The Daily Aztec

Students protest Alumni Association dinner

Megan Wood

by Quinn Owen, Senior Staff Writer

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Approximately 100 students, community activists, and religious leaders marched to Montezuma Hall on Thursday in protest of the Marshall Faulk Foundation’s Aztec for Life Homecoming Celebration.

The dinner featured many high profile guests and donors from San Diego State’s alumni network.

Tickets for the event ranged from $125 to $10,000, according to the Marshall Faulk website.

The proceeds of the event went to the charity run by former NFL running back and SDSU football star Marshall Faulk. The Marshall Faulk Foundation supports the Aztec Club, which provides football scholarships, and the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA youth sports programs.

The late Tony Gwynn, San Diego Padres baseball star and former Aztec, was acknowledged as an Aztec for Life Legend. His wife accepted the award on his behalf.

“It’s a way to build tradition and also fundraise to put money back into the community to help inner city youth,” Faulk said.

Despite philanthropic motives behind the event, protestors were outraged that SDSU was catering to San Diego’s wealthy community members.

The demonstrators arrived around 6:40 p.m. intending to meet with SDSU President Elliot Hirshman.  When event security told protestors he was not attending the fundraiser, the group continued to march throughout the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

The chants and rally cries from the group demanded the university give more support to financially troubled students.

Pastor Maria Santa Cruz from Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in North Park spoke on behalf of the student protestors.

“The students are tired of being homeless and hungry and starving,” Santa Cruz said. “So they don’t have any support here from the president or vice president.”

She said the majority of the students who were at the protest were homeless.

Gerontology senior Patricia Ruiz is a ministry assistant at the Agape house near SDSU.

“I’m concerned with the way certain students are struggling with rising tuition costs, fees, housing costs and food costs,” Ruiz said. “The university is not helping with resources to assist them.”

After about 45 minutes of chanting and marching the group left the union chanting: “We’ll be back! We’ll be back!”

The homecoming alumni event remained undisrupted despite the flurry of demonstrators.

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Students protest Alumni Association dinner”

  1. Matthew Owen on November 12th, 2014 7:17 pm

    One of the biggest costs to students if not the biggest, is student loan interest. The United States Government will, after writeoffs and costs make 68 billion dollars on the student loan interest for the period of 2008 to 2012. The state of California sets the incentives that cause the Cal State System to accept out of state students over indigenous ones. I think students would be better served to take their fight to a higher level and embrace their state and and congressional leaders.

  2. Marc Jones on February 28th, 2016 10:01 am

    No, this is exactly the place to be protesting. There is work being done at the federal and state government levels, but to say that a group, the poor, who traditionally has no voice should not try to speak to the privileged, who do have a voice, is either ignorant or insensitive. Please know that I do not mean ignorant in as a personal criticism, I intend it to mean uneducated in the realities of poverty. The ability to pay $125 to $10,000 to attend this event indicates privelige, and I when one thinks about the ability to afford the college tuition these two groups are in different universes. To solve this problem we need everyone to be active in calling for change at all levels, and especially those who have a voice, who have a seat at the table. To do this the priveliged need to have this problem constantly in the forefront of their mind. This is all about gaining mindspace. Living in a priveliged universe leads to being isolated from those who have needs, and therefore the voice of the poor continues to be forgotten or ignored.

    So, yes, the students were in the right place.

  3. Underprivileged College Grad on February 28th, 2016 8:13 am

    It was your decision to attend the school and incur the associated costs. You knew going into the process how much going that college is going to be. There are other colleges and things you could have done to make going to college cheaper. It’s your fault you decided to go to college in San Diego. If you are coming from out-of-state and complaining, that makes you especially dumb. Going to college is a choice; it’s not a right, it’s a privilege.

    You are so in need of someone to blame, that you go to a charity event that intends to help inner-city youth to complain. So are you saying you deserve the money more than these kids?

    Get off your entitled ass and get a job.

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