Category Archives: #nomorefees

We won! SQE statement on defeating CSU’s proposed “Punishment Fees!”

Today the CSU Board of Trustees made an unprecedented decision on a scheduled fee increase vote—they cancelled it. Around 8:00am today, Tuesday, November 13th, the CSU Board of Trustees released this statement:

“California State University Trustees have postponed reviewing a plan to improve access and reduce time to degree. The proposal to modify the current undergraduate fee structure was part of the agenda for today’s Board of Trustees meeting and will now be reviewed at a later date after Trustees gather additional information and input from stakeholders.”

The fees were promptly removed from both today’s and tomorrow’s agenda.

This is a huge victory for students. We were successful in convincing the Board of Trustees that the three proposed “punishment fees” they were considering were poorly thought out solutions to helping students graduate.

The results of our “Survey on CSU Students’ Obstacles to Graduation”, that was shared with both trustees and the media before the Trustees meeting, demonstrated not only that higher fees will not cause students to graduate faster, but that it would cause them to delay their graduation even more.  The survey also demonstrated the need for CSU itself to conduct its own research, and seek input from students, faculty & academic advisers to explore real solutions that would help, rather than punish students who are struggling to graduate.  SQE surveyed over 2,400 students—the Chancellor surveyed zero.

After several weeks of outreach to the Trustees, they have agreed to our request to postpone any further discussion or action on these “punishment fees”, in order to gather additional information from students on what will really help students overcome obstacles to graduation.

Today’s postponement is a victory for students who have been fighting against fee increases for years. This is the first time in a decade that CSU students have successfully stopped a fee increase vote from occurring, and it is thanks to the efforts of every student who signed our petition, filled out a survey, and spoke to the media about this issue, as well as the collective efforts of our student governments, the Student California Teachers Association, UAW Local 4123 (CSU grad students), the faculty Academic Senate, and the California Faculty Association who communicated their opposition to these fees.  The cancellation of this fee vote is a testament to students’ hard work, and student power has won the day.

There is always a possibility that the Trustees may reconsider these fees at a later date. We must be vigilant as time goes on, but for today, let us revel in our success and hope it continues for days to come.

As the stakeholders referred to in the Trustees press release, we expect the Board of Trustees to involve students statewide in the process of identifying proactive solutions to the real obstacles student face when struggling to graduate. We look forward to working with the Trustees and the newly appointed Chancellor Tim White in being proactive in developing policies that will help, rather than punish, struggling students.

-Students for Quality Education

Preliminary Results for SQE’s Survey on Obstacles to Graduating Released!

We have surveyed almost 2,400 CSU students statewide, asking them directly for the reasons why they’re struggling to graduate. The Chancellor, by contrast, has surveyed zero students.

You can view the full document here or click on the thumbnail below:

Our findings clearly show that CSU students want to graduate. They don’t need higher tuition as an incentive to graduate; they just can’t get classes they need. Students say they will need more than four years to graduate because they can’t get classes and because of their personal economic situation, not because they are taking too many classes and prefer to stay in school longer.

70% of respondents have had to delay their planned graduation date and half of the students who took the survey said the delay is because they can’t get classes they need.

Chancellor Reed has is all it wrong: higher fees will not cause students to graduate faster. Almost two-thirds of respondents say the proposed fees would have caused them to delay their graduation even more.

The survey shows CSU students who take extra units do so in order to graduate on time and get courses the need — not to extend their time in college. This fee would discourage students who take heavier course loads in a session with the goal of graduating faster. The chancellor claims that these fees would provide “equitable and efficient paths to graduation” but this fee clearly does the opposite of that by limiting the paths available to students.

Respondents include students from all 23 campuses. Like the CSU student population as a whole, survey respondents are overwhelmingly working students, with 14% working full-time while attending college. Most already have student loans and about half depend on financial aid grants. Many are first-generation college students and more than a third have transferred to the CSU from another college or university.

Students aren’t gaming the system. Students are struggling to graduate. And we need to give them more help to graduate, not tear them down. Our demand is help, not punishment.

Sac Bee Editorial Demolishes CSU’s Proposed Punishment Fees

From the Sacramento Bee:

Editorial: CSU fees an insult to students, voters

Published: Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 6E

With passage of Proposition 30, voters spared California’s public universities from major budget cuts and student fee increases.

Students in the California State University system who have seen significant tuition increases – from $3,000 five years ago to $5,500 today – won’t see a new general increase.

Yet CSU Chancellor Charles Reed, in a parting shot to close out his 14-year tenure, is rushing through a proposal before he turns the CSU system over to a new chancellor at the end of December. It would impose three new fees on students for the fall 2013 term.

This is outrageous. The Board of Trustees should reject the new fees at their meeting on Tuesday. Read more

Students and Faculty Across CSU Oppose the New Fees…

…but will the Board of Trustees listen?

