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Rally to take place during CSU Board of Trustees meeting to oppose proposed tuition raise

The California Faculty Association and CSU workers and students will hold a rally on Tuesday
Created+by+Ariana+Powell+on+Sept.+11.
Created by Ariana Powell on Sept. 11.

California Faculty Association members and California State University workers and students will be holding a rally during the CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach to oppose the multi-year tuition proposal.

During the meeting, which started Sunday at 9 a.m. and will last until Wednesday, the 6% per academic year tuition raise will be discussed and voted on.

The rally will be Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will be livestreamed on the Students for Quality Education Instagram page

On Wednesday, at 7:30 a.m., the CFA and SQE will invite CSU trustees to have breakfast with students so they can directly hear how the possible tuition increase is going to impact people.

The Board of Trustees will be voting on the tuition raise proposal the same day.

“Proposed tuition increases will only further burden the lives of large numbers who are struggling to meet the rising costs of living, many of who are already facing food and housing insecurities,” Lisa Cohen, a CFA representative, said in an email.

Currently around 50% of Chico State students struggle with food insecurity and 14% with housing, according to Leah Slem, Chico State’s Basic Needs manager.

Lindsay Briggs, a Chico State professor and CFA Chico chapter faculty rights co-chair, said to her knowledge no one from Chico State will be attending the rally due to school and work responsibilities. But they do support the rally and its purpose.

“We cannot allow CSU management to make higher education even more inaccessible to our students, and we cannot allow them to profit from the unreasonable workloads of faculty and staff,” Cohen said.

This table outlines the estimated budget for a Chico State undergraduate student. Courtesy: Chico State

The tuition and fees for full-time undergraduate Chico State students of the 2023-24 academic year is at $8,064. However, the entire estimated budget for a student living off-campus is $25,064. The estimated budget for those living on-campus is $28,030.

In October 2022, 73% of Chico State students had received some form of financial aid. Across all 23 CSU campuses, 80% of students receive some type of aid, and 60% of students’ tuition is fully covered. 

If the tuition proposal is approved, $49 million out of the $148 million projected revenue will go toward the CSU’s State University Grant program.

“We will fight for what we know is right. And when we fight, we win rights, respect, and justice for workers and students in the CSU,” Cohen stated.

The Board of Trustees will also be discussing the proposed 2024-2025 operating budget plan and Black student enrollment and success, among other topics. The entire agenda can be viewed here.

According to the operating budget plan draft — which is subject to change during and after the meeting — if the tuition increase is approved, the revenue projections will receive a $148.3 million increase. 

Despite other revenue increases, the budget states the estimated incremental revenues are insufficient to support the expenditure plan. The projected expenditures are around $8.7 billion.

The budget also proposes:

  • An additional $7 million will go toward student basic needs and mental health programs — $102 million total; for more information see page 22 of the budget plan
  • An additional $16 million will go toward Title IX and discrimination, harassment and retaliation programs — $36 million total; for more information see pages 23-24 of the budget plan
  • Three-quarters of the proposed operating budget, $6 billion, will go toward salaries and benefits for faculty, staff, student staff, executives and other positions; for more information see page 27 of the budget plan

Since bargaining efforts are still ongoing, there are no specific revenue projections regarding salary, according to Hazel Kelly, CSU’s strategic communications and public relations manager.

The CFA and CSU management are currently in a mediating phase after an impasse was declared. The CFA is currently asking for a 12% general salary increase and to raise the salary floor for lecturers and other lower paid faculty members.

The CSU Board of Trustees meeting can be livestreamed here

Ariana Powell can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Ariana Powell
Ariana Powell, Editor-in-Chief
Ariana Powell is in her fourth year at Chico State as a media arts (criticism) and journalism (news) double-major. Now in her fourth semester on The Orion and having assumed the editor-in-chief position, she is prepared to continue helping upcoming journalists and endeavors to continue building her repertoire of multimedia and writing skills. In her free time, she enjoys writing, watching and analyzing films, reading and spending time with her loved ones.

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