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The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

Students plan walkout in protest of tuition hikes

Anne To
Students Against Tuitions Hikes held their first tabling after a pro-Palestinian march happened on campus.

Activism is brewing in the classrooms as a group of Cal State LA students have organized a walkout to happen on Nov. 28. The strike is planned to take place at noon in front of the university bookstore.


“As of right now we’re going to hold a rally in the free speech area, and then possibly, you know, formulate a route leading up to that date to just kind of guarantee the safety of everybody who participates,” said Noah Galbraith, a member of the the Students Against Tuition Hikes (SATH) Cal State LA Chapter. 


SATH is a unrecognized student coalition that has formed across multiple Cal State campuses after the CSU Board of Trustees approved a proposal that would increase tuition over a five-year period. 


“We created this walkout and then a page behind the walkout,” Galbraith said. “After we started getting traction, we decided to adopt the CSULA chapter of SATH. I believe there are four or five other CSU campuses that have their own SATH coalition right now.” 

SATH members hoped to increase student awareness to the walkout. Photo by Anne To.


Many of the most active Cal State LA SATH members came from an environmental justice class on campus.


“It’s my class,” Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies (CLS) professor Theresa Yugar. “This particular class, they are the ones spearheading [the walkout], but my other four classes are in.” 


She said that the students started organizing together after she spoke up about her thoughts on the tuition hikes and the condition of Cal State LA’s facilities during her class. 


“The main theme I say is that people should be able to live and work and play in a safe environment,” she said. “How is it that we can actually try to engage in this injustice? That’s what I was saying ‘well if you’re going to increase our tuition,’ then I asked the students, ‘What do you want fixed on campus.’”


Yugar said that she would personally like for the funds from the tuition increase to be used to improve student life like installing new computer labs or allowing students to graduate outside of a parking lot.


On the CSU website, a Q&A was released that answered most of student and faculty concerns.  


The funds from the tuition increase will be used to provide resources for CSU’s to further equitable excellence and access, create cultural centers, provide tutoring and mentor support, support Title IX, and other services, according to the CSU website.


Sophomore Kate Castillo helped table for SATH. Photo by Anne To.

“A tuition increase would be sufficient to address everything at once; instead, the highest priority and most acute classroom, lab and capital renewal would be the top projects to be addressed each year,” said on the CSU website.


On Nov. 9, SATH held their first tabling on the campus’ free speech area across from the bookstore. At the table, SATH members called out to students to spin a wheel and see “what their tuition would be funding.” Listed on the wheel were items like “cockroaches,” “no fire escapes,” “parking lot graduations,” along with a slew of other satirical options.


The members of SATH tabled in order to spread awareness about the walkout and gather more support from students on campus.


“We have kind of an undetermined number because we have a lot of people on campus as well as professors who are in solidarity with us,” Galbraith said.


The walkout is in hopes of getting the proposal that was approved by the CSU Board of Trustees on Sept. 13 to be repealed.


“I believe that it is my responsibility as a student who’s reaping the benefits of the current tuition rate that I continue to walk out until we have our demands met,” Galbraith said. “Hopefully, we can get some recognition and some press and hopefully pressure the CSU to make a decision and possibly repeal the vote.” 


He said that if the proposal is not repealed, there are plans to continue with more walkouts in the future.


Galbraith said that the tuition won’t personally affect him as much, but he is fighting for the future of the students that come after.


“Me and a lot of the students that are standing up against these tuition hikes are actually like juniors and seniors – we’re gonna be outta here,” he said. “We’re fighting for the high schoolers that are coming in here or the freshmen who have just entered these classes, because by the time some of them get here, it’s going to be beyond 30% more expensive to attend this college. That’s insanity.”


The CSU said on their website that most students will be unaffected by the tuition increase.


“A full 60% of the CSU’s undergraduate students ​have their full tuition covered by non-loan financial aid. This will continue after the tuition increase. These students will be entirely unaffected by the increase because their financial aid will be adjusted to cover any additional cost,” said on the CSU website.


Yugar said that she is proud of her students for standing up for what they believe in and hopes for positive change to come to the campus.


“I love the CSU. I love Cal State, LA, I love my students. I just want them to be able to thrive. I want myself to thrive,” Yugar said. “And in order for that to happen, I want our natural habitat to be safe.”

Students were encouraged to spin the wheel to see “What their tuition money would be used on.” Photo by Anne To.
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About the Contributor
Anne To
Anne To, Editor-In-Chief
Anne To is the Editor in Chief of the UT and also the co-Station manager of the Golden Eagle Radio. She loves working on audio production with radio, podcasting, and more! You may have seen some of her comics with the Life of Biffy series. During her free time she is either taking a nap, or playing video games.  

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