WUFT News

Gainesville SDS protests tuition hikes outside FL Board of Governors’ meeting

By on January 17th, 2013

Shaneece Dixon / WUFT News

Gainesville SDS organizers (from left to right) Eric Brown, Andrew Archikavitz and Michael Sampson hold protest signs outside of Emerson Alumni Hall.

Almost 30 students from Gainesville Students for a Democratic Society organized a protest outside the Board of Governors meeting at Emerson Alumni Hall Thursday afternoon.

The rally was the first in a series of campaigns that the organization has preplanned for this semester to protest against tuition hikes and changes to Florida Prepaid and Florida Bright Futures scholarships.

According to SDS organizers Skye Schmelzer and Eric Brown, the Blue Ribbon Task Force is proposing differential tuition, which would affect non-STEM majors who make up about 70 percent of the UF student population. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“We’re denouncing the Blue Ribbon Task Force,” said Eric Brown, a second-year political science major. “This is a call of action to people against this. This is really going to ignite people outside of SDS.”

Michela Martinazzi / Gainesville SDS

Student protesters from Gainesville SDS hold rally outside of Emerson Alumni Hall after a Florida Board of Governors meeting on Thursday.

Board chair Dean Colson said neither the state nor the governor has any interest in raising tuition for students, but admits that due to a lack of funding, the university can’t do much else to offset costs.

“If you want to recruit the very best and the very brightest and bring their labs to the campus, it costs money, and we need money,” Colson said. “We need to provide the funding for that.”

Former Florida state representative and Blue Ribbon Task Force member William “Bill” Proctor said the students have a right to organize and protest peacefully, but he doesn’t recall a specific recommendation made to the board regarding financial aid programs.

“As I recall, there was a subcommittee that recommended a three-year freeze on STEM tuition rates,” Proctor said. “I recommended that we move as expeditiously as possible to the national average for major research institutions.”

Regardless of the tuition status for future students, any change would impact students from lower and middle classes, according to Chrisley Carpio, a third-year history major at UF.

“This would keep working students out of the university and disenfranchise these groups all over again,” she said.

Rebekah Geier edited this story online.


This entry was posted in Education and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Education

**Tenley was emailed to verify that she made this. Credit it accordingly once she responds.**

Two Years After Grant Ends, Alachua County Schools See Little Improvement

Alachua County schools received a $2 million grant five years ago. Three of the schools that benefited greatly from the money haven’t seen much improvement in their school grades.


Students at Stephen Foster Elementary School learn the basics of nutrition education from retired University of Florida dietetics professor Dr. Pam McMahon. Kids in the Kitchen is a county wide program sponsored by the Department of Children and Families, UF and the USDA. Photo courtesy of Bailey Bruce / Foster Elementary Afterschool Coordinator.

New Program Hopes To Bring Nutritional Education To Elementary Schools

Stephen Foster Elementary School is the first elementary school to participate in Kids in the Kitchen, a program that teaches students about nutritional food options and food preparation. The program was started by Pamela McMahon, Ph.D., a retired University of Florida faculty member and registered dietician.


Screen Shot

UF Students Welcome Bill Proposing Tax-Free Textbooks

A new law in Florida could help students save money on expensive textbooks. The bill looks to eliminate the sales tax from textbooks to give students a break on the hundreds they already spend on required texts.


Students at Sante Fe College have opportunities to seek baccalaureate degrees in many areas of study. Santa Fe is one of 28 state colleges in Florida, which offer a combined 175 baccalaureate degree programs.

Four-Year Degree Limitation Proposed By State Senator Sparks Debate

Senator Joe Negron proposed to limit baccalaureate programs in Florida community colleges in a recent Senate Higher Education Committee. Santa Fe provost Ed Bonahue argues that the attention should be placed on enrollment, not the programs.


DSC_0319

Scott Plans To Reduce Standardized Testing Statewide

An executive action to be issued by Governor Scott would reduce the number of tests Florida students are required to take. Subsequent legislation would eliminate progress-monitoring requirements, make certain exams optional and reassess how to evaluate teachers in public schools.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments