A 10 percent increase and budget cuts sent some CSUN students marching while the school geared up for their 11th annual Grad Fest commencement events week.
Members for Students for Quality Education marched through campus chanting ‘What do we want? Accessible Education! When do we want it? Now!’ and ‘CSUN unite! Don’t stand and look’mdash;Come join the fight!’
SQE is a student coalition devoted to the fighting for quality education. CSUN is one out of 23 Cal State campuses that is involved in the fight against the increase and budget cuts. SQE member Alejandro Hernandez, Chicano Studies and graphic design major said they are marching to bring awareness to the community about fee hikes and how much it is affecting students at Cal States.
‘The reasons were all here is because we’re tired and sick were not gonna take it anymore,’ he said. ‘The cuts, the fee hikes’mdash;I wanna graduate in four years not five or six, so were here to take a stand and show that we care about our education and we’re not gonna let this keep happening.’
The march comes as a result of another 10 percent fee hike for the 2009-2010 year and if adopted will be the seventh fee hike in eight years, adding up to a cumulative fee hike of 135 percent for undergraduates and 175 percent for graduate students since 2002, according to a California Faculty Association letter sent to Governor Schwarzenegger and California Legislative Leaders.
Dave Ballard, co-president of CFA at CSUN and associate professor in sociology at the school said it was important for faculty to support the students as well as vice versa.
‘Faculty and students are the ones in the classroom,’ he said. ‘They are intertwined and it is important that both get the support they need to make a better working and learning environment.’
Lilia Tejeda, a sophomore psychology major, said when she first started at CSUN she had all the help she needed but now with the fee hikes she is unsure how she is going to pay for her education.
‘When I started here financial aid helped me a whole lot,’ she said. ‘But now, it is harder for me because financial aid got cut I had no money for my books or the dorms.’
Tejeda said the importance of education is what made her come out and show support.
‘My family taught me that the way to succeed is through education so that is why I am here today, to fight for my education to not be cut.’