By Pedro Cruz
For the record
An article in the Feb. 23 edition, “CSU weighs fee hike,” mistakenly paraphrased comments by CSUDH spokeswoman Amy Bentley-Smith. The article incorrectly stated that she said the university’s first priority is to advocate in favor of the fee increase by supporting state lawmakers’ plans for the CSU budget. In fact, Bentley-Smith said the university supports lawmakers fully funding the CSUDH budget request, and, if they did, there would be no need for a fee increase.
Cal State Chancellor, Timothy P. White has proposed a fee increase of about 5% that would take tuition from $5,472 to $5,742 to mitigate the lack of state funding for the CSU school system.
According to Amy Bentley-Smith, CSUDH communications and public affairs director, the university’s first priority is to advocate in favor of the fee increase by supporting state lawmakers plans’ for the CSU budget.
Bentley-Smith said, the proposed tuition increase would not exceed $270 a unit for resident undergraduates and could generate $77.5 million in additional net revenue to the CSU system.
The objective of the fee increase, according to the California State University website, is to graduate students faster by hiring more faculty and advisors and providing more classes.
CSUDH students, however are dissatisfied with the results of these goals. Angel Ramirez, 22, a molecular biology major, said, “I just find it outrageous that the Board of Trustees continues to push for a spike in our tuition, but there are no changes in our campus.”
Ramirez is a first-time freshman on his fifth year of school and has never received any type of financial aid or grants, but is $40,000 in debt. He has to complete one more year before he can graduate and has become another first-time freshman at CSUDH, who on average take 5.8 years to graduate, according to Pete Hamersveld, Associate Director of Institutional Research for CSUDH.
The current graduation rate for full-time CSUDH students who started in fall 2010 as first-time freshmen is 42.4% and graduated within six years, Hamersveld said.
Bentley-Smith said CSUDH currently has a multi-year plan to close the budget deficit using existing allocation. The fee increase, which will create additional revenue for the university will help create a stable budget allowing the administration to hire more faculty. It will also offer more courses and more academic and student support services, Bentley-Smith said.
ASI President Jordan Sylvestre said students are against the tuition increse.
“The official stand of the school,” he said, “is not the official stand of the students, which is two different things.”
Ramirez said, “From what I’ve heard, the money we are paying is not being evenly distributed.” He added, “administration seems to take a huge portion of that, so a question I ask myself is, are they going to receive 5% increase in their paychecks?”