Gateway Protesters To State: Don’t Hike Our Tuition
by Yash Roy, New Haven Independent, Jan. 27, 2023
Gateway Community College student and Board of Regents student representative Alina Wheeler lives on the edge — of affording to be able to stay in school, of being “just poor enough” to have her healthcare covered as she works towards graduating.
She and fellow community college students in similarly pre-carious spots are now worried they might not be able to finish out their educations thanks to a potential increase in tuition that could be coming down the pike now that the CT State Colleges and Universities Board of Regents has announced plans to raise tuition at state universities by 3 percent.
Wheeler and roughly 50 students, professors, high school teachers, community members and SEIU union organizers voiced those fears Thursday night [Jan. 26] during a protest outside of Gateway Community College’s campus downtown on Church Street.
They called on the Board of Regents to stop tuition hikes, and they criticized state government for failing to tax its wealthiest residents fairly, all while many students of color and from marginalized backgrounds struggle to attend college. The protesters also called for the state to put together a long-term plan to make state colleges free and increase investment in public education…
Adilene Rodriguez, a recent graduate of Hillhouse High School, spoke [at the protest]. Rodriguez said she hopes to study criminology. She said she’ll likely have to go to work instead. As an immigrant, she said she is not eligible for federal financial aid. She said both of her parents work two jobs and 80-hour weeks.
“I don’t even know if I want to go to college anymore even though I’ve dreamed of studying criminology since I came here from Mexico,” Rodriguez said. “My family just can’t afford it and I have younger siblings who also want to go to college.”
Rodriguez called on the state to lower costs and make education accessible to students like her.
[Article can be read in its entirety at newhavenindependent.org/article/protestors_demand]