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SDS Denver escalates campaign around budget cuts in powerful lightning rally

By Solveig Swain

Denver SDS demands "Chop from the top."

Denver, CO – Around 10:45 a.m. on August 30 Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), at the Auraria Campus staged a lightning rally to demand an adequate resolution to the $12 million budget crisis that University of Colorado Denver is currently facing.

As it stands, instead of cutting from an already massively bloated administrative budget, the university is vying to impose further restrictions on education and campus life. These “solutions” include, but are not limited to, increasing maximum class sizes, leaving faculty roles empty after retirements, cutting classes or moving them online, and raising tuition. SDS stands opposed to these attacks on education.

During this event, SDS members were able to hand out hundreds of flyers while their fellow students recorded and cheered in support. Students all around Auraria were clearly fed up.

SDS has chosen “Chop from the top!” as their main campaign slogan. This reflects their demands to see the crisis resolved through cuts to administrative salaries and the Auraria Campus Police Department rather than from education and campus workers.

The top 10% and 1% of Colorado University personnel make, on average, $283,827.85 and $532,342.44 per year, respectively. These salaries are egregiously high, especially when compared with the bottom 10%. These workers labor tirelessly and provide much more to the daily operation of the Auraria campus, but for only $35,043.56. Despite this mind-boggling wealth disparity, the CU Board of Regents wishes to attack the education of students and the lives of workers to resolve this “budget crisis.” An ironic move, when considering these issues arose from the reckless privatization and debt-driven expansion strategies employed by the very same individuals on this board.

SDS says that students have had enough! Their demands include: Cuts to university must occur first and most heavily at the top of the university’s administrative workforce; that meetings where budget cuts are currently being planned be open to the public and advertised ahead of schedule; that faculty jobs be protected from these cuts and that any of the shameful scheduled faculty performances to “win” funding be canceled; that the university cease debt-driven expansion of amenities or buildings; university budgets need to be built around students and faculty, not growing customers; that the university make reductions to campus police funding before taking funding from university faculty positions; that the university budget prioritize a faculty and staff wage minimum capable of supporting a family, and, finally, no tuition hikes!

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#DenverCO #BudgetCuts