SDS protests against new tuition hikes at USF Tampa listen10/04/11 Alessandra Da Pra
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About 50 University of South Florida students voiced their discontent and unrest over tuition hikes during a march at the USF Tampa campus today.It was organized by Students for a Democratic Society, a national movement with over 100 chapters in the United States.
Tuition fee increases are nothing new, but students coming back to school this Fall semester were greeted by a bitter surprise: that is a 15 percent tuition hike. And thatâ€™s when the universityâ€™s youth decided to fight back and launched a local chapter of Students for a Democratic Society.
That was double major in humanities and American studies Savanah Goodland. She said she is outraged about the tuition hikes, which prompted her to join the SDS at USF. Although itâ€™s just two-months old, the movement has already made its presence felt on campus.
While waiting for next weekâ€™s ballot, SDS members encouraged students to defend public education by joining the movement during the protest. English major and SDS organizer Dustin Ponder said that action needs to be taken before the state legislature makes further budget cuts in its quest to privatize public education. The idea of education as a social right and not as an economic privilege is at the core of the movementâ€™s ideology.
Maria Jose Hays is a mother of two and said that she has been straggling her way through her education and is concerned about how she will be able to provide for her kids without a college degree. Hays is double-majoring in political science and international studies She spoke out during the protest and encouraged folks to get off their iPhones and pay attention to what really affects their lives.
The group marched to the administration building to deliver the over 1,300 petition signatures opposing the 15 percent hike and ask for a meeting with President Judy Genshaft. But they were met by locked doors.
But this did not discourage SDS organizer Ponder.
SDS meets every Thursday evening at 7 in the Social Science building of the USF Tampa campus. The student government referendum ballot will be held online on October 11 and 12.