This past Monday a rally was held in protest of the inevitable tuition increase that the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education has promised us. The current proposal on the table would see commuter students facing a 5.1 percent increase and students who live on campus would see 4.1 percent increase.
The protest consisted not only of students, but also faculty members encouraging the proceedings. Students told stories to the crowd of how they don’t know if they will be able to afford their schooling come the fall semester should this increase go through.
Several media outlets, including our own, reported that approximately 100 people attended the event. While this number of people can certainly impress the naked eye considering the size of the Student Center Circle, is this really a good turnout?
According to CCSU Fast Facts, there are 11,360 total students registered at CCSU this semester, 9,271 of which are undergraduates. It’s very clear that 100 people is not a real representation of our student body.
The goal of this movement was obviously to send a message to state officials that students are unhappy that they may have to pay more to earn a degree, but could this protest have actually been a detriment to its own cause?
If you’re part of the Board of Regents and you’re looking for the public’s reaction to a tuition hike, hearing about 100 people at one of the four CSU schools regurgitating the same old protest chants wouldn’t change my frame of mind.
There isn’t any way that students can claim that they did not know about the rally. The Student Government Association put a banner outside the Student Center that no one can say they missed. It very clearly detailed what the point of the event was, where it would be held and why it was a student’s obligation to be there.
We’ve seen these types of demonstrations at CCSU before consisting of mostly the same arguments against a tuition increase. Signs often read things like, “money for education not incarceration” and “tax the rich.” But at this point, has the state become immune to it?
Perhaps these rallies aren’t the best way to get the attention of the government anymore. Until our University can produce a large chunk of its students willing to oppose something the state is trying to accomplish, maybe it would be advantageous instead to have those 100 students take the time to write to our local government.
The only real upside to this protest is the extensive coverage it gets from various news organizations.