Cal Poly students play dead to protest tuition hike

May 3, 2016

Cal Poly LargeCal Poly students participated in a “die in” Monday, symbolizing the death of the California State University system. The mock funeral followed a rally against tuition increases that CSU officials are proposing. [Tribune]

During the mock funeral, students gathered outside the administration building and placed a “coffin” on the ground for CSU Chancellor Timothy White. The protesters then lied down surrounding the coffin.

CSU administrators have called for “predictable and incremental” increases to tuition and student fees. The proposal could result in yearly tuition hikes, though the increases would not take effect this year or next year. CSU officials say the system’s current financial model is not sustainable and tuition increases are needed to cover budget gaps and uncertainties.

On Monday, CSU students held protests statewide against the proposed tuition increases. At the Cal Poly rally, students also protested a lack of funding for ethnic, gender and sexuality programs. Additionally, they called for eliminating student success fees and said Cal Poly is spending too much money on administrator pay.

CSU tuition has not increased over the last four years. However, the annual cost of tuition and fees at Cal Poly has increased from about $4,349 in 2006-2007 to about $9,000 in the current year.

Student protesters argue the CSU system is being privatized. State funding currently covers about 53 percent of the CSU’s operating costs, while tuition funds about 41 percent of the operating budget, and fees represent about 6 percent.

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When I attended college in the 90’s, things were so different. You could buy books from the bookstore, then sell them back. There were scholarships, grants, loans for medical professionals that paid themselves off for working in rural and high need areas. I graduated with no debt and only worked part time.

I am back in school, pursuing new and further education. If I was not working full time, I could not do it. A 3 unit class costs $1000. The books another $200 plus, and now they have one time use codes for any online coursework, which make them pretty much impossible to sell back.

The saddest part is that the job market isn’t what it once was. It just isn’t. While there are SOME professions that seem to always need workers, many more require experience or that you know someone to get your foot in the door.

Now we have lawmakers bringing in foreign workers with H1-B visas to take jobs. Scary times for a kid with a dream….