Today was the third day of tuition increase protests on the campus of UC Santa Cruz in California. The University approved a 32 percent increase in fees last thursday in hopes of palliating or alleviating the economic constraints on the schooling system. California seems to be ahead of the curve in recession economics trouble, experiencing greater troubles than most places. The UC system plans to gain an additional $505 million dollars from tuition increases. The students are holed up at Kerr hall, a main building of the campus. Financial aid is still available at these schools but the tuition increase here is about 15 percent more than those at other state Universities. The students hope to persuade administration to reduce the increase or eliminate it. But, they won't.
The students made a list of 20 "demands" detailing how they want the administration to increase funding, spokesman Barry Shiller said. But the school has no plans to negotiate the demands with the student body, he said. The school just doesn't have the money, he added.
The administration doesn't have to acknowledge the protests of students. Just as the students have a right to protest increases, the administration has a right to ignore them. And the students have the right to apply elsewhere and move their academics to a cheaper environment. However, having the students arrested, as the UC system advocated by calling the police to cite 93 protestors for trespassing at UC Davis and UC Berkelee, is wrong. The UC system has a reputation for being a breeding ground for liberal ideals and freedom. Having protestors arrested is a powerful negative to their reputation. The freedom to protest should be upheld, even when the protest goes against the school.
This issue hits me personally. This morning, before reading this article, I entered my mom's credit card number to cover the $60 dollar application fee to the UC Santa Barbara facility. I finally completed the application in hopes of attending a liberal, warm-climate, and outright beautiful school. Now, I'm having second thoughts. Is UCSB as liberal as I thought? And how will this tuition increase affect my ability to afford the education? I almost wish I had never applied. It seems as though I can do better than somewhere that arrests their own students. Why not attend a private college and get a more personal education as the prices become more and more comparable?