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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

UCOP Says Fee Hikes Don't Hurt Students; Students Disagree

From SAVE UCLA: Subject:
TOMOR- ROW: PART II, Statewide Mobili-zation Against the Fee Hikes at Covel Commons!

Today was hard and unexpected, but tomorrow we will have 1000+ students and workers from all across the state to stand with us against the tuition hikes. TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO SHOW UP AND SUPPORT!


6:30-7:30am - PICKET PREP



Anonymous said...

When and where did UCOP or any part of UCOP say that feee hikes do not hurt students?

Chris Newfield said...

constantly, in the repeated statements that financial aid will mitigate all increases for all students who need it. E.g., the Regents' documents state that "financial aid program enhancements . . meant that undergraduate students with family incomes below $180,000 experienced, on average, an increase of $1,200 - $1,500 in resources for education expenses” (Regents Nov F1 p 12). Or a page later, “UC projects that, on average, students with incomes below $180,000 will experience financial resource increases, either through gift aid or expanded tax credits, to cover the full amount of fee increases already approved and now proposed for 2009-10.” Regent Bonnie Reiss on KPCC on Tuesday said she wasn't so worried about the low-income students because of all the programs to help them. Nanette Asimov of the SF Chronicle wasn't able to explain protesting students on "Which Way LA?" yesterday because the financial support was so good . . .

Anonymous said...


UCOP did not say that fee increases will not hurt students.

It has said that students with family incomes under specified levels will receive additional support . . . which means that students from families with incomes above those levels will receive less or no additional support.

Now UCOP's claims may or may not be true, but it did not say the increases will not hurst students.

Furthermore, and this is the real kicker, UCOP and the Regents and the Governor have set it up so that complaints about the fee hikes are seen as selfish complaints by spoiled students. And all this is set on the background of national economic crisis, a new $20 Billion deficit going forward, and an established anti-tax sentiment in the State.

Given all that, fighting the fee hikes is playing into the hands of the enemy.

Anonymous said...


subsidies for rich students and subsidies for Wall St, but Yudoff and UCOP say they want to give financial aid to low income students, just as Ron Paul and less honest Republicans say they want to let insolvent firms fail.

sacrificing the politics of class and economic inequality to these folks is a big mistake.

Anonymouse said...


Wait, what?

Also, who exactly is saying that the fee increase is a net good thing besides the various technocrats in charge of (of course reluctantly) imposing the increases? Other than random online newspaper article commenters, who's out there blaming the selfish students?

And if fighting fee increases is the wrong way to go, what's the better solution?

Anonymous said...

Anon Mouse

The better solution is to shift the struggle away from this kind of pluralist interest group politics that fights for greater State budgets for this or that sector (and thus comes to conflict with every other sector that also wants its budget protected during and episode of massive retrenchment) and, instead, pitch a broader campaign about the future of the country. For an example, see Bob Herbert's column in the NY Times from Nov 17. He makes an argument about investing in the future of the country and rolls many things into that, including education.

The key is not to argue for this sector or that sector, but to argue for something bigger that everyone has a stake in - especially given anger over the economic and financial crises, U6 approaching 18% nationally, and the massive subsidies given to Wall St. Think disaster capitalism, but in the hands of FDR rather than Milton Friedman.

Your other point conflates two different issues: 1) who, if anyone, says the fee increases are a "net good thing" and 2) a reaction to student protests that blames the students for selfishness.

I don't think anyone says the fee increases are a "net good thing." UCOP frames them as necessary. I think that is, in itself, true. There is another $20 Billion deficit about to hit the State. What is your immediate alternative to fee increases? The value of public education and the Master Plan is not an answer.

Further, from a position very different from UCOP's, I think that under the current existing conditions of State-wide budget cuts, service cuts, and layoffs that disproportionately hit the poor and working class it is seriously problematic from a social justice point of view to fight to sustain tuition subsidies for the wealthy and even richest in California.

Apart from the social justice issue, I think fee increases (if they are effectively scaled to income) stand to help reshape the political terrain. Fee increases for the well off middle class and wealthy are the best teach-in that coudl be devised to get the point across that public services go to everyone, and not just the poor, as the State Budget Director claimed.

As for the protests and charges of selfishness, lets see how it plays out. Politically speaking, UCOP will have a stong hand to play to the extent that it can say it pays for students with family incomes under $60,000 and cushioned the blow to students with family incomes up to $180,000, and sustained the UC during a second year of $20 Billion cuts in the State budget.

Anonymouse said...


It's clear we're more or less on the same side, but differ in terms of strategies and rhetoric. As far as I'm concerned, the fact that there are "bigger issues", such as the systematic de-funding of the public sector as a whole, doesn't foreclose targeted action for more narrow interests. The slippery slope of such logic leads us to abandon everything but the fight against, well, the forces of evil, since everything else is ultimately subsumed under it.

Less flippantly, students are disempowered within the various institutional systems they're embedded in (the university, the state, sometimes even their families), and it's often extremely difficult for them to find channels through which they can express their views and possibly start getting some positional traction. Protest against fee increases is more or less a no-brainer issue to gain visibility. Only the most idealistic of students expect that these protests will result in no fee increase. But as more and more students, families, and the public wake up to what's going on -- not through some abstract narrative about the future of the country, but through specific, relevant, and persuasive cases -- different kinds avenues of action will open up. Yes, it's gradualism, but such things rarely work otherwise. Abject Naderism -- let things get really bad, as a wake-up call, which I think you're essnetially advocating -- rarely works. Moreover, there's nothing stopping good leadership from telling the broader narrative through our interested cases. What we lack is good leadership.

So I'm not sure where all the angst over the protests is coming from. You seem to worry about some sort of backlash, but really, where is it?

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