By: Miosotis Acosta
Students from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez campus have had many assemblies in 2010 to discuss many themes including the elimination of tuition waivers,the increase in summer tuition cost, the cut of the university personal and the special student fee. These assemblies were a real discussion topic among students.
One of the assemblies that gathered all UPRM students was held on May 4,2010, in the Darlington building in Mayaguez, P.R. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., students were held almost all day in there.
“That place wasn’t adequate for an assembly, knowing they were expecting a lot of students,” said Ada Sánchez, a second year civil engineering student. Students also supported this comment because of the death of Natalia Sánchez López,a 21 year old student who attended the assembly and died a day later.
In this assembly various university es were discussed. Including the elimination of tuition waivers, the increase in summer tuition cost and the cut in university personal.
Francisco Rosado, a 21year old Finance and Marketing student, said “We need our tuition waivers that’s for some of us our major economic support.” There would be a lot of students affected by this issue, including musicians and athletes.
The increse in summer tuition was another issue for the student at the May assembly. The cost increased from $45 a credit to almost 0 per credit.
This situation affected a lot of students and not all were from the Mayaguez campus. Students assured to the university administration that it was a really high price for one class.
The assembly held in May 2010 had incidents and decisions. Beginning with the death of Natalia and ending with the decision of the university students to begin the indefinite strike.
“I think if the place had been a little more adequate the strik vote had lost. It was an ul place to gather all those people,” said Ada Sánchez. There were no bathrooms, nor food and the drinks were finished really fast.
In comparison to the assembly held in December 2010 the May one was less organized and a lot more aggresive. Students decided to go on strike since the first day.
On December 2,2010, another assembly was held on the Mayagüez campus at the Coliseum Rafael Mangual. About 3,000 students attended and some university personel.
The issues that were discussed included the special fee imposed by the university administration, the problems with the cafeteria and incomplete university reports that were handed in to the university community.
Students from almost all the departments expressed their concerns out loud in front of everyone. They also tried to propose ideas to solve the probls that the university community is facing.
The majority of the students shared a concern with the $800 special fee and know that they don’t want to pay it but also know that they do not want to close the university down. A chemistry student from the UPRM said “We can not allow them to close a single gate,” UPRM facebook page posted on the same date of the assembly.
The assembly began regisn of students at 10:30 a.m. and ended at 2:30 p.m. Making obvious the difference from the first ass that ended aproximately at 5:00 p.m.
“It was more organized, that was why it ended so fast,” said Francisco Rosado. The Student Council and the students knew exactly what they wanted to say and do.
There were various comments of students that ended up as motions, presented for student voting. Some of these motions were not approved by other students and they kept up ma motions after motions.
One of the motions that was presented to the assembly was that the students are not in far with the special fee but they don’t want close the gates. This motions was heard by the students and the Student Council and won by majority vote.
The student Joshua Léon seconded the motion that said hat the administration has to do something about the special fee before Dember 14 and that on that same date another assemblyt be held.
This motion was sent to polling and won. There were 1,840 students in favor of motion and 1,287 against.
When these two ns passed, a Hispanics Studies student presented motion to end the meeting. Almost every tudent present in the Coliseum stood up and voted to end the assembly.