Students prepare to protest tuition increase at Chancellor’s office in Long Beach

Reanna Delgadillo

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This week the Cal State University (CSU) system will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday in Long Beach at the Chancellor’s office to discuss and vote on the budget for the next academic year. The vote will also include an increase in tuition and enrollment.

Michael Uhlenkamp, CSU director of Media Relations and New Media, said there will be two steps in the proposed budget increase.

“There’s a proposed 5 percent increase for spring 2011 and then a year from now there’s a 10 percent increase for the 2011-2012 year,” Uhlenkamp said.

Erik Fallis, media specialist for the CSU, said the 5 percent increase will equal $105 to be added to tuition costs and the 10 percent increase will be a $444 increase to the tuition of 2011-2012 academic year.

The CSU plans to ask the state legislature for assistance in helping bring down the 10 percent charge to student’s tuition with prioritized funds, Uhlenkamp said.

“We’re always optimistic but the challenge is that next year’s budget is going to be difficult,” Uhlenkamp said.

Uhlenkamp said the CSU does not know what is going to happen with next year’s budget so this is the reason why they are trying to plan early.

“We cannot wait 100 days after the budget is supposed to be signed to find out what we are going to get,” Uhlenkamp said.

He added that there is potential for help from the legislature but it is too early to know how successful the CSU will be in receiving assistance.

Uhlenkamp said once the decision is made the students will be notified immediately about the increase.

Daniel Santana, 21, from the Student Quality Education (SQE) chapter on campus said the Southern California chapters throughout the state plan to attend the public meeting.

“We’re putting together a protest demonstration right outside the Chancellor’s office in Long Beach,” Santana said.

He added that it will be a peaceful demonstration.

“We (are) just trying to build more awareness and pressure them to take the students needs into account,” Santana said.

He said the SQE chapter believes that since the budget is not even out yet there is no need to enforce the increase.

Freshman Tyrese Powell, 18, said her tuition would rise to almost $3,000 a semester if this proposed increase passes.

“Of course it would affect me,” said the mechanical engineering major. “I pay full tuition. I don’t get financial aid.”

Colleen Hensaker, 18, said this increase in fees would affect her parents greatly since they pay for her schooling.

“My parents have had to make sacrifices,” said the freshman nursing major. “My brother went to CSUN, but what they charge now for tuition, it’s gone up a lot. We’re on a tight budget as it is.”

Hensaker said she feels she could probably go to a community college and get the same education for a cheaper price.

“It (community college) would be closer anyways, I have to commute to school,” Hensaker said.

Senior Terry Marshall, 25, said the increase in fees would greatly affect her since this is her fifth year in college and her financial aid is running out.

“I’m a double major and pretty soon I’m not going to be able to get financial aid anyways because I’m going to get over my limit but I’m going to appeal it,” said the music therapy and child development major.

Marshall said that she plans to go to CSUN for at least three more years and will have to search for grants and scholarships once her financial aid runs out.