OSU students rally for tuition freeze

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CORVALLIS, Ore. - Dozens of Oregon State University students rallied at the Memorial Union Quad on Monday with a message for Oregon lawmakers: "Don't raise our tuition."

"The students united will never be defeated," chanted students, holding signs and megaphones in the Quad Monday afternoon, "the students united will never be defeated."

The Associated Students of Oregon State University organized the rally on February 4, 2013, because it is the first day the state legislature convenes in Salem for 2013.

"Every year, bureaucrats spend more money on overpaid salaries, useless programs and fancy pants new buildings that we're never going to get to use," said Vice President of the ASOSU Dan Cushing. "Every year politicians talk big on education, and we elect them and they turn their backs on us and vote to fund things like prisons."

State lawmakers decide how much funding will go to higher education in Oregon.

Students at the rally are calling for a "freeze" on any future tuition hikes, and they are asking OSU administrators to join their fight.

"So we really think that this urging to call for a tuition freeze today is premature," said Vice President of University Relations Steve Clark on Monday. "It really is not in keeping with what was agreed to by student leaders."

After Oregon lawmakers cut funding to higher education, the State Board of Higher Education voted to raise in-state tuition at Oregon University System campuses. Administrators at OSU then raised tuition 6.9 percent for the 2011-2013 biennium, a $432 increase from the 2011-2012 academic year.

Clark said current in-state tuition for a full time student at OSU is estimated at $6,660, $1,350 less than at the University of Oregon and $4,000 less than at the University of Washington.