Community takes action

Written by Heather Penn

The last couple weeks in Fairbanks have brought much unrest. A march for science on Earth Day, April 22 drew over a thousand protestors vying for awareness and a need to continue funding science and research projects.

Two separate meetings one featuring GVEA and the other the Fairbanks Northstar Borough Assembly gave the public a chance to speak about their concerns with each organization. Due to both events being scheduled at the same time, one had to choose between education or utilities. Public testimony on both highlighted an unhappiness within the community.

GVEA tightened their public testimony speakers by allowing only those carrying a yellow card access to the podium. This yellow card could only be obtained via registration. Spouses or significant others were not considered eligible if they were not listed directly on the bill.

Those at the assembly meeting spoke of the impact having programs cut would have on the students and teachers. Many students, teachers and concerned citizens voiced their concerns about not having these programs anymore.

One speaker, Jena Difloco a senior at West Valley, spoke about the tragedy of potentially losing her beloved ski program. Citing skiing as shaping who she is. As a skier she has learned about commitment and discipline with her entire team maintaining a 4.0 GPA and the Varsity team ranked 4th in the country. Sports should not be treated as “expendable,” said Difloco.

Fast-Forward one week and hundreds of students participated in a walk-out in opposition to programs such as music and sports being cut due to lack of funding.

Lastly, Sunday the 7th a march against education cuts resounded with over 300 people attending.  These cuts are not only impacting grades K-12  but the University funding as well.

The people are rallied, is change on the horizon?


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Heather Penn

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