protesters addressed to "Respected Members of the New Mexico Press." Somehow I was on that list.

My name is Irina Zerkin and I am a senior at the College of Santa Fe. As I write this, several dozen fellow students, staff, faculty, and members of the Santa Fe community are sitting outside the east entrance of the Roundhouse holding a sit-in. We started arriving at 5pm tonight, and intend to stay here until the Legislative session ends tomorrow, unless our bill gets heard.

The bill I refer to is HB577, which outlines a process by which any NM state institution might be able to acquire the College of Santa Fe. HB577 passed through both the House Education and Appropriations and Finance Committees without any problems, and then was met with great support on the House floor. The bill then passed UNANIMOUSLY through Senate Education. That was about two weeks ago, however, and since then the Senate Finance Committee has been sitting on our bill.

We are not holding this sit-in to demand that the Senators vote yes on our bill (although that would be nice.) We are here simply because we deserve a fair hearing. It is absolutely undemocratic for the Finance Committee to just ignore the bill and hope we go away.