Faculty and students from the 23 Cal State University campuses protested the proposed tuition increase last week in Sacramento.
The California Faculty Association and Students for Quality Education hosted the Free the CSU, Fund the Dream rally that rallied up many students to take action and defend current students and future CSU students.
SQE activist Jorge Quintana, fourth-year English and ethnic studies student from Sacramento State University, advocates for student rights and expressed his thoughts on how the tuition hike will simply make education harder for students to reach.
“Being a student and seeing costs and fees rise, seeing about $7,000 a year plus living situation plus thousands of dollars to an education and seeing friends take a semester off because of these costs is not fair,” Quintana said. “University is a bridge to higher education and a bridge to a career. We can do better and show Gov. Brown that we are a priority and every year we aren’t a priority, they are pushing students away from getting a higher education.”
With 30,000 well-qualified applicants being turned away from the CSU last fall, students and faculty felt they had no choice but to fight back against the legislature.
Tanyyah Hov, fourth-year criminal justice student with a minor in sociology at Cal State Bakersfield brought to light issues students go through on a daily basis, such as homelessness and financial problems.
“I believe education is the light, but the state funding is focused so much on incarceration but forgetting education,” Hov said.
“I have children, and I don’t want them to have to fight to go to school. I don’t believe kids should be lined up to go to prison and that’s what the state is doing by increasing the tuition.”
In addition to the tuition increase, students also took a stand against racial and ethnic discrimination on public university campuses.
According to a CFA released statement, the funding declined as the campuses became more diverse.
Gov. Brown proposed a state budget for 2018-19 for $92 million more for the CSU when there is a $7 billion state surplus.
Brittany Goss, fifth-year English student at Cal State Fullerton, drove eight hours to Sacramento and spoke upon the injustices in the entire ordeal.
“Higher education used to be free, and it shouldn’t be like this,” Goss said.
“Historically it wasn’t designed this way, and we should fight for what we believe in because this has affected all of us.”
Faculty also joined students in the Free the CSU, Fund the Dream Rally as they spoke up on the behalf of all 470,00 students in the CSU system.
James Swartz, CFA statewide delegate and CPP Professor Emeritus, drove to Sacramento to join the students and other faculty.
He expressed his thoughts about the problems and how the lack of funding affects current and future students.
There are insufficient numbers of classes that delay a student’s graduation date.
He advocates for students because he sees how hard students work to get an education and believes students deserve a better education.
“We hope our voice is heard by our government and our legislature allows students to gain admission to a CSU,” Swartz said.
“We get the bare bone necessities because we are getting underfunded and getting the chump change, so we are here to take action because it is only going to get worse.”
California will keep reinvesting now and up until the CSU funding promises are met.
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