Magazine Article

CSU students protest hikes in campus fees, take their case to the Trustees

The debate over student “success fees” and other the campus-specific fees tacked on top of CSU students’ system-wide tuition—came to the CSU Trustees at their November meeting while students protested outside.

Here is excerpt of testimony presented by one of the students who addressed the meeting.

My name is Cheyenne Aldridge and I am a fifth-year student at Sonoma State. I rely primarily on financial aid (scholarship, grants, loans) and work two jobs to help sustain my off-campus bills.

My education has become a financial burden and I can not afford to pay a dollar more.

Sonoma State’s president Ruben Armiñana stated that he did not think the fee would dime the cultural diversity of our campus.

Well, I am here to prove that it does. I speak for students of color, students from low socioeconomic statuses, the 56 percent of students who receive financial aid, and students who are just trying to get an affordable, quality education.

As you know, we at Sonoma State were able to defeat the student success fee.

The Sociology Club on our campus was the first to hear of this fee and thought it was their responsibility to bring awareness to the students. They held “informationals” about the short- and long-term effects, positive and negative, if this fee were to be imposed.

Soon after, Associated Students held meetings in favor of the fee. Many students were unaware of this fee and felt they were paying enough.

In time, Students for Quality Education and the Sociology Club got over 1200 students to sign a petition in opposition to the fee and, through a media blast, we gathered hundreds of student testimonies about how these fees would affect them.

We were able to defeat the fee.