Letters to the Editor: How UC has exploited the student academic workers on strike
May 23, 2014 at 12:01 AMMay 23, 2014 at 1:30 AM
I feel it is appropriate to write to voice my support to the workers of the University of California as thousands of students and faculty demonstrate on the steps of the Assembly in Sacramento, demanding an end to the tuition hikes that have been called for by the administration.
As a current undergraduate student at UC Berkeley I have been following the events surrounding the current student worker movement on the steps of the Legislature for several weeks. What I have witnessed firsthand is the power the students have amassed through their activism and I commend them for their leadership in this historic movement. What I want to say is that this campaign is one of the best examples of how students have an incredibly large and diverse network that they can utilize to mobilize as they see fit.
This campaign is a victory not only for the students involved but for the general student population. As a community we have been taken for granted, a victim of the lack of progress made in the education system, as the administration has systematically put every student and faculty member in the state of California through a process that has been deemed “excessively burdensome,” despite their best intentions to fix the system.
Many people are wondering how the UC is able to justify the $15,000 annual tuition to a student that lives under the poverty line after already having to pay around $23,000 in student loans. While this is only one small element of the issue, but it is very important. After having completed my degree from UC Berkeley I feel that a more realistic cost to me, or anyone for that matter, is between $25,000-$40,000 per year. The amount of work and energy put into this system by students in the system has been nothing short of amazing, from demanding the repeal of the Prop 10 bill that eliminated student’s financial aid and was then followed by a long, drawn out strike that culminated in negotiations with the administration.
Since then the administrations have continued to expand the system and not only make us pay for our education but for all other services that are not covered under tuition. Even though the UC Board of Regents is supposed to have a set cap