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Students head to Capitol to fight tuition increase

Chico+State+student+protest+the+tuition+increase+with+Students+for+Quality+Education+on+Feb.+1.+Photo+credit%3A+Carlos+Islas
Chico State student protest the tuition increase with Students for Quality Education on Feb. 1. Photo credit: Carlos Islas

Chico State student protest the tuition increase with Students for Quality Education on Feb. 1. Photo credit: Carlos Islas

Chico State student protest the tuition increase with Students for Quality Education on Feb. 1. Photo credit: Carlos Islas

Molly Sullivan

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Throughout California, students are working to increase funding for the CSU and stop the tuition increase.

In his budget proposal, Gov. Jerry Brown only offered $157.2 million while the CSU requested $346 million to fund new spending.

To fund the $168 million gap, the CSU may raise tuition by 5 percent to partially cover costs.

The California State Student Association is organizing throughout California to persuade legislators to provide more funding for the CSU.

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Associated Students Director of Legislative Affairs Bro Dumas.
Image courtesy of Associated Students

“There are a few advantages to statewide advocacy,” Associated Students Director of Legislative Affairs Bro Dumas said. “Of course there are more students involved in general, but we also have a better ability to coordinate. There’s more funding involved and it gives us a better opportunity to coordinate between the whole CSU system.”

Chico State will send delegates to the California Higher Education Summit where students will participate in Advocacy Day. Dumas will attend the summit with Associated Students President Michael Pratt and Vice President of University Affairs Tamara Fleet.

“We actually get to go into the Capitol and legislate with these legislators, advocating on behalf of the students,” Dumas said. “With the potential tuition increase coming, it’s going to be all about state funding.”

The goal is to persuade Gov. Brown to approve more funding for the CSU in his revised budget, which is released in May.

The CSU Board of Trustees will vote on the tuition increase proposal at its March 21 meeting.

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“We don’t plan to stop advocating if the tuition increase passes or doesn’t pass,” Dumas said. “We’re looking at long term funding initiatives.”

Without continued funding for the CSU, students may have to fight a tuition increase next year and the year after, Dumas said.

“The more legislators we can get on our side, like with the Stand with the CSU campaign, I think we can effectively put the pressure on Jerry Brown to approve the increased funding,” Dumas said.

According to Dumas, local representatives are supportive of student advocacy efforts.

“James Gallagher, our local state assemblyman, he is definitely against the potential tuition increase,” Dumas said. “So we’re trying to use the connections we have, people who like Chico and its students. Basically just getting them to bring it to the floor that this potential tuition increase is putting an extra burden on students’ backs.”

Efforts will culminate in May when CSU students will gather outside the Capitol.

“On campus, we’re just trying to get the information out to students that this is coming and that we can mobilize their support and hopefully bring them to the Capitol when we actually hold a gathering of students to show the legislators how important this is,” Dumas said.

Molly Sullivan can be reached at [email protected] or @sullivanmmollym on Twitter.

 

timeline.gifMolly Sullivan can be reached at [email protected] or @SullivanMollyM on Twitter.

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Students head to Capitol to fight tuition increase