ASI passes senate bill to take opposition to tuition increase

By Alejandra Alberto


  There is much debate about how the CSU’s proposed tuition increase will affect the CSU system and students. 

  The proposed tuition increase could result in “decreased access and diminish student success and timely degree attainment,” according to the CSU website.

  The Associated Students Inc. decided to take action and propose Senate Bill 203 in their March 16 meeting. This bill mentions how ASI opposes the tuition increase and advocates for a fully funded CSU.

  The ASI proposed bill states that California Governor, Jerry Brown, is proposing to allocate approximately 92 million to be dispersed among 23 CSU campuses, which does not cover the fundamentals needed to support and efficiently operate the CSUs, and only accounts for approximately 35 percent of the CSU Board of Trustees’ budget request.

  According to ASI, in 2015-16 approximately 9,000 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the CSU system, and over half of them graduated with student loan debt. 

  Of those students burdened with student loan debt, nearly 8 out of 10 were from family incomes of less than $54 thousand per year.

  ASI also stated that any proposed tuition increase or dissemination of academic programs will place a disproportionate burden on more than half of our campus and will decrease affordability and accessibility.

   ASI strongly urges the CSU Academic Senate and the California Faculty Association to support and assist in their advocacy efforts related to the fully funded CSU budget. 

   ASI President, Mariela Gomez, concluded this discussion by stating the three main points of opposition to a potential tuition increase.

  “We acknowledge the issues that we lack funding and that there is a gap to what the CSU board of trustees has proposed and what governor Brown and his administration is planning to allocate. This will be ASI advocating on behalf of the student body, this is for support of the people that we mentioned,” stated Gomez. 

  Vice President of University Affairs, Anthony Briseno, also spoke about his support for the Senate Bill.

  “We just had a tuition increase last year and are having one again this year. In most systems that doesn’t happen, so that is why we are trying to fight because we don’t want this to be a consistent precedence where every year a tuition increase is expected, and we are arguing our best to tell them that isn’t right.”

  Psychology major, Lupe Herrera, stated that she appreciates the efforts of ASI for fighting against the tuition increase.

  “I’m glad ASI is writing and sending out this senate bill. I don’t agree at all with the tuition increase, especially since it just increased last year. This can’t be an ongoing thing. I appreciate ASI speaking up for us students and fighting this tuition increase, especially since a lot of us, like myself come from lower income families.” said Herrera. 

  ASI will be distributing this resolution to the following: the CSUB President’s Cabinet, the CSUB Academic Senate, each member of the CSU Board of Trustees, all Bakersfield/Kern/ Los Angeles county and California states legislators, the Bakersfield Californian and other entities relevant to higher education in Bakersfield and Kern county. 

  Kinesiology major, Martin Sanchez, said that he believes ASI should inform students more on this issue, because he feels that not alot of students know they are trying to raise tuition.

  “I feel like the word has to be spread out more on this issue. This is very important for students to know but unfortunately a lot of students don’t realize what is happening around them. On the other hand, I do appreciate what they are doing,” said Sanchez.

  ASI is planning an advocacy day in May to further inform students about this matter.