Board of Tustees Raises Tuition
April 14, 2017This article was written by Samantha Calderon
Students might graduate later due to the California State University (CSU) system’s five percent tuition increase, effective this fall. Approximately 350 students from 23 CSU campuses gathered to voice their opinions on the tuition hike at the CSU Office of the Chancellor in Long Beach on March 22.
“Chancellor White, do what’s right!”
The Board of Trustees voted 11-8 in favor of the hike – the first hike in six years. The Tuition Increase Proposal by Chancellor Timothy White states that CSUs need $325 million to ensure students graduate within four years by: offering more courses, hiring faculty, and investing in student services. Governor Jerry Brown is only providing $157 million. The hike will generate $78 million for CSUs.
Students gathered in front of the windows of the Chancellor’s office and chanted, “Chancellor White, do what’s right!” as board members reached their decision.
Jaya Hodge, 1st-year Music major, said “I come from a low income family, paying more means more loans. It’s a struggle paying thousands of dollars each semester, the increase isn’t helpful.” Hodge believes board members did not consider that the majority of students are minorities who already struggle with access to education.
Tori Bush, 3rd-year Sustainable Hospitality major, believes that students’ education is not a priority – but their ability to balance the CSU’s budget is. Bush confesses, “A tuition hike means I have to work harder right after school to pay loans. It’s not just $270 – the longer it takes me to pay my debt, the more interest I pay.”
Lateefah Simon, a board member, was the only one to come outside to speak to students. Simon said it is powerful that students showed up to share their stories with trustees, Simon proclaimed, “The students will save this institution. We will have a different resolution with the power of the students.”
State legislation has the final saying on the tuition hike this June. If Governor Brown funds the $168 million the CSU needs, the tuition increase will be nullified.