By Brenda Acuna|Staff Writer|
With the approval of Proposition 30, CSU students can breathe a little easier, however many are still in no mood to celebrate as the California State University Board of Trustees plans to impose new student fees on what one student group considers “taking too long to graduate.”
According to the news release from Students for Quality Education, the new fees will “punish students who take too long to graduate, who rack up more units than their majors ostensibly require, or want to focus on more than one field with double majors or minors, along with other behaviors.”
The news release also said the Trustees are seeking this change in the name of “modifying students’ behavior,” claiming students do not try hard enough to graduate.
“I don’t think this proposal is necessarily a bad thing,” said CSUSB freshman Kelly Chen. “Not only will it free up space for classes, but it’ll keep me in line to get good grades so I won’t be here longer than I have to.”
According to the CSU Board of Trustees Agenda, the fees are as follows:
“Graduation Incentive Fee: Fall 2013 students who have 160 or more units will pay an additional fee per unit. Starting in Fall 2014, students who have 150 or more units (semester units) will be required to pay a supplemental unit fee, 150 semester units equates to 225 quarter units.
Third-tier Tuition Fee: Students who are taking 18 or more units will be assessed a fee for each additional unit.
Course Repeat Fee: Students who repeat a course will be required to pay an additional fee per unit.”
In a prior CSU meeting, Chancellor Charles Reed said students are, “gaming the system,” and staying in school too long. He continued to criticize students who are attending CSU’s for long periods of time, claiming they are taking up space.
The chancellor also said colleges in at least 15 other states impose fees on “super seniors” who have earned more units than they need to graduate.
CSU officials said they had no data from those other schools to show how effective those policies are.
Also, Reed said that this set of fees, which would go into effect beginning Fall 2013, would raise $35 million a year.
CSU students not in favor of the proposed fees complained that the “graduation incentive fee” would unfairly penalize
students who have switched majors or could not get the classes they needed due to unavailability.
“I don’t like the sound of this at all,” says Richard Gonzales, a Communications major who said he would be directly affected by the fee because he changed his major.
“I still have a list of classes to complete in order to graduate. If this so-called incentive fee goes into effect, I’ll have to pay a lot more money for classes which I just can’t afford.”
A number of students at CSU’s are circulating petitions and holding protests in an effort to stop student fees.
“If CSU trustees approve the fees next week, it would be the first time CSU has used its fee structure to regulate students’ academic choices,” said Michael Uhlenkamp, media relations director for the Office of the Chancellor.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “CSU estimates its students, system wide, repeat 80,000 classes every academic year, taking spaces that other students could use.”
The California State University Board of Trustees will meet Nov. 13 and 14 to discuss the potential CSU student fee increases.