SJSU Students Protest Cuts

Social work seats given to other majors

More stories from Rajvir Kaur

Opener lost 65-63
November 12, 2014

San Jose State University social work students gathered in front of Tower Hall Friday Feb. 20, to rally against cuts to enrollments.
Their protests were aimed at university president Mohammad H. Qayoumi, who is being accused of giving priority enrollments to the engineering and business departments.
Donna Coleman, a master’s in social work student set to graduate this year, went as far as to call Qayoumi a “power-driven jerk,” saying the numbers show where the president’s priorities lie.
Statistical data from San Jose State University’s Institutional Effectiveness and Analytics website show that while engineering and business have had increases in enrollments, the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, which social work falls under, has decreased in enrollment.
Since Qayoumi became president in 2011, engineering enrollment has increased by 44 percent and business enrollments by 21 percent. Applied Sciences and Arts enrollments, on the other hand, have decreased by 17 percent and first year social workers applying for their master’s in social work have decreased by 6 percent.
The number of seats available to first-year social work students is once again set to decrease, from 110 to 60 seats in the Fall 2015 semester.
The people being impacted most are not only the students, said social work professor Glenn Thomas, but all the members in the community that social workers provide services to.
“Social work matters,” said Carlos Bejarano, vice president of the SJSU Undergraduate Social Work Association.

While San Jose State may be powering Silicon Valley, the students from the School of Social Work empower Silicon Valley.

— Carlos Bejarano

“While San Jose State may be powering Silicon Valley, the students from the School of Social Work empower Silicon Valley.”
When the cut is made to 60 seats for the upcoming school year, communities served by social work student interns will lose an estimated 60,000 hours of free services.
The hours of service will be taken away from helping foster children, juvenile offenders, abuse victims, the homeless, veterans, the aging community and healthcare.
But the social work master’s program is not the only one affected. Undergraduates working on their bachelor’s are also having trouble getting the classes they need. Many students are angry because they were promised classes, but are now being told some classes may not be available.
Other programs under Applied Science and Arts are also affected, including kinesiology, occupational therapy, nursing, and journalism.
The cuts became mandatory when, after receiving an influx of social work students in 2013 to increase enrollment, the number of full-time registered students majoring in Applied Sciences and Arts departments dropped.
In order to even out all the programs, the division was instructed to decrease its future enrollment targets until previously accepted students graduated.
Jack Wall, director of the School of Social Work, wrote in an email that the school expects enrollments to increase once the influx of students who were accepted in the last couple of years have graduated.
Wendy Fortune, currently a social work intern, said social work contributes to society just as much as business and engineering does, so the school not acknowledging the fact that they are losing so many spots is not fair.
“We all get budgets cuts, but why aren’t the budget cuts fair for the other programs?” she asked.