In the wake of this past week’s decision by the California State University (CSU) system to raise tuition, the CSU Monterey Bay (CSUMB) Associated Students (AS) president says the organization is “extremely disappointed” but has pledged to continue to advocate for students.
“I personally felt extremely defeated,” said AS President Katie Scariot. “… and then I kind of pulled myself together and found out what our next steps are to make sure our students are best prepared.”
Scariot attended the Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach on Sept. 13, where the CSU system approved a 6% annual tuition increase, against the wishes of the student officials present.
“I think it’s providing more fire behind us,” Scariot said. “I think that we all recognize that this is an issue, and an issue we truly do care about. It’s providing us with the opportunity to advocate even more on behalf of students and get into more difficult conversations with the administration and start holding them accountable.
“The AS is ready to take action. As everyone knows, everything takes time at CSUMB so we had to give AS and our campus partners enough time before we hold our town hall,” Scariot shared. The town hall is set to take place on Sept. 27, and is meant to be a resource for students. Scariot advised that the town hall is to “remind [students] we are here to support each other.”
Despite the tuition increase, AS is still hosting events for students; the next big one being the Reunion and Family Tradition (RAFT) week from Oct. 13-15.
“One of our biggest events being MB Madness, which is like our annual homecoming. I heard yesterday about some exciting things that they’re going to have at the event,” shared Scariot.
There will also be a brand new event taking place this year which is Monte’s 5K, where students will be running 5 kilometers around campus.
The AS president promises that everyone will be able to join in on the run. “We’re anticipating a pretty big turnout, so hopefully everyone can kind of run, or walk together through the course. It’s like a race, but not a race … It’s supposed to be a lot of fun!”
“[RAFT week] is going to be a jam packed weekend. Definitely bring your friends and family. This is an opportunity to really engage with them and show them the campus that you’re a part of,” said Scariot.
This semester AS wants to shift focus to experiences that provide the students with events that give them a different perspective. Scariot describes it as events “that aren’t just advocacy based, but rather make their college a holistic experience. [Students will have] that fun aspect but also the aspect of ‘let’s actually come together and advocate for important things that are actually affecting us.’ ”
Scariot assures that AS wants to approach students in an engaging manner, and that their Instagram (AS_CSUMB) is the place to find all the information students might need.
“Students can always DM us. I was the previous AS marketing specialist so if I didn’t know the answer to a question, I would directly ask my supervisor. If you don’t get a response, remember it’s a student that’s behind that.”
Scariot also highlights the linktree found in the AS Instagram bio. “We have a dropbox where you can also ask questions, and voice your concerns. Elections Commissioner Cody Storms spearheaded that. They have been trying really hard to make sure students’ voices are actually heard.”
Should students wish to get more involved in AS, there are open positions for the College of Business senator and vice president of external affairs. “The vice president can come with me to the California State Student Association (CSSA) and help advocate on behalf of our students,” Scariot shared.
There is also a senate meeting every Monday at noon in room 1180 of the Tanimura and Antle Memorial Library. “There’s the option to speak at public comment. You’ll be able to hear what AS is doing, what we’re focusing on and special presentations that are happening,” said Scariot. “We highly encourage students to come and participate, or even just sit and listen.”