It’s time for students to take action.
The governor, legislature and Regents have shown year after year that they are not interested in stopping fee increases any time soon.
As Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi said in his interview with The Aggie last week, students must “rise up and raise hell” if they want to see results.
Although it is commendable that approximately 3,000 students marched on the state capitol last year to protest rising fees, this number needs to be higher. More students need to get involved in the effort.
Higher education needs to thrive for the state to prosper. If Californians cannot afford to attend our public institutions, our state will pay the price in the end.
The only way for California’s economy to remain strong is to keep higher education accessible for all. Currently, the legislature is not making this a priority. Now it’s up to the students.
This was not always the case. In 1960, the Master Plan for Higher Education in California stated “The two governing boards reaffirm the long-established principle that state colleges and the University of California shall be tuition-free to all residents of the state.”
Well, not anymore.
What in years past used to be a free education now costs approximately $8,100 per year in the UC system and $3,048 per year in the CSU system.
The increase in cost of attending UC is especially dramatic if one considers how much fees have been raised recently. In 2001, UC fees were approximately $3,429.
There is no reason to doubt that fees will continue to rise. This means more student loans and more young people in debt.
The only way for these fee increases to stop is for students to stand up for themselves and show that they’re mad as hell and not going to take this anymore.