Students Protest Against Tuition Increase
ASI leads Sit-In Protest urging CSU Trustees not to raise tuition
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On Wednesday, March 15 afternoon, students took part in a protest that started in front of the bookstore, then made its way around campus. The students protesting are against a five percent tuition increase that would take place as soon as Fall 2017. Cal State LA students are urging the California State University System Board of Trustees, who are expected to vote this week, not to vote in favor of the tuition hike. The protest was small in size, roughly around 15 students participated, but the message was clear, “Fight the Hike.”
The protest was organized by Associated Students Incorporated (ASI), who oppose financial burden for students. ASI proclaimed that all California State University Student must join the fight in defending affordable public higher education and shouted, “The more we pay, the longer we stay!” Students carried a yellow makeshift casket with the words “RIP CSU Los Angeles.”
The protest was one of many that have taken place among the 23 CSU campuses. Students at San Francisco State University gathered at Malcolm X Plaza, where they formed their bodies into the words “NO HIKE.”
CSU administrators have made it clear that their aim is to keep cost down for students pursuing an education within the CSU system. A summary portion of the agenda to be presented on Wednesday read, “The CSU remains committed to keeping costs as low as possible for students. Several financial aid grant and waiver programs cover the full cost of tuition for more than 60 percent of all CSU undergraduate students. Because these programs are designed to pay the full cost of tuition, the proposed tuition increase would have no financial effect on more than 255,000 undergraduate students,” written by Chancellor White.
The following numbers illustrated how students are expected to be impacted if the trustees vote to increase the tuition: 425,000 undergraduate students on all CSU campuses would pay higher tuition; 255,000 will be fully covered through financial aid (grants and waivers); and 170,000 would mostly have to pay the increase.
CSU leaders said the increase could bring around $77.5 Million in revenue, a third of which would be dedicated to student financial aid. The rest of the funds would support student success programs, hiring of hundreds of faculty members at all 23 campuses, and offer 3,000 more courses that are considered to be in high demand.
Students are scheduled to protest on March 21 and 22, at the California State University Office of The Chancellor in Long Beach.