NEW BRITAIN â€“ Faculty and students from Connecticutâ€™s four regional universities are holding a rally in front of Central Connecticut State Universityâ€™s Davidson Hall Friday morning.
The will also be joined by Josh Elliot, state rep and chair of the Connecticut General Assemblyâ€™s Higher Education Committee, and Peter Tercyak, state rep for New Britain.
â€śSkunkzilla,â€ť a 14-foot inflatable skunk, will join the protest pushing back against the Board of Regentsâ€™ â€śdestructive contract proposalsâ€ť the protesters say would ruin the quality of education for students at Central, Eastern, Southern and Western Connecticut State Universities. They are calling on the Board of Regents to take its â€śdisastrousâ€ť proposals off the table.
â€śItâ€™s not too late,â€ť SCSU professor Cindy Stretch said. â€śWe will be standing outside calling on the Regents to take the proposals that put students last and gut the universities off the table. Public higher education at the regional universities should not be about feathering a bureaucratâ€™s nest. Itâ€™s about giving our students â€“ who are largely first-generation college students or come from underserved communities â€“ a leg up to the middle class and a chance for a brighter future for themselves and their families.â€ť
Elliot and Tercyak will address the crowd in a show of support for the students and faculty.
According to faculty that will be protesting, the CSCU Board of Regents proposals will mean larger class sizes, no curriculum development, less resources for university libraries, among many others.
In contrast, CSU-AAUPâ€™s Opening Minds, Opening Doors proposals, they say, represent an investment in Connecticutâ€™s educational, cultural and economic future by calling for family-friendly and age-friendly campuses by creating a family leave bank, a sick leave bank for part-time faculty, childcare for students, faculty and staff and other pandemic protections.
The rally begins at 11 a.m.