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The Orion

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Possible tuition raise student protest on campus

A protest against the tuition raise could be taking place on Oct. 25
Fen+Halstead+and+Trysta+Seale%E2%80%99s+beginning+protest+flyer+design.+Created+by+Fen+Halstead.
Fen Halstead and Trysta Seale’s beginning protest flyer design. Created by Fen Halstead.

A student protest against the tuition raise could be coming to Chico State in late October. English major, Trysta Seale, is working to gather student and faculty support for the protest.

On Sept. 21, Seale posted a petition to change.org in an effort to gain signatures to lower tuition fees to increase education access.

So far the petition has received more than 150 out of 200 signatures, however Seale plans to continue increasing the maximum amount of signatures until she gets as many as she can.

The protest is meant to bring attention to and compliment the petition as well as raise awareness of the tuition raise.

Seale said — while collecting signatures — she’s come in contact with Chico State students who either haven’t heard about the tuition raise or didn’t know much about it.

So she hopes the protest will help students become more educated about the raise and its impacts.

Around 60% of all California State University students will not be impacted by the tuition increase due to grants and other financial awards, meaning 40% will be impacted.

“It’s not just students who are being affected, it’s students and their families,” Seale said. “So we’re trying to get everyone on the same page so that we can try and address this and see if we can get anything done at all.”

Seale said she’s in a complicated position regarding tuition because her family makes too much money for her to get Federal Student Aid, but they don’t “make enough money to comfortably pay tuition.”

She worries she may not be able to afford tuition next semester and might have to drop out. 

“Rent and housing is also going up right now,” Seale said. “I’m either picking between school or if I’m going to pay rent or eat.”

She also thinks the CSU will lose students instead of getting the money they are hoping to through the tuition raise.

Seale said since Chico State is the heart of Chico, she believes the tuition raise will also impact the surrounding community.

“A lot of people come to Chico ‘cause they’re going to Chico State and it’s what Chico is built around,” Seale said. “So if people stop going, what is that gonna do to our community?”

After the October protest, Seale hopes to expand her efforts to the Chico community as a whole.

At this point, Seale is still trying to gather students and faculty to her side. She’s said a lot of faculty members are supportive and have been helping her. 

Such faculty members include Chico State professor Nathan Heggins Bryant, the vice president of the California Faculty Association Chico chapter.

She has also reached out to Chico State president, Steve Perez, and other board members, but has not heard back.

Seale has  never organized a protest and she was worried about whether or not she could. Luckily, she learned protests are allowed almost anywhere on campus

The exceptions include the residential areas and areas operated by the Associated Students such as the Bell Memorial Union and Wildcat Recreation Center

Seale encourages students, faculty and staff to protest, be loud and get attention but to be respectful of classes.

Tuition raise student protest flyer mock-up. Created by Fen Halstead and Trysta Seale.

Seale is trying to set up the protest on Oct. 25 in front of Kendall Hall in the morning or afternoon. 

Due to the protest’s proximity to Halloween, Seale encourages all protesters to come dressed up. She plans to provide water to protesters.

With one of her non-Chico State friends, Fen Halstead, Seale is designing flyers for the event and hopes to have the date set and flyers up around campus and the Chico community as soon as possible.

The tuition raise proposal was approved by the CSU Board of Trustees on Sept. 13. To read the tuition raise proposal, go 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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    Phil Feser // Oct 11, 2023 at 11:21 am

    This is not a new issue. Millions of us worked our way thru college with summer jobs or during school including evenings and weekends. I did landscaping, housesitting, summer firefighting, cleaning at a veterinarian and many others. You do whatever it takes to get your education without burdening anyone else. Becoming self-reliant is a critical aspect of growing up and being a contributing member of society.

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