You might have seen the vague posters and flyers displayed in numerous campus buildings. Posters that said “March 1st, The Oval, 3 p.m., be there.” Not to mention a Facebook group dedicated to the event. March 1 marks the National Day of Action for Education and Occupy Ohio State has organized a rally on education.
Occupy OSU will be holding a rally in an effort to not only participate in the nationwide event, but to raise awareness among students about issues that pertain to them.
“We’re going to be talking about rising tuition, we’re going to talk about lack of transparency within the university as well as many other issues that affect students, but students don’t necessarily have a say in,” Thomas Lee, a recent OSU graduate, told The Lantern.
An employee of the Ohio Student Association, a statewide student organization, Lee said the biggest issue most OSU students face is the cost of tuition.
“Tuition has doubled since the year 2000. It was frozen there a few years under Strickland, it’s going up again now,” Lee said. “What’s even more disturbing is we aren’t getting more for what we’re paying, I mean it is the same education that you got before.”
Also on the agenda is discussing the university’s lack of transparency in the decision making process. Lee said because OSU is a public institution, students and faculty should have a say in what happens.
“President (E. Gordon) Gee, the other administrators and Geoff Chatas, who is our chief financial officer, they need to be held to the same standard that we hold our politicians,” Lee said.
Gee told The Lantern in 2011 that he is a “low-tuition guy.”
“It’s about deregulation. The more that we can control our own agenda, the more ability we have to be able to be fiscally prudent and to be able to generate our own resources,” Gee said. “We are very cognizant of the cost of education. We’re always going to try to be as fair as we can to families.”
Lee encourages students to attend the hour-long rally because it is their futures that are at stake.
“It doesn’t have to be like this, it wasn’t always,” Lee said. “The debt for education model is a new thing, school was relatively much, much cheaper in the 60s and 70s. (It’s a) sort of unintentional situation that we’re in here.”