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SSU students protest, demand faculty group vote

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Dozens of sign-toting Sonoma State University students protested at a meeting of the campus Academic Senate, demanding that student members be given the right to vote.

"We can sit there and the professors say that we have a voice, but they don't have to listen to us, there is no force there," said James Reilly, speaker of the Student Senate.

Students have three seats in the 35-seat Academic Senate, which represents the 500-member faculty and has authority over matters of curriculum.

Reilly said it is unfair that faculty would be making decisions on such issues as general education requirements, policies on repeating courses and add-drop periods without students' having a vote.

He also said that students have voting rights at 21 of the other 23 state university campuses.

About 70 students protested in front of the University Commons, where the Academic Senate was meeting, carrying signs reading "Give us the vote" and "Phd does not spell God."

Elizabeth Stanny, chairwoman of the Academic Senate, said there is no provision for the students to vote.

The Academic Senate, however, agreed to discuss the issue and possibly amend its bylaws to allow student members to vote.

- Bob Norberg

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