UCI students rally against tuition hike
It will be the first hike in seven years
Towards the end of 2016, UC Board and Regents proposed an increase to the tuition since 2011, prompting many Cal States as well as other UC campuses to protest the proposed hike in tuition costs.
From UC Berkeley to Cal State Fullerton, student began to protest the tuition hike and on Wednesday, students mobilized in Irvine for their own protest against the potential increase in tuition for the following years.
The protests happened on the day that UC president Janet Napolitano asked the regents to consider a proposal to raise tuition to $11,502 for the 2017-18 school year, a $282 increase.
UC Irvine students placed posters throughout the campus and marked the ground with chalk to gather as many students as they could.
While the turnout was less than desired, students that showed up to the event began chanting “Hey, Ho, These Tuition Hikes have got to go.” With the sun shining, students began to mobilize with colorful posters and big sign that said “Boycott the Vote #FundtheUC.”
Students such as Taylor Chanes declared that while “the students know there is a tuition increase” she claims they might not be aware of the effects the increase to tuition may have.
Taylor also fought for the tuition freeze of 2011 and will continue to fight to prevent the increase of tuition as well as spread awareness to students. She believes that when “students in general are not happy” they will begin to protest as well and didn’t feel undeterred by the small amount of students that were there at the event.
While she is an independent student, Taylor Chanes, is now 30,000 dollars in debt and believes that the public university system did not help her as they should despite having the qualifications for financial aid since she still had to take out loans.
Many community group members and faculty appeared at the protest including ASUCI members.
Gaby Vendryes told the story of many of the students threatened by the increase in tuition. ” I am a first-generation student, it affects me because if tuition raises I have less money to survive. Being here helps raise awareness to the UC Regents. We are not going to take the raise without a fight.”
While students were in class many of the protesters included children who had come to visit UCI. Despite being unsure of the chanting that was being said they began to take signs and join with excitement. One UCI student, Talor Alexander William, decided to speak to them of the effects that will fall to them when the increase occurs. “We have a social capital that we can use.” He went on to speak to the children about unity and their duty to challenge private interest.
Even though the turnout was low, the students who appeared took to Aldrich Hall and chanted some more. Still, Talor had faith that “this is just the first step.”