March to capitol planned

Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) is sponsoring a bus to take student activists Monday to a march to the state capitol.

The California State Student Association (CSSA), a student-run nonprofit, has aided in the organization of the day’s events. Representatives from the University of California (UC), community college and California State University (CSU) systems will take part.

Olgalilia Ramirez, the director of government relations for CSSA, said student activists will gather at Raley Field in Sacramento before the march to the capitol building’s north steps. A similar event took place two years ago, she said.

“We’re asking the public to make higher education a priority,” Ramirez said.

The state of California spends an average of $7,500 annually per student and $47,000 annually per prisoner.

Ramirez said CSSA has a tentative list of featured speakers, which includes Fresno State graduate and member of the board of trustees Russel Statham and California Community College Chancellor Jack Scott.

Cole Rojewski, ASI’s chief of staff, said the event will give students a channel to express their feelings about fee increases, much like the March 4 rally.

“We want to help them along the way and let them express [themselves] up there,” Rojewski said. “So, state legislators can see it, and hopefully make a difference.”

The tuition at CSUs has nearly doubled since the 2002-03 school year, increasing every year since, except for the 2006-07 school year.

Along with the march, Rojewski said, ASI will deliver postcards, signed by students, to legislators. The postcards read, “For every $1 the state invests in the CSU, the CSU returns $4.41.”

Rojewski said ASI paid for the bus, and will provide meals for the participants on the bus. He said the bus has room for more participants.

Whitney Thompson, facilitator for Students for Quality Education, said she was not involved in the planning, but supports the efforts.

“That’s good that they are putting some pressure on legislators,” Thompson said.

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