Students hold signs and march in protest of proposed tuition
increase at SF State on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023. (Neal Wong / Golden Gate Xpress)
Students hold signs and march in protest of proposed tuition increase at SF State on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023. (Neal Wong / Golden Gate Xpress)
Neal Wong

‘Stop the hike,’ SFSU students oppose tuition increase

Students marched around campus to the Administration building to speak against the proposed CSU tuition increase

Around 300 students gathered at Malcolm X Plaza to voice their opposition against the 6% CSU tuition increase proposal, which will be decided by a vote Tuesday at the Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach.

“I might have to drop out. I can’t pay for that,” said Ricardo Salis Landa, a first-year student at SFSU. “My mom is a single working lady and is the whole reason I was able to come here. With the tuition raise, I’m already working a lot of hours. I would have to work an extra nine hours –– [it] would not be possible to continue my education.”

Students march through the quad of SFSU’s campus while holding their signs and chanting on September 11, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress) (Tam Vu)

Landa is a full-time student taking five classes and working a minimum-wage job at WingStop as a cashier. Landa is joined by various other student organizations, including the League of Filipino Students, Movimiento Estudiantil para Liberación de las Américas, Young Democratic Socialists of America and Associated Students, in their collective stance against the tuition increase.

“I came to a state school because I knew it would be affordable and it’s close to home. But all the benefits that come with going to a state school are negated by the tuition hike,” said Luna Fife, a first-year student. “I don’t want to end up in student debt. I don’t want to put that pressure on my parents to pay for my tuition. I don’t want to have to get a job in my first semester, and it puts us in a precarious situation. This isn’t a fucking UC. We came here for a reason.”

Many students attend CSUs due to their affordability compared to UCs, according to Fife. The rally hosted speakers from student organizations for the first 30 minutes.

Gage Gerber, YDSA Member, chants into a megaphone to engage students supporting the rally on 19th Avenue and Holloway on September 11, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress) (Tam Vu)

“I’m extremely outraged, as I had just transferred here and administration is still threatening to cut services here at SF State, and the CSU is trying to use our money to make up for their mistakes with the budget,” said Gage Gerber, a YDSA member. “I just transferred here from San Diego and I’m outraged at the fact that my tuition is going to increase for this next year.”

The rally was followed by a march towards the Administration building at 1 p.m. Students chanted, “Hey hey ho ho, tuition hikes have got to go.”

Future transfer student Benjamin Leach, currently attending Skyline College, was among the students to join the march.

“I’ve been on my own since I was 14. Why would you want to increase tuition for somebody who’s already struggling?” Leach said. “It affects me because I’m going to be a future alumnus here, so for me to have a future here, they are taking that away. Fighting for this means that I’m going to get a proper education. This right there is an action towards that. Towards a better life, education and future kids.”

After arriving at the Administration building, students continued chanting, held up signs and later walked their way back to Malcolm X Plaza at 1:30 p.m. to hold an open mic until 2 p.m.

Students are seen holding signs in protest of proposed tuition increases through the main entrance of the Administration building at SF State on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023. (Neal Wong / Golden Gate Xpress) (Neal Wong)

“Hearing about this is so infuriating. Why should I live comfortably in digging myself into thousands and thousands of debt, but President Lynn Mahoney and people above get paid more than my professors?” said Roxane Jaramillo, a second-year student who spoke during the open mic. “Why should I have to suffer? All administrators get thousand-dollar stipends. Why is she living comfortably? But I’m living with rats and roaches in Mary Park and Mary Ward. It isn’t fair that CSUs pride themselves on making it affordable. Nothing about this is affordable. We don’t owe them shit, they owe us [an] education.”

SFSU student, JoJuan Johnson, embraces with a League of Filipino Student member while holding a sign during the rally at SF State on Sept. 11, 2023. (Dan Hernandez / Golden Gate Xpress) (Dan Hernandez)

Lynn Mahoney stated in an interview with GGX, “I’m never in favor of charging students more. But we only have two places to get revenues, the state and tuition, and the state has given all that they can give — And our employees are underpaid.”

The California Faculty Association collaborated with the student organizations in support and provided buses that were canceled today. The bus was scheduled to take students to the Dumke Auditorium at the Office of the Chancellor in Long Beach on Sept. 11, where the Board of Trustees meeting is to take place.

“We authorized to reimburse students $2500 to take Greyhound buses because to charter a single bus was over 5,000 dollars and too expensive for us,” said James Martel, Tenure/Tenure track Vice President for CFA.

Student organization LFS will still be traveling to Long Beach independently.

“If this passes, I might have to go home and go to a 2-year [college] that I can already not afford,” Jaramillo said. “I came here for a better advantage for my family and they are just pushing me back because they are greedy and want my money. They don’t want me to succeed, they want my money. That’s what’s making me mad. They want to dig us into debt so we can be proud of something.”

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Adriana Hernandez
Adriana Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief
Adriana Hernandez (she/her) is the Editor-In-Chief for Golden Gate Xpress. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in media literacy. Adriana has a passion for storytelling, culture, art, and design. She previously wrote for The Skyline View, the student newspaper of Skyline College. In her downtime, she enjoys reading and watching films. For any inquiries, you can contact me at [email protected].  
Tam Vu
Tam Vu, Photo Editor
Tam Vu (she/her) is a Vietnamese-American photographer for Golden Gate Xpress and Xpress Magazine. She is a fourth-year photojournalism major with a minor in Asian American studies. She originally entered SF State as a print and online journalism major, but switched to photojournalism in her second year after finding her passion for visual storytelling. Her special interests include Asian American identity and music journalism. In the near future, she hopes to make a video documentary on her parents' immigration story to highlight the generational impact that the Vietnam War has on many families. Outside of school, she loves to attend live music shows, find new music, and crochet.
Neal Wong
Neal Wong, Co-Copy Editor
Neal Wong (he/him) is a third-year journalism student and minoring in urban studies and planning. He was born and raised in San Francisco and attended Washington High School. He has photographed and written for Golden Gate Xpress first as a contributor, then as a photographer, and now as a copy editor. His photos have also been published by the San Francisco Bay ViewSan Francisco Public Press, Mission Local, and Xpress Magazine. Neal has also created and taught four SFSU Experimental College courses. His hobbies include traveling, cooking, and reading.
Dan Hernandez
Dan Hernandez, Visuals Editor
Dan Hernandez (he/him) is the Visuals Editor for Golden Gate Xpress, majoring in journalism and minoring in business administration. He is an award-winning multimedia journalist, applying his skills in both news reporting and press photography. He got his start in journalism at 15 years old as a staff writer for The Advocate at Contra Costa College before becoming editor-in-chief as a high school senior. Outside of journalism, he is probably camping on a road trip, playing water polo, riding his bike or dancing at concerts. He also goes by the nickname “Biscuit.”

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