By Marysol Guzman |Staff Writer|
A student CSU trustee, Cipriano Vargas, met with students in an open forum on Jan. 24 to speak about concerns within the CSU system.
The event took place in the Student Union where roughly over 20 students and faculty attended.
One issue Vargas mentioned was the new proposed 2013-14 state budget that will aid higher education against high tuition fees.
He assured a non-tuition increase for the next four years if the proposal passes sometime in May or June.
Vargas also talked about student accessibility through online classes and open courses.
This would allow busy students with full-time jobs to graduate on time along with allowing the older generation to return to school and receive their degree.
“Right now we see that the average student at a CSU graduates in about 6 years,” said Vargas.
Vargas clarified that a committee would be set to make sure online classes would be of high quality.
He mentioned that Chancellor Timothy P. White took a 10 percent cut pay cut for the position which is equivalent to $40,000.
Vargas said that the $40,000 pay cut would go to future scholarships for students.
Super senior fees, course repeat fees and third-tier tuition fees were also discussed during the forum.
Super senior fees would charge students who have accumulated over 160 units. They would also charge students who were repeating courses because of previous failure.
Vargas said that the trustees chose to vote no against all these fees.
“Give people an extra opportunity. Don’t punish them on the first time. If they fail the second or third time then it would make sense to punish students,” said Vargas.
Since the trustees felt that these fees would still passed, they established amendments that would help super seniors not get charged until exceeding a certain amount of units.
Student Terrence Curran, sat during the forum and was concerned about getting charged for extra units that are not towards his degree.
“It kind of makes you a little eerie but at least the trustees are planning on figuring something out,” said Curran.
ASI President, Jimmy Walker, said that the last time Vargas visited CSUSB was for the Winter commencement.
“He’s trying to come back out to get to know some of the students, and get some student perspective on some of the issues that they face, and if they feel strongly about any current bills in the assembly,” said Walker.
Walker said it was a great opportunity for students to advocate since students don’t get to meet these people every day.
Vargas also spoke about the search for a new student CSU trustee to fill up.
The second CSU trustee, Jillian Ruddell, will be ending her term within the next six months.
He advised future applicants to know whats going on with higher education, along with knowing the issues students are cocerned about at the state wide level.
“The issues at CSUSB might not be the same across the state,” said Vargas.
Overall Vargas continues to visit different campuses every month to be the voice for students across the CSU system.
The next campus he plans to visit is San Diego State.