Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Student-Led Initiative to Fight Fee Hikes

(Can I get a Takbeer?)

Students in the CSU system have to brace themselves for an inevitable 10 percent increase amounting to about $277 for undergrads for the upcoming academic year, as well as similar spikes planned into the next decade.
. . .
Well, here we are, boys and girls. Something new has emerged and we encourage all students concerned with current and future debt to get involved.

A student-based group called Students and Families for Tuition Relief Now recently formed to fight the dark cloud hovering over our educational horizons. The organization is seeking to freeze undergraduate tuition increases for the next five years through a first-ever student-led ballot initiative.

Thus far, students in the organization are bonding throughout the 30 CSU and University of California campuses, attempting to collect "43,000 signatures by April in order for the initiative to appear on next year's November ballot," according to the new organization's website.

As part of Tuition Relief Now's hoped-for initiative, "The law will raise new revenue specifically for the cost of educating UC and CSU students through a one percent tax on millionaires' income over $1 million."
. . .
Although the CSU Board of Trustees won't make a final decision until March, the writing is on the wall. The CSU is crying broke, showing its pockets are inside-out with a $10-billion deficit and clamoring for the "$73 million they estimate is needed to avoid the fee increase."

Even though the 10 percent jump might not seem like much to an uninformed observer, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, an ex-officio CSU trustee and UC Board of Regents member, pointed out that "fees have gone up more than 90 percent" for the two systems since 2002, far exceeding the state's inflation index during the same time span.

With the CSU management's ongoing trend of overspending and lackadaisical fiscal habits, the university doors are being kicked open for predatory loan companies. More and more, students will be forced to work multiple menial jobs to take fewer classes toward degrees.

By raising a unified objection, students can force the system to stop dumping their bad financial habits in our laps.

Full Story: Daily 49er

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