April 28, 2011

CSU Student Protestors Demand CSU Chancellor's Resignation! Tuition Has Gone Up 75% Over The Last 5 YEARS!

Sacramento ABC news 10
written by Karen Massie
April 14, 2011

SACRAMENTO, CA. - Hundreds of demonstrators protested budget cuts and rising tuition at California State University-Sacramento.

Angry students and teachers gathered on the quad and denounced state lawmakers and CSU administrators for years of tuition increases.

Over the last five years fees have gone up 76 percent. When the final 10 percent is tacked on next fall, under-graduates can expect to pay almost $5,000 for their yearly tuition.

Both CSU and the University of California face $500 million in state budget cuts, an amount that could double if California voters don't extend temporary state taxes.

"It's almost impossible to tell how much it's going to cost," Jonathan Macomber complained.

The second year History major said he may attend school elsewhere.

"I have family in other parts of the country where the educational system is as adequate as it is in California and their states have more control over their budget," Macomber said.

Graduate student Karlie Bennett, who grew up in foster homes, said she worries about costs and enrollment caps keeping other foster youth from attending college.

"Each year I have to keep taking out more and more loans. That's not what I was expecting when I came here," Bennett said. "When you're in foster care you get financial aid, but if fees and tuition increase, then the money you have to pay for books decreases."

Associate History Professor Joseph Palermo said faculty members are also feeling the pain of budget cuts. He said several class sections and full-time lecturers have been laid off and many classes are taught by part-time teachers.

Palermo said it's tough for students to get courses they need and he has more students crowding into his classes.

"In some of my double sections I have up to 140 to 145 students," Palermo explained. "If you come across students who are have difficulty with writing or perhaps they need extra help, you just don't have time to give hands-on assistance."

Demonstrators marched across campus to the administration building. They asked to see CSU President Alexander Gonzalez, but were told he was out of town.

The students turned in 900 signatures with a list of demands, including the resignation of CSU Chancellor Charles Reed.

Bennett said she hopes state lawmakers and school administrators hear the pleas of students and faculty members.

"I want then to partner with us. I want them to stand beside us, not in front of us," Bennett said.

"They need to think about the people - think about the value of education," Macomber added.

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