CSU funding cut amidst global pandemic

Ethan Alonzo, Editor-In-Chief

As the lifestyles of shelter in place and self-quarantine are becoming the new normal day-to-day, the question we now ask every day has changed. The question is not what has COVID-19 affected but rather what hasn’t COVID-19 affected? Businesses have been permanently shut down, almost 43 million Americans have filed for unemployment, and the economy has yet to recover from major losses. Now, while the country opens back up in an effort to get our lives back to normal and to regulate the economy, there is still one aspect that we haven’t figured out how to fix: the California State University and the University of California systems.
Near the beginning of the shelters in place, people wondered how would COVID-19 affect colleges, as they moved to online classes. When students were used to in-person classes and now had to transition to online only. Also, how would admission work with everyone working on their laptops? The higher education system was fast to jump onto the online transition wave without solutions for those students who lacked the tools such as a steady internet connection and a laptop or computer of their own to handle the workload.
Now the CSU and UC systems are facing a bigger issue, the loss of funding. These systems will lose roughly ten percent of their overall funding cutting budgets heavily, according to The Sacramento Bee.
While funding for all California colleges drops down to $16.3 billion, including the UC and CSU systems and countless community colleges respectively, the systems they have in place are the ones that suffer. For example, summer financial aid would be reduced by $6 million for CSUs.
Since universities had to close their campuses in an effort to avoid the spread of COVID-19 to their students and faculty, refunds were sent out for those students who were living on campus as well as parking permits. However, some believe the refunds should have extended to tuition as well.
Currently, the CSU system is facing two lawsuits regarding refunds. “As of June 5, 2020, two lawsuits have actually been filed with the possibility of four additional lawsuits in the future,” according to a notice sent out to CSUEB faculty.
The basis of the lawsuits surround the transitions to online classes. Campus activities were also put on hold, and as tuition funds said activities, students are requesting refunds for the tuition fees sent to said activities.
The cases are still under review and the CSU will not be providing anything in terms of a refund until their attorneys have properly reviewed both cases.