By Melissa o’Beck | Staff Writer|
Students were enraged when California State University trustees recently proposed a controversial plan to impose incentive fees to encourage students to graduate faster.
Fortunately, this proposal has been shelved indefinitely.
I was excited and relieved after the election when the passage of Proposition 30, a tax measure that avoids deep funding cuts to higher education, was passed.
Unfortunately, my joy was incredibly short lived.
How dare the trustees even consider such a ridiculous theory, that by gouging specific students pockets for revenue will actually be an effective way to motivate students.
If tuition isn’t being hiked, they are cleverly considering tacking on fees somewhere else.
“Cal State Chancellor Charles B. Reed and other officials had argued the incentive plan would free up class space for thousands of new students while helping current students complete their degrees sooner,” according to the LA Times.
Using the words “helping current students” while proposing a per-unit supplement of $372 for “super seniors” who have accumulated 160 semester units, a $91 per-unit fee to repeat a class, a $182 per-unit fee for any course load of 18 units or more, is bending the truth just a little bit, don’t you think?
In my opinion I see deterrents, punishment, and more barriers for current students who are struggling to battle the preexisting obstacles like rising gas prices, job workloads and lack of financial aid.
“Election day was a great day for education, especially higher education, in California. Californians sent a strong message that they are fed up with students paying for our budget deficit and it is time for rich to pay their dues,” said Professor Ahlam Muhtaseb.
“Students should be protected from any more tuition hikes, and other revenues of income for CSU should be sought. For example, it seems all Californians at least realized that we can’t do it with taxation and they were willing to pay their share as well in the form of the new sales tax.”
Some students change their major along the way, causing an accumulation of extra units.
Is this something to be punished for? Not in my book.
Some students are trying to take over 18 units a quarter so they can graduate either on time or faster and proceed to their career path.
Is there a reason they should have to pay more for their education than others? I don’t think so.
“When I heard about this I freaked out because I have changed my major twice in the past and there is nothing I can do about it now. I will be affected badly if this gets approved,” said student Whitney Rhea.
Although students like Rhea don’t have to worry about these fees being implemented, shouldn’t we the students be able to trust our trustees, our Chancellor and the board without fearing that our paths to higher education will be tampered with every quarter?
While seeking a solution for higher revenue that may be necessary, I believe finding the money in students’ wallets is not the answer.
Universities should spend less time preying on their students and more time focusing on new tax formations and redirecting the budgets.
It’s time we as students get to reap the benefits of Proposition 30 instead of watching it crumble into yet another defeat.