The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

The independent student news site of San Marcos, California

The Cougar Chronicle

Rally against student debt and for quality education


By Kelly Wyrick


Student debt today is at an all-time high, now even surpassing both auto loan debt and credit card debt nationally.

Americans owe $1.2 trillion; yes, that’s $1.2 trillion, not million, not billion, but trillion- with a T. Student loan debt continues to balloon at an ever faster rate due to increasing interest rates and campus tuitions and fees. At CSUSM alone, fees have gone up 97.4 percent in the last seven years.

Seeing the enormity of the crisis, California Governor Jerry Brown ordered a moratorium on tuition increases, yet many CSU campuses, like our own, have begun implementing “student success fees” as a way around the Governor’s orders. This success fee started out in 2013 to 2014 at $300; after that they will increase $100 each year until 2016 to 2017 when it hits $500.

These “student success fees” are not actually helping us be more successful at CSUSM. They are simply transforming what was once an affordable institution of public higher education into a private university that sucks money out of our pockets and burdens us with more debt. If we had the money to go to a private university, we might have, but since we don’t, we chose CSUSM because of its reputation for quality education at a cost we could actually afford.

So here’s the big question, where does the money from all our fees go? Not to our faculty- that’s for sure. They have not received more than a 1.34 percent raise since 2008, even though they’re the ones most responsible for providing us with quality education. It’s also apparently not going to the opening of more classes and class sections that we all could really use.

The great sucking sound you hear comes from CSU management and administration. From 2008 to 2010, CSU spent $6 million on raises (yes that’s just raises!) for more than 550 managers. The top CSU executives’ salaries rose 71 percent from 1998 to 2011. CSUSM alone currently spends over $1 million a month (yes, a month!) on administrative salaries.

That’s not right, and something has to be done about it. We need to rethink our priorities about exactly where the money should go and who should receive it. We need to stop the increases in student fees (“success” or otherwise), and make sure our money is well-spent. Administrators seem to be sucking in way more money than they should, and many students are paying more and more to have fewer available classes and less attention from their overburdened, underpaid professors than they deserve.

So what can we do about it? We need to show the administration that we will no longer sit quietly while they gouge students with fee hikes and “success fees” and lo-ball faculty with inadequate pay. Support events such as on Oct. 7, when we gathered during U-hour at the Cesar Chavez status as we rallied in protest of the mismanagement of campus funds by the administration.


View Comments (3)

Comments (3)

All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • W

    Western NelsonOct 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    lol such a fake comment it hurts me.

  • S

    SMKidOct 8, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    It’s hard as a student to fight for faculty raises when in the long run it will come out of my pocket. If the CSU management and administration is saying they have no money then they will turn to the students to pay more, which is why the cost of tuition has increased over the years.

    Also according to the Executive Order 1086, the Student “Success” Fee was/is only meant to go to three things, “reducing time to graduation, expanded library hours and resources, and student academic support.” ON PAPER, all three of these things were accomplished in the first year of the fee. The library’s hours were extended by 20+hrs a weeks, a few more academic advisors and counselors were hired, and more classes were created and added with the thought it will reduce the time to graduation.

    My question in regards to the Student “Success” fee would be now that the university has done those three things on the smallest fee amount; what are they going to do with the surplus each year?