Update: just added the recently passed resolution from the statewide academic senate!

Student Government Resolutions Against the Fees:

Faculty Resolutions Against the Fees


Media Coverage of Trustees’ plans for new “Pay Up or Drop Out!” Fees

Coverage and select quotes concerning the three new student fees the Trustees are considering implementing at their Nov 13-14 meeting:


SF Chronicle:

CSU Eyes Fee Increases for Some Students

“It makes me angry,” said Marcela Pimentel, a communications major at San Francisco State University who said she would be affected by the third-tier fee because she likes to take extra units “to get things done faster.” She works two jobs because she doesn’t qualify for financial aid – which wouldn’t cover the new fees – and has student loans. So Pimentel needs to move through quickly.

Justin Blea, a philosophy major at Cal State East Bay, is concerned that he’ll have to pay a graduation incentive fee because he accumulated numerous credits at community colleges before arriving at CSU.

“I don’t see how punishing students for an underfunded system is going to help those students graduate,” he said.

But CSU officials say they have turned away “tens of thousands of eligible applicants in recent years” and they need to do something about it.

“By being more efficient, we’ll open up space for more students,” said university spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp. “It’s not necessarily a money grab.”


Insider Higher Education:

Golden Day for the Golden State?

While the California State University System is refunding some students, avoidance of the trigger cuts is not stopping the system’s board from considering a raft of fees next week that, while designed to change student behavior more than generate new revenues, could result in higher bills for many students.

The board will weigh fees on students who take more than the required number of credits to graduate, who take more than a full course load in any given semester, and who repeat a course they have already taken. Those proposals have already angered some students.


San Jose Mercury:

CSU plans higher fees for ‘super seniors’ and course-repeaters

In response, students have organized protests on campuses including Cal State East Bay, San Francisco State and San Jose State. They argue that the university shouldn’t “blame students for a broken system,” but address issues of access and timely graduation by opening more sections and improving academic advising.


Associated Press/Press Democrat:

CSU mulls 3 fee hikes to push graduation

“This is not a money-making plan,” said Robert Turnage, assistant vice chancellor.

David Allison, president of the California State Student Association, has said the fee hikes may unfairly punish students who switch majors or receive poor academic counseling.


Oakland Tribune:

UC, Cal State students protest fees, even after Proposition 30 passes

Some students dismissed such arguments, saying the university should help them graduate by offering better advisement and more opportunities to take the courses they need, not by punishing them when they don’t conform to a timeline.

Charging “super seniors” more is wrongheaded, said Krystal Bates, a fifth-year senior with a double-major in dance and business. Oftentimes, she said, students can’t graduate on time because the courses they need aren’t offered. Overwhelmed academic advisers are often of little help, she said, which leaves students to figure out their plans.

“I don’t understand why they want to free up space for more students when they can’t afford the students they have,” Bates said.

Still, the CSU administration says it is confident the “super senior” fee in particular — $372 for each semester unit above 160 (120 is the average number of credits needed for graduation) — would have an immediate effect.

“If there is a fee levied on you, that’s definitely going to change your behavior,” said Michael Uhlenkamp, media relations director for the Office of the Chancellor.


LA Times:

Cal State University seeking new fees next fall

Many students argue that new fees will unfairly punish those who switch majors or face other obstacles. The activist group Students for Quality Education is holding protests at several campuses this week and plans to demonstrate at next week’s board meeting.

“We don’t have enough classes, not enough sections are being offered and now they want to punish us with extra fees,” said Carol Linton, 23, a sociology major at Cal State Dominguez Hills.

Linton said the six classes she needs to graduate by next spring would put her close to or over 18 units. She also wants to retake a class in her major to improve her grade-point average and her chances at being admitted to a good graduate school.

“They argue that students are trying to game the system, but I would have to drop out,” Linton said. “I wouldn’t have the money to go to school.”


SFSU Golden Gate Xpress:

SQE Raise Awareness About Possible Cal State University Fee Increase

“With these fee raises it’s going to to be harder for me to get classes,” Cardenas said. “It’s already expensive to live on campus and with these fees, I wouldn’t be able to live on campus anymore.”

A volunteer of SQE, kinesiology major, Grant Tuttle, and a U.S. Veteran, and these fees will force him to take too many classes.

“I only have four years of federal funding,” Tuttle said. “These fees force me to take over 16 units.”


Sacramento Bee:

CSU considers new fees to discourage ‘super seniors’

Executive Vice Chancellor Ephraim Smith said most students will not pay the fees. The point of them is to change student behavior, he said.


CSU Fresno Collegian:

CSU Board of Trustees Talks New Fees

“Robert Turnage, vice chancellor for budget, and other trustees responded that there is no way to craft this perfectly,” Kiernan said. “No matter how it is written, you could always find one situation that the fee would apply to when it really should not.”

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