CSU delays tuition increase vote

large round table meeting
The CSU Board of Trustees met in Long Beach on Jan. 30. Photo credit: Ethan Hanson

The proposed $228 tuition increase will not be voted on until at least May, according to a statement from CSU Chancellor Timothy White. If the vote passes, it will be the second year in a row tuition has increased.

The tuition increase would provide $70 million in operating revenue and $35 million to State University Grants, according to the Board of Trustees Committee of Finance.

White stated in the CSU Board of Trustees budget meeting that “60 percent of students won’t be affected” by the $228 increase, affordability is still an issue. One in four CSU students suffer from food insecurities and one in 10 suffer from homelessness, according to a report from Equity Interrupted conducted by the California Faculty Association.

Gabriel Lozano, a 23-year-old organizer for Students for Quality of Education (SQE) at Cal Poly Pomona, said that issues with hunger are affecting campuses all over the state.

“I have had friends that have literally been on the verge of homelessness and I have had other friends who decided not to go to college for this reason because of the increases,” Lozano said. “The tuition costs are just going to get higher and higher and it won’t stop.”

CSU Board members and California government officials have been at odds over the proposed budget for 2018-19. While the Board of Trustees requested $263 million, Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal allocated $92 million to the CSU.

The more than $100 million gap according to White is the reason why a tuition increase is needed.

One such proposal was made by board member Romey Sabalius to decrease tuition by two percent if the state government has a surplus.

“It would give our government legislatures a clear idea and vision of how to budget their assets and allocations to the CSU,” Sabalius said. “It would send a clear message on where the board the trustees lie.”

While the jockeying over the CSU budget continues on the capitol hill in Sacramento, sociology professor Kevin Wehr of Sacramento State, says that he’s had to put in a basic needs notice in his syllabus for students who do have to deal with food insecurity or homelessness.

“I felt I had to put this notice in because of what I have seen in the classroom,” Wehr said. “I had a brilliant student whose engagement fell off because he was falling asleep in class. It turned out that he was having trouble feeding himself.”

Another tuition increase seems to be on the horizon but a delay in the vote will allow the CSU to finalize its budget before making a final decision.

“We are extremely glad that the board is choosing to put off its vote,” Wehr said. “But what we should really be talking about is a tuition cut, not a tuition increase.”

 

Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled California Faculty Association and CSU tuition increased two years in a row.