Those of you who follow national news may be aware of a stunning victory by the students of Quebec to keep their college tuitions the lowest in North America.
Through two straight seasons of creative protest, whether it be picketing the streets en masse, or wearing squares or red felt to symbolize their protest of rising tuition costs, the students managed to keep their tuition the lowest in North America.
I suspect they always will, in fact, not because Quebec is a godless socialist Canadian province, but because Quebec’s students symbolize something that college students can be and that is peaceful protesters in search of change.
I’d like to point out that even before this protest, Quebec had the lowest tuition in North America because they kept this kind of pressure on the powers that be. Their tuition fees for the year 2012 would be on average around $2,168 per year. I would also like to note that you WISH your tuition was only $2,168 per year. You may be thinking this is great for the students of Quebec, but let’s look at this in context of our own lives.
I found it humorous how easy it is to look up how the tuition fees of Colorado State University have grown over the past sixty years. There’s a very nice chart posted on the CSU website that displays just how much we are getting shafted.
We were paying what Quebec students are paying now, in the year 2000. That may make it seem much better than it is, until you realize that tuition has been raised over 220 percent since that time. In the 2010-2011 school years we paid $5,256 in tuition each year. Even more humorous is the fact that our student fees are around $1,728, a number much closer to the number which the Quebec students are paying for their tuition.
So you have the numbers and the context, but I suppose my underlying message here is that this is insane. I am not merely lamenting the dying of the light, of the days when college students stood up for their rights to be able to afford higher education without selling their dog, their sister and their future to the money grubbing institutions that colleges have become.
I am saying it is time for CSU students to stand up and do something about the fact that we are getting taken advantage of.
Regardless of what school of thought you come from, it’s hard to deny that education is the key to a brighter future. Education opens so many doors for students and allows for a more compassionate and understanding society.
Lack of education breeds hatred, ignorance and fear of that which people don’t understand. This isn’t a simple fight for whether you can afford to get a better job; this is a fight for whether you would like to see a better society.
For many of you, this is not the first time you’ve heard that higher education is the fastest growing cost in America. The cost of obtaining a college degree has grown 1,120 percent since 1978.
The question each person should be asking themselves is: Are we prepared to deal with the implications of making higher education inaccessible for many Americans? I am not prepared to deal with this fact and I don’t think any of us should be.
From this day on you will be able to recognize me around campus because I’ll be wearing a red felt square. Let’s speak with our actions, let’s speak with our words, and let’s speak with a voice that announces that we are done paying more.
Brian Fosdick is a junior journalism major. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.