On Wednesday March 1, 2017 a group of around 150 students gathered at San Jose State University to protest a tuition hike for all 23 California State University campuses. The demonstration took place right next to the Cesar Chavez Memorial Arch. Students waved signs and chanted their grievances with the proposed hike.
The hike would increase undergraduate tuition by $270, raising the average cost per year to $5,472. Graduate students would now pay up to $7,176 a year with an increase of $438. At the CSU headquarters in Long Beach, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White has argued in favor of the hike stating that it would generate $77.5 million dollars in “crucial net revenue.” White claimed that Governor Jerry Brown’s CSU budget proposal in 2011 did not meet its goal six year later which is why the hike is necessary.
CSU tuition has nearly double since 2006, which is why this issue angers and frustrates over 460,200 students. At the event near the Cesar Chavez Memorial Arch, students took turns passing a microphone and going in-depth on their own struggles to afford tuition. Students mentioned having to work multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet. Others mentioned that they have to commute as far as two hours away from the SJSU campus because the cost of renting dorms and apartments in San Jose is too high. The prospect of raising tuition costs also brings more attention to the fact that 1 in 10 CSU students are homeless. In addition, up to 24% of CSU students experience hunger as their commute and tuition expenses often cause them to omit spending money on food.
The ultimate decision whether or not to approve the tuition hike rests with the California State University Board of Trustees. The fact that so many students were able to congregate and demonstrate in such a short amount of time on an issue that affects all of them is truly noteworthy.