Tuesday, May 1, 2012

CSU, Inc.

Starting tomorrow, May 2, Students for Quality Education are planning a hunger strike on six CSU campuses, including Cal State Fullerton.

The reason for the strike is rising student fees and loan debt, while CSU executives like Chancellor Charles Reed and CSU presidents continue to give themselves raises.
Here are a couple graphs to illustrate the problem...

These inequalities are completely contrary to the original Master Plan for Higher Education in California, which was adopted in 1960.  The original vision of higher education in California was that it would be tuition free.  Here’s a selection from the original master plan which, when contrasted with the current situation, shows how far educational leaders in California have strayed from their original mandate...
"The Survey Team [a group of instructors and administrators from CSU, UC, and community colleges] believes that the traditional policy of nearly a century of tuition-free high education is in the best interest of the state and should be continued.  The team noted with interest an address given in May, 1958 by President James L. Morill of the University of Minnesota, who commented as follows on the desire of some organizations and individuals to raise tuition and fees to meet the full operating costs of public institutions of high education:
"This notion is, of course, an incomprehensible repudiation of the whole philosophy of a successful democracy premised upon an educated citizenry.  It negates the whole concept of wide-spread educational opportunity made possible by the state university idea.  It conceives college training as a personal investment for profit instead of a social investment.
No realistic and realizable counter-proposal for some vast new resource for scholarship aid and loans can compensate for a betrayal of the "American Dream" of equal opportunity to which our colleges and universities, both private and public, have been generously and far-sightedly committed.  But the proposal [of tuition] persists as some kind of panacea, some kind of release from responsibility from the pocketbook burdens of the cherished American idea and tradition.  It is an incredible proposal to turn back from the world-envied American accomplishment of more than a century."
You can read the whole 1960 Master Plan HERE.

Groups like Students for Quality Higher Education have begun to speak out and demonstrate against these gross injustices, and have been met with considerable opposition, like these students who organized to protest a CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach.

As long as administrators continue to give themselves raises and ignore the plight of students, they will have lots more protests, strikes, and resistance on their hands.   

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