YDSA members table on Wednesday, Sept 13, 2023 while watching the CSU Board Meeting at Malcolm X Plaza. (Michaela Mateo / Golden Gate Xpress)
YDSA members table on Wednesday, Sept 13, 2023 while watching the CSU Board Meeting at Malcolm X Plaza. (Michaela Mateo / Golden Gate Xpress)
Michaela Mateo

SF State community reacts to tuition increase decision

The CSU Board of Trustees voted to increase tuition rates in order to offset budget deficits amid student opposition. Here’s what community members have to say about it.

The California State University Board of Trustees voted on Wednesday afternoon to pass the proposal to increase tuition by 6% annually over the next five years.

Although 60% of CSU students’ tuition will be fully covered by financial aid, the other 40% will see an increase of $342 in fall 2024. By fall 2028,  full-time undergraduates will pay $7,682, a 34% increase over current tuition.

The vote passed 15-5 despite various campus organizations heavily opposing the tuition increase at the ‘Stop the Hike’ rally on Monday.

“It’s incredibly disheartening as students to see how little we’re valued. To just see this administration take more and more money from us without really investing it back,” Elsy Hernandez-Monroy, an SFSU student said.

Hernandez-Monroy was one of the hundreds of students who participated in Monday’s rally against the tuition increase. She claims the tuition increase will harm already disadvantaged groups on campus.

“A lot of the people here are first-generation, people of color and we are oftentimes having to fight harder to gain more opportunities and attend higher institutions of education,” said Hernandez-Monroy. “To see it become even more difficult for people like us is really just indicative of how little we are valued in society.”

There are different ways in which students at SFSU pay their tuition.

Tyanne Goltz, a senior student at SFSU, is now concerned about how she will pay for her tuition. 

“My husband is a veteran and we use his disability check to help pay for my tuition,” Goltz said. “We’re paying tuition out of disability. Part of the reason I’m going here is because the tuition was lower than other schools.”

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

The CFA, which is currently negotiating a contract with the CSU, hosted a watch party on Tuesday and Wednesday for the Board of Trustees meeting at the Malcolm X Plaza.

“When you raise tuition, that also contributes to declining enrollment. So if you want to increase enrollment, you would not increase tuition, but lower it,” said CFA Chapter President Brad Erickson. “I feel like management is always talking down to us. We are completely opposed to tuition hikes because we’re also asking students to support a living wage for faculty.”

After the vote was passed, Erickson was passing flyers to collect virtual signatures for faculty’s commitment to standing up for a fair contract, which could lead to a strike. 

“Six percent increases are unnecessary. They damage your education and they get in the way of the CSU system, which is to serve students,” said Will Clark, an English department assistant professor and fellow CFA member who was present at the watch party. 

“More of the burden is being pushed on the students,” Clark said. “They will have less resources, counselors and faculty. They have other things they could be doing to address the funding gaps.”

The impact this tuition increase will have has yet to be felt – but some students are already foreseeing a long road ahead.

The SF State Chapter of Young Democratic Socialists of America met on Sept. 14, 2023, the day after the CSU tuition increase was passed and approved by the CSU Board of Trustees. YDSA is seen here voting to prioritize the CFA strike in the near future. (Michaela Mateo / Golden Gate Xpress (Michaela Mateo)

“If enrollment drops because of this vote — and it most certainly will — that means classes will get cut even more. All of our interests align with this decision being removed,” said Elliot Sum, a Young Democratic Socialist of America member.

The student organization voted Thursday during their meeting on prioritizing the CFA strike in unison with SFSU faculty. 

“They [Board of Trustees] don’t care where we come from and what we have to go through to make it where we are,” said Kaedan Fleischer, a freshman who also attended Monday’s rally. 

Fleischer added that although students can be extremely disappointed with the result, their efforts to make their voices heard didn’t go in vain.

“Just because the tuition hike went through doesn’t mean that what we did was for nothing,” Fleischer said. “There’s a lot to look forward to, a lot to learn from and a lot to build, and I think we’re in a really unique position to build off that and make a difference.” 

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Jonah Chambliss
Jonah Chambliss, Staff Reporter
Jonah Chambliss (he/him) is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in sociology. He was born and raised in Oakland, California. He lives in San Francisco, California, while working full-time and attending San Francisco State University. He previously contributed to The Cabrillo Voice, the student newspaper of Cabrillo Community College in Aptos, California. He served as a staff reporter for Golden GateXpress last semester, covering arts and entertainment, and will cover student life and club events this spring. During his free time, Jonah is an avid cyclist, motorcycle rider, and mechanic. Jonah is also a huge fan of Bay Area sports, specifically the Oakland Athletics and Golden State Warriors.
Sunthi Jong
Sunthi Jong, Co-Copy Editor
Sunthi Jong (she/her) is a copy editor for the Golden Gate Xpress and is a member of the editorial team. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in Asian American Studies. She was born in the East Bay and grew up both there and in Sacramento. Jong currently lives in San Francisco and is in the final year of her degree. In her free time, Jong enjoys reading, baking and exploring the city.
Jason Hernandez
Jason Hernandez, A&E Editor
Jason Hernandez(he/him) is the arts and entertainment editor for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in education. He's lived in the Bay Area his whole life and currently lives near South San Francisco. During his free time, Jason enjoys watching sports, playing pool and thrift shopping. Once he graduates, he'd one day like to work for Vice News.
Michaela Mateo
Michaela Mateo, Visuals Editor
Michaela Gutierrez Mateo (She/Her) is the Golden Gate Xpress Visuals Editor for Fall 2023. Her nickname is Micha, is a 4th year Photojournalism major and an Asian American Studies minor. She is a transfer student from Chabot College, Hayward where she had her first experience as a reporter for The Spectator. Her passion is photography and film but most of all she is a Kdrama and Kpop addict.

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