All eyes and ears were focused on Associated Student Inc. President Joe Nino as he announced that tuition may increase for the second year in a row during Wednesday’s meeting.
Nino said that he was in attendance at the Board of Trustees meeting yesterday, and the lack of state funds may call for an increase in tuition and student fees.
The projected state funding for the initiative is $102 million and the projected budget is about $260 million, which leaves the university system at almost a $150 million deficit.
Similar circumstances involving a lack of state funding occurred last year and is what resulted in the raise in tuition.
“Obviously this is something that students don’t want,” Nino said. “We need to make sure that we’re being as accessible as we can, and we need to fight against this. We need to come together, and we need to prepare now, because come March, we might be faced with another issue where the Board of Trustees [vote to raise tuition].”
The projected funding will come with a systemwide 43 percent increase in compensation for faculty and staff, which Nino stated is merited but not appropriate right now.
“It’s not like these increases aren’t merited,” Nino said. “These people are working for us and they are doing a lot of good things, but at the same time they said that [the Graduation Initiative] wasn’t going to come from tuition and student fees. We need to hold them accountable to what they said in the past. We have to be vocal and we have to be visible.”
Nino also said that he is going to take the Opposing Payment Peaks resolution that was created last year when tuition was increased, and he will go to other campuses systemwide to garner support.
“We have strength in numbers and when we don’t have the numbers it’s harder to get things done. I think it’s something we can fight, and I think that we can win if it’s something we work for in advance,” said Senator At Large Danielle Carancho.
Hate speech is revisited
During public comments section of the meeting, Christopher Orozco, a senior psychology major, stepped forward to represent students who want to stop hate speech at Cal State Long Beach.
“The authority of the CSULB community needs to take a stand and affirm that they will take actions — no verbal punishment — against these people,” said Orozco, regarding hate speech such as the racist graffiti found in a bathroom last month.
Jeff Klaus, the associate vice president of student affairs, reported on what the campus officials are doing to counteract hate speech. He said that one of their main focuses is to overhaul the campus regulation, “time, place and manner,” which is what hate speech is regulated under.
The Student Affairs office plans to approach hate speech regulations with less general wording that has been used in the past in order to be more specific. They have also created a page on their website that is titled “Freedom of Speech.” This is to be used as a resource for students to learn about the regulation and learn how to handle a controversial speaker on campus.
“Any time you hear ignorant speech on our campus — which I’m sure you’ve heard it — the way to counter ignorant speech is with more speech. Hopefully a website like this will introduce some ideas and hopefully get people excited about what they should do if they feel like they should get engaged,” Klaus said.
The website also lists the difference between free speech and hate speech on the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of the Student Affairs website.
Klaus also stated that freshman orientation will be adjusted to educate incoming students on first amendment rights, and how they may be expressed differently on a public college campus versus a high school campus.