Fee defiance: Students head south

In a last-ditch effort to convince trustees not to raise fees by 25 percent, Chico State University students are piling into a bus or van and heading to Long Beach to stage a protest.

The California State University Board of Trustees will meet May 13 and 14 and decide whether to bow to political pressure in what has been characterized—some feel wrongly—as a choice between higher fees and fewer classes.

“I’m sure most of them [trustees] have made up their minds already, but it’s still important for them to hear our feelings and our concerns,” said Fay Roepcke, the Associated Students commissioner of legislative affairs who also organized a “Student Fees Bake Sale” from 3:15 to 4:15 on Thursday, May 8, in the Free Speech Area. “We only need to raise $480 million!” she quipped.

The increase would come on top of an earlier 10-percent hike. Roepcke said the rising fees are locking students out of an education, and she’s worried the CSU system will reach a point where there are no activities or services on college campuses—just classes. “They want students in and out in four years,” she said.

At its April 29 meeting, the A.S. Governmental Affairs Committee voted to cut some of its own budget, with the most noticeable slices being made in travel. (They already hacked treats such as meeting snacks and birthday cakes.)

Rather than spend a full $18,500 a year sending officers to events such as trustees meetings or the California State Student Association, they’ll scale down and send only a few people, including the A.S. president and commissioner of legislative affairs, unless the event is held in the cheaper-to-reach Northern California region.

The entire A.S. budget, totaling nearly $24 million, was set to be approved by the A.S. Board of Directors on May 7.