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"Ramen-in" Protest Targets CA Community College Fee Hikes

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Friday, March 4, 2011   

Ramen may be a college student's favorite cheap meal, but if more fee hikes are approved, some students say, it may be all they can afford to eat.

Using $300 worth of noodles to prove their point, hundreds of community college students and faculty are staging a "Ramen-in" today in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Political science professor Larissa Dorman says a full-time community college student would see tuition increase about $300 a year, which she says will push many students out of higher education altogether.

"We have the feeling that this is a poverty tax. These are folks that already are having a hard enough time paying for education, and so it's really difficult to see us being cut further. We already have a very skeletal system. I'm an adjunct professor. I could lose my job, and that's true for many of us. "

It's frustrating that the state spends more on prisons than on education, Dorman says, and it's time for the wealthy to pay their fair share of the taxes.

Along with the fee hikes, Jose Rodriguez, a history major at San Diego Community College, fears he may not get into the classes he needs to graduate.

"We think we have it very difficult now, but we have no idea what's coming to us. Seriously, entire departments would be close to shutting down, and at university level we're going to see a complete hike, even more than we already see now, in tuition."

Gov. Jerry Brown's budget plan includes asking voters to extend $12 billion in temporary taxes. If the Legislature fails to put the initiative on the ballot, or if it is rejected by voters, more cuts will be needed.


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