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Oppose U of MN Tuition Hikes!
During February-April 2001, Doug Mann worked with Socialist Alternative and other student groups at the U of MN, Minneapolis campus, to oppose tuition hikes. The following statement was distributed prior to the formation of an ad-hoc coalition against tuition hikes on 22 February 2001
Socialist Alternative Statement
No Tuition Hikes!
Cut Corporate Welfare, Not Education!
If Jesse Ventura's proposed budget for the University of Minnesota stands, tuition rates will go up a whopping 28% over two years, to $6,338 per year, according to U president Mark Yudof.
Yudof also reported that a Minnesota statute requires the state to provide at least 70% of the funding for all public post-secondary schools, and the state's share decreased from over 70% in the early 1970s to less than 50% today. Last year, only 36% of the U of M's revenues came from the state. Tuition rates have skyrocketed to make up the difference. The same politicians who promise to hold down tuition hikes today have been steadily shifting the cost of a higher education to students in violation of state law!
It is also noteworthy that, according to "Campaign Minnesota," private, mostly corporate, donations to the U of M were up 73% last year. This increase in corporate giving is largely a response to the U of M's corporate fundraising strategy. In exchange for a donation, the U of M kicks in some money for a program that benefits the corporate donor. An example is the U's donation of $10 million to build the new Microbial and Plant Genomics research facility for Cargill, Inc. At tax payers expense, U of M students and faculty will do profit-driven biotech research that benefits Cargill.
No confidence should be placed in capitalist politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, to look out for our interests.
We urge students on every campus to set up ad-hoc committees to organize massive protests on the theme: Education is a right, not a privilege! Cut corporate welfare, not education! No tuition hikes!