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