Video by Brittney Barsotti
On November 16, 2011, the California State University Board of Trustees voted to raise the student tuition fee by 9% starting Fall 2012. With the 12% increase passed this summer, CSU tuition has gone up 283% since 2002.
The quality of our education has not risen with the cost. Class sizes have grown, there are fewer sections of classes offered, talented faculty and staff have been turned away, and those students who remain have fewer options in designing a learning experience that will make them productive members of society.
Equal access to higher eduction is a right recognized in all civilized societies and guaranteed in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights passed without opposition by the United Nations. A well-educated populace makes possible a civil society that is most just and equitable to all its members.
We understand that you do not decide the cuts and tuition increases for the CSU system, that is done by the board of trustees. We also understand that the trustees do not decide the state budget, which has forced the CSU system to do more with fewer resources. However, we do understand that the CSU campus presidents, the chancellor, and the trustees are prominent citizens of California and their words and actions have much influence. We expect the influence to be asserted on behalf of the students, faculty, and staff. We expect this to be done publicly and with the input of the CSI community.
Lieutenant Governor and Ex Officio Trustee Gavin Newsom has called for a revote at the trustee meeting on December 5. Chancellor Reed has denied this request. He and the nine members of the board who voted for the tuition increase have made the fight for fair, affordable, and accessible education more difficult. They have taken a stand against the students, and have made themselves a target of our protests. It is time for you to make a choice.
You can stand with them, or you can stand with your students. If you decide to stand with us, you need to do the following:
1: Write a letter to the chancellor and board of trustees urging them to repeal the 9% tuition fee increase at their December 5 meeting.
2: Write a letter to the presidents of every other CSI campus asking them to also contact the chancellor and board of trustees regarding a repeal of the 9% tuition fee increase.
We expect these letters to be sent out by the close of business December 2, and we expect them to be made public. We have a long fight in Sacramento coming up this next semester. WE expect your office, the chancellor’s office, and the board of trustees to stand with us in taking bold uncompromising action against the cuts to public higher education. Any CSU executive or administrator who does otherwise is not worthy of their position, and they will immediately become the target of constant protest and direct action.
In order to combat attacks on public higher education from the outside, we need a leadership that is receptive to the needs of those it is supposed to serve, and that will inspire the CSI community in taking a stand. Any campus president, chancellor or board member who fails to provide this, has made themselves an obstacle, and we will organize to remove that obstacle.
Occupy SFSU General Assembly