Students from Ventura County's public colleges will hold a march and rally today to protest fee increases proposed by Gov. Pete Wilson for the coming academic year.
They will assemble in the quad area of Ventura College at 3 p.m. and march east on Telegraph Road and south on Victoria Avenue to reach the County Government Center.
There, they will gather at the flagpole and hold a rally. Student speakers are expected to be joined by state and local politicians, including Assemblyman Jack O'Connell (D-Carpinteria), Sen. Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley) and Ventura County Supervisor John K. Flynn, organizer Ricardo Melendez said.
About 300 students from the county's three community colleges and Cal State Northridge's Ventura campus are expected to take part, Melendez said. It is being organized by the Associated Students at CSUN's Ventura campus, he said.
Wilson has proposed a 46% student fee increase in the 21-campus Cal State University system.
If approved, average tuition and fees for one semester would increase from about $760 to $1,110, said Melendez, 39, a student at CSUN in Ventura.
It would be the second year of steep fee hikes and comes as the system is slashing classes and programs to save money, he said.
"This increase is an indication that education has become less of a priority for our system," said Melendez, who is majoring in Chicano studies. "Only so many people will be able to afford to get an education."
The increases would fall hardest on students from traditionally low-income groups, such as minorities, Melendez said.