This is a call to action: On July 12, the CSU board of trustees approved a 12 percent tuition increase for Fall 2011. This increase in tuition is due to our state budget, which has cut CSU funding by nearly $650 million for the 2011-2012 school year. As a response to California’s poor economic stance, our student body, along with 22 others in the state, is suffering.
In accordance with a 12 percent tuition increase, it breaks down as so: undergraduate students now pay an additional $294 per semester, credential students pay an additional $339 per semester, and graduate students now pay an additional $360 per semester. (csun.edu/prespfc/campusbudgetnews/)
Although this increase in tuition remains the same for Spring 2012 registration, we now have very specific guidelines which we are to follow. For giving the university, yet again, more money, our receipt reads something like this:
“Thank you for the extra money, kids! When your registration day finally comes, you can register for a maximum of 13 units! But wait, there’s more! You can add two additional units after Dec. 11! Good luck trying to get classes!”
We are paying more money, yet there are less classes, less teachers, and a cap on units? Where is that extra money going?
We turn to Chancellor Reed. This man proposed a $100,000 salary raise for campus presidents the very day the CSU decided on the 12 percent tuition increase!
Although we are experiencing budget cuts, evidence suggests that currently our CSU budget is $213 million, which is 5 percent more than we had in the 2007-2008 school year. (calfac.org)
Being a native Californian, a former Brahma of Pierce College, and a current Matador, it deeply saddens me to see that education is no longer emphasized as it used to be. It is simply not fair that we, the student body, who pay to attend CSUN, are no longer given the priority, nor the opportunity which the generations before us had. It is us, the student body, and all our professors who provide the big wigs with their fat salaries; they sit there lighting cigars with our dollars, while we stand in line, waiting, hoping for that window of opportunity to open up.
In the words of Muse’s Matt Bellamy, most perfectly put, it’s time to “rise up and take power back, it’s time the fat cats had a heart attack.”
Today’s 9 percent increase in tuition for Cal State students has finally galvanized our apolitical student body, creating a scene at the chancellors office in Long Beach that looked like Vietnam-era student protests. Just as our parents recognized the threat to their future posed by the draft and misguided foreign policy, students and Occupy protesters alike know that growing income inequality and consolidation of wealth in the hands of a tiny elite signals a great existential threat to our generation.
With real income stagnant, historically high unemployment numbers for recent college graduates, and a corporate culture that compels the best and brightest to compete for “work-experience” as unpaid interns, we face an uncertain future of deferred hopes and dreams. Anesthetized by technological toys, lulled into mindless consumerism and entertained by “reality TV” that glorifies empty celebrities, we have long been too distracted to notice the crumbling inheritance foisted upon us by a corporatocracy that eschews the basic social contract for the 99 percent and pits us against one another in a race to the bottom.
But no more. We have awakened and are no longer silent. What you are witnessing in Oakland, Zucotti Park and L.A.’s City Hall is a harbinger of things to come. Corporate tax rates are at the lowest point since the Eisenhower administration and we know that the real special interests, the lobbyists who represent the financial services industry, have bought and paid for our Congress. Based on economic justice and income distribution, the U.S. ranks 27 out of 32 nations, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren said it best: nobody gets wealthy on his own. Our “socialized” system of education, transportation and public safety enables businesses to prosper. Let business and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes so we can invest in our educational infrastructure and ensure the future of the American dream for future generations. Occupation may be the last resort of the jobless and those with no hope of getting a foothold on the ladder of prosperity.
As a student at CSUN and a veteran, I believe that we have a right to an education.
Our tuition keeps going up, and all we keep hearing is that our classes are getting cut. Every time I come to this campus I look around and I see the thousands of students waiting for the opportunity to make something of themselves.
We too have a place in our community, as we can’t wait to get out there and start changing lives. This dream seems to be slipping away from us, and it’s because of people in positions like Chancellor Reed, who, instead of looking out for our best interests, are looking out for theirs.
How is it that people in his position don’t seem to get affected by this? It’s because others, the chancellor of course, are giving 71 percent pay raises to executives, as we are getting the short end of the stick along with the faculty, who are not getting the pay raises they were promised.
Well, it’s time that we make a difference. If, as students, we cannot get the classes we need in order to graduate and the tuition keeps going up, I wouldn’t be surprised if students said “screw it” and leave the whole idea of furthering their education behind.
That’s when the universities will really be hurting. Unless the chancellor changes his priorities, we will start changing ours. If they make it harder for us to get an education, we will end up not getting one. If we allow that to happen, that’s placing a hardship on our goals and dreams and we can’t live that way.
Please help me in letting him see that our future is important, he had his chance to better his life and now it’s our turn.
Erika L. Franco