© 2024 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

CSU students walkout over tuition hikes

More than 200 SF State students gather in Malcom X Plaza after a walkout in protest of tuition hikes
Molly Blair Salyer
More than 200 SF State students gather in Malcom X Plaza after a walkout in protest of tuition hikes

Facing tuition increases of 34 percent, students at SF State held a campus wide walk out Wednesday to voice their frustration.

Dan Buschmeyer is an organizer with the Student Union. “So, right now, we’re hosting a walkout in protest of the tuition hike as well as the misappropriation of funds from the CSU,” he said.

He added that students at SF State aren’t alone in taking action. “This is CSU-wide, so there’s about 11 campuses who are participating in a walk out today and numerous others that are having other kinds of rallies.”

Amara Santos is part of The League of Filipino Students. “The League of Filipino Students originally started in the Philippines in 1977 for the exact same reason that we’re out here today. It was an increase in tuition hikes.”

Santos said she wants students to channel their anger for productive change. “It’s really important that we’re out here as marginalized young people as activists as students. To let the CSU’s know that what they are doing with our money with our tuition is wrong. It’s not coming back to us, it’s going to private companies, it's going to themselves and that’s not fair. Public education is a human right.”

Tuition, Santos added, isn’t the only issue hounding students. “Hundreds of classes have been cut and professors that I’ve developed meaningful relationships with were like laid off. One day they were there and the next day their entire desks were cleaned out. And I just thought it was mind boggling that that could happen here.”

Students and their learning are the central point of public universities. Santos continued, “I mean we are the bloodline, we are what makes San Francisco state university so great. And, so, we want this to be a reminder to the administration and to anyone else that we have collective power, we are mobilizing, and we’re going to do something about these conditions.”

Januario “Joe” Rosa said they have seen their fellow students deeply impacted by the tuition increases and class cuts. Rosa told me, “I know some students who were supposed to graduate next semester who can no longer graduate because of the course cuts. I also know a lot of people who have had to reevaluate their ability to attend SF state or their loans because of the tuition hikes. But also I don’t have to know people personally to know that it’s just affecting a lot of people and it’s just… extremely unfair.”

I was born and raised in San Francisco and grew up in SF Unified, listening to KALW. An avid traveller and cultural adventurer, I spent the 15 years leading up to the 2020 pandemic running youth hostels around the Bay Area and exploring as much as possible. More recently I've completed my MA at SF State in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts. I'm passionate about culture and community, and believe joy and pleasure are radical routes to social progress.