In Bad Economy, Students Take the Worst Hit

Dear Editor,

I would like to express our solidarity with students protesting the 32-percent tuition hikes at California’s public universities. As activists who believe in a young person’s ability to fight for change, this is precisely the kind of civic engagement we strive to achieve.

In a time of economic crisis, young people are especially hurt. We are the least-insured and least-employed age demographic in our country. We understand that hard times demand fiscal prudence and sacrifice. However, adding such a sudden and steep increase in tuition to the already heavy economic burden facing our generation is unjust and excessive.

University administrators and the state of California must address the students’ concerns as equal partners. These and future decisions about the education system must be made in consultation with all stakeholders, especially the students.

Furthermore, we ask our federal government to consider the plight of states facing such tough choices regarding the education of our generation. As we make policy choices on a national level regarding both war and peace and stimulus and deficit, we encourage lawmakers to heed the plight of students in California across the nation and help them.

Our generation is facing the greatest economic crisis in over 50 years. To build a successful 21st-century American economy, our leaders must encourage education, not discourage it by piling on student debt with massive tuition increases. We support students’ efforts to make education affordable and within reach for all Americans.

— Matt Adler

Co-founder, Young Americans for Health-Care Reform