Thursday, April 12, 2012
Students staff a table in Atwood Memorial Center dedicated to the emerging protest against rising tuition and declining investment in higher education.
Students and others are expected to gather 11 a.m. April 19 to protest rising tuition, declining state investment in higher education and related issues.
Organizers describe an hour-long march throughout the St. Cloud State campus, originating on the west side of Atwood Memorial Center.
Dubbed the "Truth March," it will be managed by students in SOC 460/560: Social Problems, Practice and Policy in collaboration with Students Organized for Change and the Social Responsibility Student Organization.
The New York Times reported in January that American public universities for the first time are relying more on tuition than state funding. A 2002 study by FinAid.org publisher Mark Kantrowitz argues "Increases in public college tuition are strongly correlated with the declines in state support of higher education."
St. Cloud State officials have estimated that the university's budget was reduced 20 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2012. In the current fiscal year, the 31-school Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system is operating with 4 percent less per student than it had in fiscal year 2002, according to Melinda Voss, MnSCU spokesperson.
The April 19 protest is part of a national effort by the Democratizing Education Network, a Wisconsin-based steering committee committed to this charter:
- Full public funding for public higher education
- Free access to higher education and abolition of tuition
- Affirmative Action to end institutionalized racism and sexism
- Full recognition of the right of students and workers to organize
- Democratic self-government of higher education
- Service to the public welfare, not corporate profits
- Free speech and academic freedom
- Debt forgiveness of student loans
- Civic education for a democratic society
- Education, not war; Schools, not jails
St. Cloud State University