CSU votes in favor of increase or refund based on success or failure of Proposition 30

Gabrielle Moreira

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Some SQE members came with home-made graduation caps of construction paper featuring the price tag of education in 2012 compared to 2002. Photo credit: Ken Scarboro / Senior Photographer

UPDATED WITH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

LONG BEACH—The CSU board of trustees voted 11 to 3 today in favor of a tuition increase if Proposition 30 fails and 11 to 3 in favor of a tuition rollback, or reimbursement, if the proposition passes.

If Gov. Brown’s tax initiative, Prop. 30, is not passed in the upcoming November election the CSU system faces a $250 million budget cut, which would lead to a 5 percent tuition increase, according to Erik Fallis.

Should Proposition. 30 pass, students can expect a rebate from the 9 percent tuition increase they paid for the 2011-12 academic year. Students who receive financial aid will have their awards changed to reflect a new lower tuition, while returning students who paid out of pocket will receive a credit. Students who graduated will receive a check for $250, according to Michael Uhlenkamp.

Many students and some faculty addressed concerns regarding the board’s proposed fee increases, including the three additional fees that will be discussed at the Nov. 13-14 meetings.

“What are you going to do to make sure Proposition. 30 is successful?” asked CSUN student Jocelyn Silva, SQE member and gender and women studies major during open forum. “I would like to remind you all that you work because of us.”

The board also discussed a proposal to revise undergraduate degree requirements. The new proposal would have students in most programs complete their major at 120 units, but the revision will not be voted on until the trustees’ Nov. 13-14 meetings.

Students who graduate on time have less debt and allow more spots for new students, according to Ephraim Smith, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. Smith and
Christina Mallon, assistant vice chancellor of academic programs and faculty development, presented the information on the proposal to the board.

The proposed revision received support from several CSU presidents, including CSUN President Dianne Harrison.

“I see this proposed change as reducing costs,” Harrison said. “It would make additional financial aid funds available and increase access to new students. I strongly support the new proposal.”

Harrison also said that with the new program CSUN could gain $1.6 million in financial aid funds. The funds could then be used for incoming and current students instead of paying for students who take over 120 units when their degree does not require it.

Trustee Kenneth Fong asked Mallon to explain what types of concerns and misconceptions the program has brought on.

Mallon explained that concerns have been on whether or not the proposed revision would fall on students.

“This is a cap, but not on students,” she said. “It’s on degree requirements themselves. It’s up to faculty to decide what the requirements will be.”

At the end of the discussion, Chancellor Charles Reed spoke on the program, stating that he was dubbed “anti-intellectual” for removing four of 124 units from older degree requirements.

“I have spent the last 14 years trying to make an adjustment,” he said. “Money will not fix this problem. I got one university to reduce their requirements on engineering degrees.”

The board meeting also included an introduction to Cal State Online, a new program that will allow veterans, students who did not finish college and others to earn a degree through online courses.

The next CSU board of trustees meeting will be held Nov. 13-14, after the Nov. 6 elections. The meetings will discuss the three proposed fee increases and the proposed cap on degree requirements.

Students from several SQE campus chapters held signs showing support for Seth Newmeyer, the UCLA student being charged with breaking one of the glass doors of the Chancellor’s Office last fall. Photo credit: Ken Scarboro / Senior Photographer

CSUN gender and women studies major, Jocelyn Silva, spoke to the board of trustees on behalf of students from SQE. Silva asked the board, “what are you going to do to make sure Prop. 30 is successful?” Photo credit: Ken Scarboro / Senior Photographer