Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Students Protest President Gottfredson's Investiture

50 University of Oregon students interrupted the Investiture of President Gottfredson demanding a tuition freeze on Thursday, May 30th. The administration of our university has consistently demonstrated that they do not have good reason to raise our tuition (see March posts). This year tuition is proposed to be raised 4.5% for resident students, with additional fees (including increased fees approved by student election to cove the new EMU and Student Recreation Center) bringing the total increase to 5.8%.

Students hold a banner saying "Gottfredson, Support a Tuition Freeze!" in front of Johnson Hall. 

Students protested at Matt Knight Arena for The President's Investiture, a ceremonial welcome and symbolic exchange of authority to Michael R. Gottfredson. Students have been trying to meet with President Gottfredson throughout the year and were repeatedly told 'no.' So we came to him to demonstrate the seriousness with which we take our concerns about tuition hikes. We did a mic check (think: Occupy) stating that we were not going to accept tuition increases because we were given little information or reason why they were increasing.  In attendance were also Senator Ron Wyden and the Interim Oregon University System Chancellor Melody Rose. 

You can see a video of the mic check here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlf5lo_p0Qk

We have reached out to Gottfredson, who has not responded to our requests for a meeting, and cancelled a scheduled meeting with campus workers (SEIU 503) AFTER people arrived to his office. We went to the Administration's town hall with students (scheduled the week prior to Finals Week) about tuition increases/budget processes, where little was explained to us and we were talked to in a very condescending tone. We have attended every town hall with legislators in Eugene voicing our concerns to elected officials. We had a call in day for students to call OUS representatives' listed office number to give testimony about how they would be affected by tuition increases. We gathered over 300 petition signatures demanding a tuition freeze targeting OUS and presented them during testimony to OUS in Portland

The last action will be on June 21st at the Oregon University System's board meeting where they will be voting on tuition increases for the coming school year. SLAP will be at that meeting with students from the UO to show that we are not going to accept tuition increases. 

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