It’s time to #FreetheCSU! We are ready to fight for a CSU where ALL students are free from debt, free from deportation, free from discrimination, free from fear, and eventually one with FREE tuition for all. Funding to the CSU has been decreasing since the 1980s, and because of this students are forced to pay skyrocketing tuition, take on multiple jobs, and sink further into debt. The tuition freeze of the past four years only happened because students came together to fight the increases; now that it is over, tuition will start increasing immediately unless we come together and make our voices heard. For next year (2017-18) the Board of Trustees is proposing a 5% increase ($270), and if we don’t fight this now, who knows what they will propose next year, and the year after?
Students are done accepting that as more students of color entered the CSU, funding started decreasing. We are done accepting that the state used to spend 4.4% of its budget on the CSU, and now only spends 2.2%. We are done accepting the Board of Trustees when they say that they must “play it safe” and vote for a tuition increase in March because they don’t think that the state is going to provide enough funding, even though the state budget isn’t finalized until June. Of course the state won’t start funding the CSU again if we don’t fight for it! We know that ultimately, returning to a system of free public higher education in California is possible, and now is the time to make it a priority. The Board of Trustees is discussing the possible tuition increase at their meeting on January 31-February 1, and voting at their meeting on March 21-22, and we will be there to tell them what we know.
Additionally, we know that tuition is only part of the battle, and that fighting for a quality education means fighting so that all CSU students–regardless of race, class, gender, immigration status, ability, and region–feel safe on our campuses. We will not stand for hate and bigotry in the CSU, and we will fight to protect one another. Join us Tuesday 1/31 and Wednesday 2/1 to tell the Board of Trustees and campus administrators what #FreetheCSU means to you: