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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Student Union holds rally against tuition hike

Five months after the tuition hike passed, students rallied against the rise in tuition
Neal Wong
Hundreds of students ended the walkout by gathering near the administration building, where they listened to speakers on Feb. 28, 2024. (Neal Wong/Golden Gate Xpress)

More than 200 San Francisco State University students rallied at Malcolm X Plaza on Feb. 28, channeling their ongoing frustration with the recent tuition increase and university administration.

For over two hours, students were in the plaza chanting and showing their anger over this change implemented last semester and what it would mean for them. 

 The rally began with speakers discussing various issues, ranging from campus complaints to social justice topics, eliciting engagement from the crowd through different chants. Student union leaders led the pumped-up crowd around campus to the planter with the statue, ending the rally in front of the Administration building. 

Following the march, the student union hosted an open mic session, inviting individuals to voice their concerns about the tuition hike and other issues addressed during the rally.

Dan Buschmeyer, one of the student union organizers for the rally, spoke to attendees and encouraged students to join existing unions and organizations on campus. 

“It makes me feel so proud seeing the solidarity among students. Not much discussion happens in the classrooms, and it’s hard to determine the temperature of how much students really care,” Buschmeyer said. “Seeing people take time out of their day to come out and listen to people who are spilling their hearts just means the world.”

Sohrab Ford, a student union member, says he was pleased to see the turnout. This is Ford’s first semester at SFSU and he has already joined the fight against the tuition hike. 

“This is the start of a historical movement. This is the biggest public education system in the United States and we’re gonna make it free again,” Ford said. “We’re just starting right now, and I hope we scare the shit out of the administration, and I hope they know that they can never do something like this again because it’s only going to make us stronger. It’s only going to unite us even further.”

Hundreds of students marched around the SFSU campus while participating in a walkout, in protest of the upcoming five-year tuition increases that will add up to a 34% hike. (Neal Wong/Golden Gate Xpress) (Neal Wong)

Sean Godfrey is a third-year psychology student who says he likes seeing students from all walks of life unite to fight the hike. Godfrey wants the CSU to prioritize its students.  

“They think that we don’t notice, they think that we don’t care, but we’re showing that we noticed and we care. We know that what they’re doing, prioritize students, that’s what they’re there for,” Godfrey said. “It’s a public university. Put us first.”

Ray Choudhudy, a third-year in environmental studies, attended the rally because he wants CSU to stop charging more money when students are already struggling to pay their current tuition. 

“What do they need all that money for? It sucks because there’s so many people around here who can’t keep paying that much,” Choudhudy said. “College is already so unnecessarily expensive. It’ll take a lot of opportunities away from people. It’s unfair.”

Rawan Alayan was one of the speakers who spoke on behalf of the General Union of Palestine Students, a student organization at SFSU. Alayan says she feels good about showing her support and standing with fellow students. 

“Honestly, just listen to your students,” Alayan said. “Without your students, you’ll have nothing.”

Ozzy Palacio is a first-year student and a creative writing major. Palacio is upset that they are still fighting against the hike but loves seeing other students standing in support. 

“My message to the CSU is fuck you give us affordable housing,” Palacio said. “Give us affordable free education for working class POC people. Education for everybody. Always.” 

Nox Ryan Burrill is a first-year student and a member of YDSA and the Student Union. Burrill was a part of the fight against the hike last semester and has continued into this semester. Burrill has a message for the CSU: 

“Come get me. I’m not gonna stop. I’m gonna fight tooth and nail and I expect everyone else here to fight tooth and nail and we’re going to win. You’re not going to stop us,” Burrill said. “The growth and people’s voices is the growth in people’s rights. We’re gonna fight and we’re gonna win.”

Hundreds of students marched around the SFSU campus while participating in a walkout, in protest of the upcoming five-year tuition increases that will add up to a 34% hike. (Neal Wong/Golden Gate Xpress) (Neal Wong)

In an email sent to Golden Gate Xpress, SFSU president Lynn Mahoney released a statement about today’s rally and how she’s sympathetic to students’ financial burden.

“CSU tuition is set centrally by the board of trustees, and they voted to increase it to cover significant projected budget shortfalls,” Mahoney wrote in an email. “Tuition had been flat for 11 of the last 12 years preventing the CSU from having sufficient resources to keep up with rising costs. We will work with any student for whom the increase poses an obstacle to enrollment or persistence.”

Josh Menard is a first-year visual communication design major and she was out showing support for the fight against the tuition hike. She stands with the rest of the students opposing the tuition increase.

“It makes me feel upset that we have to be out here,” Menard said. “This is my first year as a CSU student and just starting college with this atmosphere has been very upsetting. Because a lot of people are missing out on just the traditional college experience and instead, they’re out here protesting because of the way administration is treating us.”

Josephine Kava is a third-year political science major. She is frustrated with the hike and wants tuition to decrease instead of increase. 

“Education should be free. It’s a human right. I don’t understand why we would pay more for it,” Kava said. “If people want to make a profit off of it, then they should go somewhere besides education.”

Kava said she wants schools to be a place of learning, not a place of capitalism. 

“It’s about helping the students, it’s not about making it harder for us to go here,” Kava said. “A lot of people can barely afford it as is and you know, education is for people to make a life and not destroy it. Education should be free.”


This story has been updated for accuracy

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About the Contributors
Sophia Osborn
Sophia Osborn, Engagement and Online Editor
Sophia Osborn (she/her) is the Engagement and Online editor for Golden Gate Xpress. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in English literature. Sophia has always loved keeping up with the news and reading whatever she can. Coming from sunny San Diego, she graduated from Carlsbad High School, where she wrote and was an editor for the school paper, the Lancer Link. This is her second semester on staff and she is extremely excited about what the future holds in store for her. In her downtime, Sophia can be found hanging out with friends, reading, writing, or playing Mario Kart with her friends.
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.

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