Convoy To The Capitol: Students Gather at Oregon’s State Capitol To Protest Community College Budget Cuts

Students march and wave to cars while chanting "money matters."

Buses pulled up to the parking lot of Chemeketa Community College full of eager students ready to go.

“Group picture!” The advisors yell as the mascots and students of Linn-Benton, Chemeketa, Umpqua, Clackamas, and Blue Mountain community colleges gather around before heading to the capitol.

“Money Matters,” chanted the crowd.

On Thursday, March 7, students from community colleges gathered at the Oregon State Capitol building in Salem to march in support of one common goal: raise awareness for community college funding.

“This rally is in support of all students’ ability to go to college,” said Student Leadership Council President Shelby Pick.

Shelby Pick (in mascot costume) looking at pictures with Jennifer Boehmer at the Chemeketa parking lot before leaving for the march.

The students held a march including posters and chants to raise awareness against the proposed plan for the state’s community college budget.

“This is really important now more than ever so legislators know how critical funding is,” said Executive Director of Advancement at LBCC Jennifer Boehmer.

Before the rally Pick spoke with legislators trying to emphasize what community colleges are standing for.

“The two senators I spoke with were in favor of getting funding, it’s just a matter of where that money would come from,” said Pick.

The new budget reform set about by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is more than $100 million decrease from what community colleges are seeking, according to KATU.

During the march students walked, chanted, and highlighted what community college meant to them.

“More money would mean more students would get more opportunity to go to college,” said Pick.

Before the march, demonstrators lined up in front of the Oregon Capitol for a group photo.

During the 2017-18 school year community colleges had over 20,000 students earn degrees, according to Decreasing funding would limit students all over the state to obtain a higher education.

The crowd chanted, “we need more funding! Community college matters!”

Story and Photos by Ruth Nash

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