“We are waiting for the ax to fall,” UCSC Spanish lecturer Maria Morris said. “The climate has changed dramatically in my 21 years here. Students can’t focus on actual intellectual growth; it is a frenzy to get required courses and get out.”

In a meeting this week, the UC Board of Regents indicated that tuition increases are likely no matter the final amount of the cuts.

Last year, student fees rose 32 percent, and another 8 percent increase was approved for the 2011-12 school year.

The in-state student fee will rise to $11,124 in the 2011-2012 school year, a $7,695 increase from 2001, marking the first time that students contribute more money to their education than the state.

UCSC sophomore Melissa Garcia said the jump in tuition has strained her parents, who have another daughter starting college in the fall.

“The cuts will affect people at poverty-level the most,” the Coachella Valley native said. “Education is the best way to get out of poverty, and the cuts threaten those opportunities. I have peers who are worried that they will not be able to return to school next year.”

After the rally at UCSC, Garcia and 12 others traveled to Salinas to present letters to State Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, who has objected to Brown’s proposal to allow California voters decide on the tax extensions.


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