On March 1 hundreds of students from Humboldt State University in addition to hundreds of other students from other universities around the state left their classrooms and protested against proposed student fee increases.
These fee increases come after a decade of massive price hikes for tuition, housing, textbooks and other things that students need to find ways to pay for. It also comes just after newly elected president Donald J Trump proposed a budget that includes a $54 billion gift basket for the military industrial complex and war machine. The increase in the military budget will be coming from the discretionary budget which is supposed to be used for social programs and things that the people actually need, like public education.
Students spoke about their experiences trying to make it through the capitalist education system which they explained makes it near impossible to be a working class student. After graduation students are faced with a very slim job market and massive student debt thanks to the predatory system of loans. They explained that what is supposed to be a public education system is becoming corporatized and run on a for-profit basis.
The California State University system is the largest university system in the country. About one in ten of California State University’s 460,000 students is homeless. About one in five doesn’t have steady access to enough food. Students called for the creation of a new society where education is treated like the public good it really is and prioritized over the treasure chests of the millionaires.
They collected signatures demanding that their local senators and representatives in government stand up for what the students need, which is better education. They also vowed to continue their struggle and step up and intensify their actions to whatever is needed to secure their own futures.