Wednesday, February 26

UC furlough days are unacceptable

SUBMITTED BY: Layhannara Tep

“The CPO is closed due to furloughs.”

Students entered the Student Activities Center on Thursday, Oct. 15, only to find the Community Programs Office closed.

On an average day, the CPO supports hundreds of students who seek peer counseling, writing assistance, free printing, use of the exam files, free van rides after late night studying and opportunities for community service, just to name a few.

The CPO houses the UCLA Student Retention Center, Student-Initiated Access Center and 24 community service projects ““ it’s a big department with several hundred students hired every year ““ and a full-time staff of 24. It was closed due to staff furloughs implemented system-wide by the UC Office of the President.

In just one day, hundreds of students were deprived of service. The staff wasn’t present, but that didn’t mean our needs simply disappeared. With a 10 percent decrease in overall student services at UCLA, we cannot afford to furlough UC employees.

Furlough is a fancy word used to mask the pay cuts UC employees are facing across the board: UC employees, from faculty to student affairs officers, to administrative assistants, are all being forced to take mandatory days off work with no pay.

Furlough days aren’t vacation days. As any UC employee can tell you ““ beyond the desk, the job does not end. Employees are forced to do the same amount of work from home ““ unpaid.

This is especially detrimental to spaces like the Community Programs Office, where full-time staffers play a pivotal role in supporting the student-initiated and student-run projects housed in its three centers.

Furloughs are ludicrous, and the idea of students paying a huge increase in tuition while facing additional furloughs for our staff is just as ridiculous.

With a decrease in class sections, the loss of writing services in Covel Tutorials, the continual threat to library services and now the impact of furloughs, students are expected to keep paying more but can’t seem to catch a break.

Tep is the USAC Academic Affairs Commissioner and a fourth-year English and Asian-American studies student.

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