At the UC Regents meeting yesterday, students and allies stressed the need for the Regents to stand with students and publicly support Governor Brown’s Tax Initiative, Prop 30. If passed, Prop 30 would buy-out all 2012-13 UC fee increases and freeze tuition for the upcoming school year by providing an additional $125 million to the UC. If the initiative fails, the UC will receive a $250 million trigger cut and also lose the $125 million tuition buyout.
Students voiced the need for unity to push for the passage of Governor Brown’s tax initiative. The consequences for students and their families if this initiative fails are terrifying. The stakes could not be higher, and all of the constituencies in the UC must stand together in asking the people of California to step up and vote to support us.
Without the passage of Prop 30, students will potentially face devastating cuts to their education along with huge fee increases. Students also questioned the need for a 20.3% increase if the initiative fails, and called on the UC to explore proactive and innovative revenue solutions that would prevent any additional cuts from being balanced on the backs of students.
We cannot afford continued fee increases year after year. Student loan debt is rising at an unsustainable rate and it is not fair to saddle young people with thousands of dollars of debt at the start of their adult lives.
While UC undergrads face the prospect of a tuition freeze, the Regents will also be voting on a fee increase for 57 different professional degree programs, which would go into effect regardless of whether the initiative passes. Our professional schools are moving rapidly towards privatization, and students believe this issue deserves immediate attention from the Regents. We are in danger of losing truly public professional education in California.
Claudia Magana is the UC Student Association President for 2010-2012. A first generation college student, Ms. Magana is completing a combined major in politics and Latin American & Latino Studies at UC Santa Cruz. She has been involved with the external office of the Student Union Assembly at UCSC since her first quarter on campus. She has served on the UCSA board of Directors for four years.