CSU students want their tuition money back


Photo credit: Jaime Munoz

The California State University Board of Trustees has proposed a 3 percent tuition increase that will go into effect in the 2018-19 school year.

According to the CSU website, the tuition spike is needed to sustain enrollment, classes and services for current students.

Students are concerned because they don’t have the funds for an education.

To some students, a tuition hike can lead to food insecurities, lack of funds for amenities or homelessness.

According to a tuition proposal prepared for the California State Student Association by the Chancellor’s Office, tuition will increase $228 per undergraduate resident for the 2018-19 academic year. This would change the annual tuition cost from $5,742 to $5,970 per student.

In addition, there are also proposed increases in costs for credential, doctorate and graduate programs as well as a tuition increase for out-of-state students.

Associated Students Director of University Affairs Karla Camacho said she understands a lot of students struggle with funding their education already, so this can be a big burden.

“For a lot of students who depend on a set scholarship, for example, myself, and receive a recurring scholarship every year, that scholarship doesn’t adjust to the increase in tuition,” Camacho said. “So, students that count and depend on scholarships may be facing a $228 deficit.”

Increasing the tuition will only make it more difficult for students. Some will have to get a second job to fund their education. For those who don’t have that option, they might have to leave school because they can’t afford to continue.

“We already struggle a lot as a system with how to help students that are food and housing insecure, Camacho said. “In fact, 46 percent of students at CSU, Chico have reported they are either food or housing insecure. That’s a significantly high number and this is the second-year students must come up with the funds for that additional $228 on top of last years’.”

So what’s the solution? Advocating.

By advocating and bringing awareness to this problem that students are facing might be the only way to save our wallets. Students around campus have reacted in response to the announcement and expressed the importance of bringing this issue to light. They are planning on addressing these concerns to the Gov. Jerry Brown on April 4 in Sacramento. Here are their statements.

Alisha Sharma, A.S. president. Photo credit: Karen Limones

Alisha Sharma, A.S. president

“The May 15 Board of Trustee’s meeting that happens in Long Beach, were planning on increasing the advocacy efforts between now and then. We have a few dates in March, and we plan on partnering with other CSUs, student organizations and going down to Sacramento. Make sure the folks in the capital know we’re not just a number but we’re real students with real reasons to want to be here and we need sustainable funding. It’s important for assembly members to feel moved by our stories.”

Karla Camacho, A.S. Director of University Affairs. Photo courtesy of Karla Camacho.

Karla Camacho, A.S. director of university affairs

“Pick up the phone. Call your senator, assembly member and ask them to please try to fully fund a CSU. Last year in March, a couple of members went to visit the assembly member Gallagher and he has some CSU alumni working in his office, so he understood the importance of a CSU but listening to exactly how it was for us to have sustainable funding, he was more than willing to be a strong advocate for us. We want them to understand we’re utilizing shared governance in a way that was not just governing on our campus but we’re governing as a whole and we’re sharing our advocacy effort and we all stand for education for everyone.”

Radhika Kataria, Chico State senior. Photo courtesy of Radhika Kataria.

Radhika Kataria, Chico State senior

“As an organization, Student Quality Education is having a state-wide action on April 4 that’s going to be in the capital asking the legislature for more funding. We’re not sure where the money is going to come from, but it shouldn’t have to come from the backs of students. Something we’re working on this semester is making sure a campus email is sent to students, so they can be aware of what they must do if they need to find ways to earn the funds.”

Alejandro Alfaro Ramirez, Chico State sophomore. Photo credit: Karen Limones

Alejandro Alfaro Ramirez, Chico State sophomore

“Our goal is to get as many people down to our April 4 Sacramento action, but that’s going to be done first by educating the campus. This is what’s going on, why it’s wrong and this is why you need to care. There’s an opportunity to have your voice heard. Join us and stress the importance to the governor, more funds to the CSU and that we need their commitment.”

Jamie Cabrera, Chico State senior. Photo credit: Karen Limones

Jamie Cabrera, Chico State senior

“We’re trying to let many students know, we’re out there tabling, we’re putting up flyers, were trying to get people involved, including Gayle Hutchinson. There is little transparency or communication between people. Were generally trying to aim for that in our meetings, to inform students. We did a big action here on the Chico State campus and that’s how a lot of people found out about the tuition increase, we marched around the school and stood in front of the administration and we marched inside to let people know this is happening.”

It’s not enough to just sit back and watch. If you believe in fair tuition for all students, get involved. Advocate. Call the governor’s office, make your voice heard.

For more information follow SQE:

Instagram: @chicostate.sqe

Facebook: @chico sqe

e-mail: [email protected]

Reach out to student leaders:

Academic Senate Office: [email protected]

Associated Student President Alisha Sharma: [email protected]

Karen Limones can be reached at opinioneditor@theorion.com or @limoneska on Twitter.