Students gathered in front of the Sombrilla last Tuesday to peacefully protest the increase of tuition that was recently passed by the UT System Board of Regents. The rise in tuition will affect the majority of students in the UT System.
The group of students who protested were not part of any organization. Instead, they were a congregation of concerned students who recently heard about the tuition increase and decided to have their voice heard. When asked what sparked their interests for protest, many of the protestors mentioned that they had previously read an article in The Paisano about tuition increase.
They protested for several hours, holding up large signs and megaphones, and offering a petition that people could sign in opposition to the increase.
“We’re sending the petition to as many House, Senate, and education board reps as we can,” said protestor Bradley Banks, UTSA engineering major.
In fact, many of the students at the protest were graduating seniors or had tuition paid through federal aid. These students were concerned about current and prospective UTSA students, not themselves.
Jason Dhroiyer, senior, said “I have children who will be affected by this tuition increase.”
Prospective UTSA student Lena Banks was raised in Scandinavia, where tuition is free and paid for by the government. Many future UTSA students, she stated, “want affordable tuition, but can’t afford it!”
Earlier this month Banks protested from the second floor of the Applied Engineering and Technology building where he was holding a sign against tuition increase. Campus security grabbed the sign from Banks and arrested him for disorderly conduct and mischief.
UTSA tuition has increased over 230 percent over the past ten years at UTSA. The tuition will jump up another 5 percent this fall, adding $366 a year for UTSA students. Another nine UT institutions have also been approved tuition increase over the next two years.
The group of protestors recently created a Facebook page to support their cause. They plan on sending the petition to several officials across Texas, and have considered protesting again in the near future.