Cal State Fullerton SQE denounces tuition increase in its last rally of the semester

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(Katie Albertson / Daily Titan)

CORRECTION: Jon Schreiber’s title was incorrectly stated in a previous version of this article. He is actually chair of the Humanities and Social Sciences InterClub Council (H&SS ICC), which co-hosted the rally.

“This is what democracy looks like,” a crowd of students chanted at Becker Amphitheater Tuesday during a  Humanities and Social Sciences InterClub Council (H&SS ICC) and Students for Quality Education (SQE) rally protesting the CSU tuition increase.

“The message we got from the board of trustees is that students don’t matter and that they can continue to pass the bill off on the students, and we’re not going to accept that,” said H&SS ICC Chair Jon Schreiber.

Schreiber stressed the need for a long-term solution to the “mess.”

“The university faces a critical juncture where additional revenue is needed if we are to continue the trajectory that has seen campuses reach all-time highs in graduation rates,” said Steve Relyea, CSU executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer in a March press release.

The trustees are hoping to get the additional funding from the state legislature, calling the matter “not a course of action that is taken lightly,” Relyea said.

He said the tuition increase would help increase student numbers, faculty and courses to improve success while not affecting students with the most financial need.

Along with tuition, the rally advocated for social justice.

“As a Latina who is continually struggling to move through the CSU system, these issues hit incredibly close to home,” said Dania Salgado, a third-year psychology major and Chicana and Chicano studies minor.

Ralliers wore black and orange bandanas to represent monarch butterflies. They compared the migrating behavior pattern of the species with immigration.

The bandanas are to celebrate migrant workers and immigrants, Schreiber said.

“We’re not going to listen to the rhetoric that’s coming out of the presidential administration,” Schreiber said.

Laila Dadabhoy, incoming ASI president for the 2017-2018 school year, also showed her support for both sides at the event.

“I have to remember that I don’t just represent one group on campus, I do represent all 42,000 students here,” Dadabhoy said. “An important aspect of that is being able to understand that there are so many different voices being present when all of them want to speak, and this is one of those times.”

Dadabhoy spoke to members of the CSUF College Republicans, who also attended.

“Fortunately, I’ve had exposure to a lot of these people,” Dadabhoy said. “When people do come in with resolutions and complaints, I do kind of recognize them on a day-to-day basis. I did want to make sure that every group of students here currently felt welcome and comfortable expressing their opinion.”

Carrying a flag that read “Power to the students,” the SQE crowd began a procession down Titan Walk that ended between Pollak Library and McCarthy Hall, near ASI Lobby Corps’ tuition-themed event.

“Spread the message,” said SQE member Liz Sanchez at the rally. “Spread this movement. Figure out a way we can all work together.”

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