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CSU Students Protest to Demand Better Funding for Universities

SACRAMENTO -- More than 50 California State University students traveled from Southern California to send a message on the anniversary of the murder of the most iconic activist in American history.

There is a $170 million gap between what the California State system says they need to be able to offer enrollment to all qualified students and what Governor Jerry Brown`s budget proposes.

"Every year we have about 30,000 students who are Californians, they are eligible to enter the CSU," said California Faculty Association President Jennifer Egan. "They meet all the requirements, they did all the work but there`s no seat for them. And that is due to a continual erosion of state funding and that's the trend we want to see reversed."

Students weren`t just rallying for prospective students Wednesday they were rallying for themselves, fearing they`ll be asked to make up the funding gap with tuition and fee increases.

"What about my food? What about my books?" said California State Northridge student Michelle Aranda. "There's a lot of things that our tuition doesn't account for and continuing to increase our tuition is really putting certain students at a disadvantage. You know there's one in 10 who are homeless and one in five who face food insecurity."

The UC system is in a similar boat, asking for $105 million more than the governor has allocated. The students say they`re doing their part.

"Everyone I know works one to two jobs. I personally work 50 hours a week just to support myself," said Brittany Goss, a student at California State Fullerton.

From the Governor's Mansion to the Capitol, they asked politicians to dig into the proposed $6 billion rainy day fund.

Governor Brown`s allocations amount to a three percent budget increase for the CSU and UC systems. The governor has said the universities don`t need more money, they need to better manage their resources.