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

GALLERY: UF Graduates Collect Photos in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

UF graduates turn out for celebratory photos come rain or shine at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Thursday.


Florida Inches Closer to Other States in Tuition Charged Undocumented Students

Florida may soon offer undocumented students in-state tuition at public colleges and universities, joining the ranks of 20 other states with similar tuition equity laws and policies.


The Einstein School

Alachua County Superintendent Finalists To Answer Questions

Finalists for the Alachua County Schools superintendent position to meet with public in May.


Hernando County School Board meeting

Hernando Parents Fear Potential School Closures Despite Poor Facilities

Students would have to bus an extra 14 miles should Westside Elementary close.


Clay Hill Elementary is a part of the district-wide initiative to engage students with technology. Photo courtesy of jacksonville.com.

Clay County Improves Attendance, Discipline with Classroom Technology

Clay County School District recently implemented iPad technology into its curriculum as part of a district-wide initiative to improve attendance and behavior.


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments