Students protest rising price of college tuition

Students protest rising price of college tuition »Play Video
One of the student delegations

SALEM, Ore. - Students from universities and community colleges across Oregon gathered in front of the Oregon State Capitol on Thursday to voice their concerns over the rising cost of tuition.

Around 750 students turned out to show their concern. 

The Oregon Student Association (OSA) organized the rally and delegates from each school’s OSA chapter spent the day in Salem talking with various state representatives.

OSA, with support from the students at the rally, demanded $850 million for the universities and $510 million dollars for community colleges from the State Legislature to help lower the cost of tuition.

A freeze on tuition costs was also suggested.

The average tuition rate has gone up significantly in the last few years. In-state students now pay an average of $19,000 a year and out-of-state students pay an average of $32,150 a year.

“If we continue this trend then education will just become a commodity that is bought and traded and that doesn’t do anything for our society” said OSA volunteer Sam Garner. “If that continues only the rich and privileged will be able to afford an education.”

The rally began at a site a few blocks from the Capitol building. The students then marched to the capitol carrying signs and chanting. Each school had a wooden door painted their school colors symbolizing the door to opportunity that  higher education represents.

When the marching students reached the capitol several student body leaders gave speeches as well as a few state governmental officials, including Speaker of the House Tina Kotek. “It’s important to have a trained work force,” Kotek said. Education "is important for jobs and it’s important for our state.”