Connect with us

Academics

University of California Postpones Tuition Vote

Do UC our debt?

Published

on

“Hey hey, ho ho, student debt has got to go!” chanted University of California students at the UC Board of Regents meeting. While the midterm season is in full swing, students from across the ten campuses traveled to the University of California, San Francisco to protest the proposed tuition increase.

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, the increase, which would take effect in 2018-2019, would raise in-state tuition by 2.7%, or $342. Students who live outside of California were in for a worse fate as their nonresident tuition would increase by $978.

Frustration over the continued rising costs of the university, students mobilized by protesting, calling their state representatives, and expressing their frustrations on social media. Elected representatives spoke out against the hike, including Governor Jerry Brown, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and Speaker of the California State Assembly Anthony Rendon.

On Wednesday, January 24, much to the celebration of students across the state, it was announced by the UC Board of Regents that the vote would be postponed until the May meeting. Until then, the UC Board of Regents committed to lobbying the state legislature for additional funding, as the current state budget allocated $34 million less than what university administration expected to meet their financial needs.

While tuition in California was once free, the rising costs of tuition (paired with the ever-increasing costs of living) have students shaking their head.

Last January, the UC Board of Regents voted to increase tuition by 2.5%, raising costs for the first time in six years. Four months later, a state audit revealed that the university hid $175 million in a rainy-day fund, while continually demanding more funding from the university. Further controversy erupted when it was discovered that Janet Napolitano, the president of the University of California, spent more than $4,000 on an employee’s retirement party, $13,000 for a dinner party to honor two departing members of the Board and $862,000 spent on the president’s apartment in Oakland.

The state isn’t blameless, either. While California is celebrated as a progressive state, the legislature continues to divest from higher education, providing less funding to meet the exponential need of college graduates within the state. From 2012-2013, tuition was a part of the core funding for the university, with $2.98 billion contributed solely from students. As state legislatures and university officials clash, often, it’s at the expense of underresourced and over-paying students, causing spikes in tuition as substitutes for critical conversations and political negotiations.

“The university and the state legislators can work together by putting aside their differences and work toward the goal of looking at the data together and coming up with a solution collaboratively,” said Jonathan Abboud, graduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara and one of the lead organizers behind The $48 Fix, an organization working to reclaim California’s Master Plan for Higher Education.

While students celebrate their well-deserved victory in postponing the vote, only time will tell what the final administrative decision will be. Only one thing is certain: that the voices of students will continue to be amplified, and unflinchingly demand a seat at the table for the decisionmaking processes toward the future of their university. And that, regardless of the vote, is something to celebrate.

“I’m most excited for students to regain their agency,” said Paul Monge, the UC Student Regent. “We are, in fact, partners of the university and of the state.”

The next UC Board of Regents meeting will be on March 15-16 at the University of California, San Francisco.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Julia is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Riverside, studying Public Policy with an emphasis in Social and Cultural Policy. While she’s currently on a gap year to help with Hurricane Harvey relief, Julia is a 5x author, a contributor for the Los Angeles Times, and frequent visitor of Disneyland. You can contact her at juliaschemmer@gmail.com.

Sign up for the Morning Scoop

and wake up with us each day.

CMN Reports

Academics5 days ago

Temple University Professor Marc Lamont Hill Faces More Trouble Over U.N. Speech

The Temple University professor is under fire from Temple for a U.N. speech critical of Israel.

by , The Catholic American University
National News3 weeks ago

Michigan State University Ex-President Charged in Larry Nassar Case

The investigation continues.

by , U. Alabama Birmingham
Food3 weeks ago

CDC Warns Not to Eat Romaine Lettuce Amid Another E. coli Outbreak

If you were planning on having a side salad this Thanksgiving, think again.

by , U. Alabama Birmingham
Academics3 weeks ago

Michael Bloomberg Donates $1.8 Billion to Johns Hopkins University

Bloomberg's gift is one of the largest ever donations to higher education, but it hasn't garnered the praise that the...

by , University of Pittsburgh
Education3 weeks ago

Betsy DeVos Reinterprets Title IX: Victims Must Bear the Burden of Proof

Opponents of the policy say that it would favor the accused over the accuser.

by , University of Pittsburgh
In the Hot Seat3 weeks ago

This Heartwarming Story Turned out to be too Good to be True

Couple who decided they wanted to do the right thing by raising money for a homeless man turned out to...

by , Mercy College
National News3 weeks ago

Trump Administration to Restore Acosta’s Press Pass

CNN file a lawsuit against President Trump

by , Mercy College
History3 weeks ago

Judge Rules CNN’s Jim Acosta Must be Granted Previous Press Credentials

A win for journalistic freedom...as the saga continues.

by , CMN Senior Correspondent

Top Reads