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UO Students Protest Tuition Hike

EUGENE, Ore. — A group of University of Oregon students stormed the office of president Wednesday, demanding answers about the recent 5.9 percent tuition hike.

They rallied to tell their stories and get their voices heard. Some were even brought to tears.

Tania Sarabia is dealing with a medical condition, along with financial troubles. The tuition hike just makes things worse.

“I am first in my family to go to college, and that’s already hard in itself and not knowing the system and how to work it,” Sarabia said.

The Oregon State Board of Higher Education says a committee comprised of some students came up with the proposed hike, and it approved the number. The hike translates into about $500 a year.

“Many of my students work three jobs to be here. Even if they have Pell grants, it’s not enough to pay to pay at the University of Oregon and to live in Eugene. How can we actually do this? How can we increase tuition?” said ethnic studies student Karyn Smoot.

Students are asking the same question–loudly. And they’re taking their requests to the top–President Robert Berdahl’s office.

“I don’t think we can know how much power we have until we are out in the streets and together making our demands,” said Beshara Kehdi.

“I want them to see that students are not being silent,” Smoot said.

President Berdahl came out to meet the students.

“I have questions about where our tuition dollars are going,” he said.

President Berdahl told students he understands everyone must start investing more in our youth.

The group demanded that a public forum be held. Berdahl agreed to this. The forum is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, June 7 in the Ben Linder Room in the EMU.

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