CSU students to protest tuition increase at state capitol


Josh Cozine

Students creating “debt boulders.” The boulders will be added with others students’ boulders to form a physical “mountain of debt.

Thousands of students are expected to travel to the state capitol on April 4 to protest tuition increases and address state legislators face-to-face.

Coordinated by Students for Quality Education(SQE), and the California Faculty Association, the event is planned as a way for students to voice their discontent, and request legislators to increase funding to the CSU system instead of placing the cost on the student. Students from every CSU are expected to attend, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Josh Cozine
Alejandro Alfaro Ramirez, says he is happy to see Chico State with so many students already signed up to come with him and Chico SQE to the state capitol to protest tuition increases.

“We have 178 people signed up as of now,” said Alejandro Alfaro Ramirez, of ChicoSQE. “It’s cool to see Chico State coming through with such big numbers,” he said at the groups last meeting before the April 4 “day of action” as they have been calling it. The campaign has also taken the name #Freethecsu and #Fundthedream on Twitter.

During the meeting, ChicoSQE members detailed their plans for the day, finished preparations―including getting people to RSVP if they need to bus and writing letters for students’ professors explaining why they will not be in class April 4― and then spent the next two hours creating protest posters as well as “debt boulders.”

These boulders, created by gluing paper to a balloon and popping the balloon once the glue has dried, leaving a hollow sphere of paper, will be brought by students from every CSU and placed to create a “mountain of debt” outside the state capitol. On each boulder students will write their total debt from student loans in an attempt to make the problem more visible to the legislators, which will include Governor Jerry Brown.

Jamie Cabrera, of Chico SQE, also detailed a plan to set-up a “messaging booth,” where students can get a polaroid of themselves taken to attach a picture of themselves to written messages that will be collected and delivered directly to state officials.

“We want (them) to see a face with these stories,” she said.

Josh Cozine can be reached at [email protected] or @joshcozine on Twitter.