by Veronica Natal | Staff Writer |
The California Board of Trustees voted on Nov. 16 to raise the tuition nine percent or $500 dollars starting fall 2012 according to the LA Times.
The board members voted 9-6 for the increase which is the second tuition increase this year.
Violent protests broke out in Long Beach in front of the doors where the board meeting was taking place.
As reported in the LA Times, a group called ReFund California had organized a Nov. 9-16 Week of Action, which includes week-long protests at CSU, UC and community college campuses throughout the state.
ReFund California members say, “This makes public higher education unaffordable to many Californians,” according to the Huffington Post.
Some police used pepper spray to make people leave the scene and four people were arrested according to ABC News.
It is uncertain if the people arrested were students or union workers according to CBS, but in the midst of the chaos the front glass door was shattered during the violent protests.
As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, this year lawmakers reduced the universities’ budget by $650 million, leaving the CSU with just above $2 billion for 2011-12. If state revenues fall short as expected, an additional cut of up to $100 million would be triggered.
“It will be necessary, among other things, to turn away thousands of students, increase class sizes, eliminate low-enrollment programs, further reduce the work force, adjust the investment to our employees, and yes, increase the tuition fee. And all of those options are undesirable,” said Benjamin Quillian, the CSU’s chief financial officer to ABC News.
CSUSB student Julianna Harrell said, “The raises in tuition make me mad because I don’t get financial aid because of the amount of money my mom makes. I only qualify for loans and this is going to increase my loan debt.”
“I work in PR with the military so now I have to get a part time job too on top of the military and going to school,” said student Stephanie Reilly.
“But honestly $500 isn’t that much, in could be worse. You can come here or instead go to a private school which is so much more. Getting your education is worth the money, because eventually things can be paid back with the job your education got you,” continued Reilly.
As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, students who had traveled from across California to attend the meeting said they were angry that the trustees did not extend the public comment time and excluded many from entering the auditorium at all. Those inside eventually disrupted the meeting, and police cleared the room.
CBS reported that the trustees say they needed to act quickly after the state slashed funding. They are asking for an additional $138.3 million, but if their request is denied, students will pay $498 more for tuition when the 2012-2013 school year begins, totalling the annual tuition to just under $6,000.
This tuition increase was implemented the day before the scheduled one day strike the California Faculty Association had at CSUs East Bay and Dominguez Hills.