UOG students protest tuition increase
by Krystal Paco
Guam - University of Guam students raised their voices in protest as they marched to today's public hearing on the proposal to increase tuition 10% in the spring of 2012 and then again by another 10% by 2013.
You don't have to be a math major to know that UOG is short on funding. Although UOG requested $29.9 million dollars from the guam legislature for fy2012, bill145 only appropriated 26.7 million dollars resulting in today's public hearing and student protest on the proposal to raise school tuition by 20% by 2013.
UOG Integrated Marketing Communications Director Cathleen Moore-Linn stated, "It is part of a much larger strategy to reduce our budget. It is the flat-funding. We've received from the legislature for the last five years, and how to make up that difference? There are other things that are on the table including a lot of belt-tightening. We're going to reduce our utilities cost, we're going to freeze positions, freeze hiring, eliminate positions, consolidating programs, and also a salary reduction is on the table as well, So the increase is just one component of a larger picture."
So is UOG really the natural choice? These student protestors argue otherwise should the price of tuition rise.
Student Joseph Certeza said, "This is students fighting for what they believe is theirs…UOG is supposed to be a natural choice, but apparently they're not making it a natural choice for us. Education should be a right and not a privilege."
Another student, Kenneth Kuper, said, "College is getting more expensive. If you want to keep the people of Guam here on Guam, we need to find solutions. We're not here to say no to everything, we're here to compromise, we're here to say, 'Hey, we'll take this but what about you do this for us?' We want to get our voices heard as a student body so that we stay here and we help Guam become Guam's future instead of being from Guam and live in the States."
"We want Guam to remain prosperous," Kuper added. "We want Guam's future to be prosperous, and the only way we can do that is if the people stay on Guam."
Anthony Quenga, president of the UOG Student Government Association, said, "These students are here because they understand it takes more than a high school diploma to make something out of their lives. With that said, with the proposals we're looking at what have we done to ensure the senators give us what is needed to run the university."