Tuition Hikes: How the UC Administration is Forgetting its Students

 

The decision by the UC Regents to overwhelmingly approve (7 – 2) a plan to raise tuition over the next 5 years to $15,564 is absolutely infuriating. Why do the three UC chancellors get a 20% increase in their salary, when students now have to pay more for an education, even though education helps us give back to our society? It seems bizarre that Janet Napolitano makes $175,000 more than the President of the United States, bringing her total salary to $575,000. I must say that as both a UC student and a university student, I’m truly disgusted at the American university system.

The UC Regents committee should know that while I am angry that the state cut funding, too, that doesn’t absolve you of your blame.

You are responsible for the well-being of the UC students, yet the amount you spend per student has continuously dropped since the 1990-1991 school year, while tuition has increased threefold from 2001 to 2011. How do you explain that? Whatever explanation you give, the students know the truth: the real explanation is that the UC Regents’ priorities are wrong. The decision to increase the chancellor’s’ salary and to increase tuition clearly demonstrates that us students are being forgotten.

But even more so, those that do not have the privilege of going to college are being forgotten. I wish that all UC and State officials would exercise their empathy for a moment. I say this because I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Student Regent Abraham Oved is one of the only people who voted against the tuition hike; as a fellow student, Oved understands the pressures that students and their families have to shoulder.

I wonder if the Regents, on the other hand, are willfully suppressing their empathy because I for one can’t stop thinking about how many people are discouraged from going to college due to tuition. It sickens me that for some, the only choice is either not going to college or picking a college that is more affordable (but not necessarily the place where they will flourish).

How are the Regents not tortured by this?

Why are they not standing up to the system by placing the brunt of the impact on themselves instead of on the students?

Why is education consistently overlooked by those who have the authority to do something?

This problem is widely known, so obviously those in power are simply ignoring it. How are people supposed to succeed when you bar them from getting the tools that would help them do just that? You’re basically ensuring that the rich will get richer and the poor will stay poor.

And this goes to both the UC administration and the government. I don’t understand how America can spend so much on defense, yet allow the absurdity of our university system to continue at the cost of more productive and better informed citizens. Also, just a quick interesting fact: the US spends 20% of its budget on defense and only 2% on education (because, obviously, the education of America’s future voters isn’t important at all).

But you know what makes me the most furious? No matter how many times I, my friends, my family, professors, pundits, or politicians express these exact same sentiments, things aren’t going to change. Our values and our systems in this country are nowhere near what they have to be to actually facilitate real change on this matter.

There are a lot of reasons I’m proud of my country… this is not one of them.

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