EUGENE, Ore. — Representative Peter DeFazio joined more than 100 students and faculty at the University of Oregon Wednesday afternoon as they rallied against increasing tuition costs.
The League of Educators and Students Slashing Tuition, or LESST, led the protest outside the student union, they say, to simply raise awareness about the increasing rate of tuition.
LESST members claim this year’s graduating seniors are paying around 40 percent more in tuition than they did as incoming freshmen at the UO. They stated this is a problem that stretches far outside of Eugene.
“It’s not just the university administration. They get their budget from the state and they have to fight against cuts and underfunding. So we feel like their problem is our problem,” DeFazio said. “We need to ensure that the future leaders of America, whether it’s in science or business or government or other education in other areas, that you don’t come out of here with a pile of debt.”
Tuition has increased every year for the last decade. The highest was a 9-percent increase in 2011-2012 school year.
The rally preludes a panel scheduled next week between students, faculty, and UO administrators to discuss possible solutions to the tuition issue.