University of Maryland President Wallace Loh has been advocating for more funding and improvements that will increase quality, affordability, and accessibility to higher education at College Park. Yet, the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents and State of Maryland General Assembly cut funding for higher education once again resulting in another 3% tuition hike for USM schools.
**Note: President Loh has not indicated support for the demonstration, or the demands of demonstrators**
Student-Labor-Action Project – SLAP
It is obvious that budgets are being balanced disproportionately on the backs of students, and we cannot allow this to happen. While many hike-apologists cite more severe tuition hikes at other public institutions as an excuse for complacency, we believe access to quality education is a right, not a privilege, and thus any hike is a move in the wrong direction. Young people today are faced with particularly grim chances of finding a job where they can earn enough money to live a comfortable life, and most employers now require a 4 year degree at a bare minimum. To attain a job paying a livable wage, bypassing College is not a real option. Students who don’t come from wealthy backgrounds are paying for school with student loans, acquiring debt that will take decades to pay off – student debt has surged to over $1.2 Trillion dollars becoming a major national financial problem. A 3% tuition hike will mean an approximate increase of $650 annually for in-state tuition. Along with fees, high book-costs, sky-high housing and food costs, and ever-lurking DOTS parking enforcement officers, students will be burdened even more – particularly poor and low-income students.
Education should be free, and a 3% tuition hike is no compromise. That’s why we are demanding the Board of Regents and the Maryland General Assembly compromise with President Loh and UMD students to (i) implement a 3-year TUITION FREEZE, and (ii) make public the contract between the campus bank, Capital One, and the University.
The student rally is Friday April 25th 11:00 a.m. in front of the Administration Building.
Let’s present a united front to #SLAPTheHikes and #SLAPdebt and show the Board of Regents and Maryland state legislators that we’re serious about improving access to education!