The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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AS makes calls for state cash

Sevag Alexanian, president of CSUN’s Associated Students. Sundial/File Photo

Associated Students hosted a phone-banking event on Monday in an attempt to reach Gov. Jerry Brown’s office and urge him to fully fund the Cal State System and fend off a potential tuition fee increase.

The event took place in the Grand Salon located in the university student union.

The room’s participants were split down the middle, with one half calling the Governor’s office and the other half trying to get into contact with their respective state legislators.

AS President, Sevag Alexanian hopes the phone-banking event will generate a considerable enough buzz to make the people in charge aware of the monetary needs of the CSU system.

“Events like this make our voices more powerful, make our stories more powerful, but also show that it isn’t just a small group of students who care about this. It’s everybody,” said Alexanian.

Events such as this one have become more frequent since the potential tuition hike was announced a few months ago. Earlier this month, a student group from Cal State Long Beach held a protest at a meeting at the Chancellor’s office according to reports.

Alexanian said that ideas for how to best make their wants known are discussed from AS groups locally as well as those from others in the California State Student Association and other CSU campuses. There have been town hall meetings, protests, phone banking, culminating with a trip to the state legislature’s office in January.

“We’re definitely trying to mobilize as we go, trying to figure out what is the best course of action,” said Alexanian.

If passed, the tuition increase, which amounts to roughly $270 more per year for in-state undergraduate students, would go into effect in the fall of 2017, according to Alexanian. The proposed hike would not affect most students who receive financial aid. It is those part-time, international, or out-of-state students who would feel the monetary squeeze.

A staff report prepared by Assistant Vice Chancellor Ryan Strom and CSU Chief Financial Officer Steve Relyea, notes that the CSU’s highest priority will be lobbying for more funding from the state to make up for an anticipated $167.6 million deficit according to a recent CBS report.

Toren Arusi, a first-year lower division senator, who represents students taking less than 60 units, felt confident about his work with AS and the phone-banking event.

“This is my first year with AS. It’s really fun. I really love advocating for the students,” said Arusi.

While the event was open to the public, the room was comprised largely of AS members.

Alexanian, however, is not discouraged from continuing to urge all students to participate in getting the word out and stop the tuition hike from happening.

“This is the battle. It’s not going to be fought and won just today with a small group of students calling the governor’s office. The goal is this is going to be part of a collective effort where these small efforts add up and Gov. Brown realizes this (tuition increase) is something that affects everybody,” said Alexanian.

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