By: Emmanuel Alemán Pagán
As the recent news show the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez(UPRM) students recently had two assemblies; One by December 14, 2010 and another one by December 2, 2010. In the First assembly students vote for no strike and not fee, and also give an ultimatum to the administration. In the second assembly students did almost the same with the difference of a walk to Rectory.
After the assemblies student’s big questions came up like: How we are going to press the administration if there’s no strike? “I really didn’t understand the not strike not fee decision, the strike is one of the strongest ways to pressure the administration. How they pretend to eliminate the fee if they don’t fight for it?” said Luis Candelaria. In the other hand he Luis said “If there isn’t more option I would propose a march to the board of trustees because they are the only ones who can remove the fee”.
Students at (UPRM) are still by the date inside the university taking class. This occurs by the so called Central American Games “Centroamericanos”. When the strike began in April 2010 students couldn’t finish their semester until summer except for (UPRM) students. (UPRM) students finish their semester by august because the Central American Games were taking place in the UPRM facilities. “Students vote against the strike without being informed, just thinking that the semester ends in January” said Miguel Angel. “The UPRM students go to those assemblies with the decision already taken (No Strike), they didn’t get informed, they didn’t read the Middle States report” added Miguel.
UPRM students express their feelings Picture taken by Colegge Students In Actions
The Middle States Commission is the institution that gives the accreditation to the UPR system. After the strike of April ended 10 of 11 of the UPR campuses were placed on probation for leadership and governance standard. “The current governance of the institution simply does not work. Is one in which no dialogue between the different constituents” (Middle States Inform). The Middle States Commission reiterated that the strike is not the problem but as the symptom of a much larger problem (Middle States Inform). “The big part of the students at the UPRM votes for no strike also because the possibility that the University closes, nobody wants a diploma from a closed University but nobody get informed neither” said Miguel
The UPR were placed on probation also for the resources standard. The standard requires that the University can demonstrate that they possess the material and financial resources to be able to operate in a predictable manner, medium and long term(Middle State Inform).
The standard of academic offerings was also on probation. In the visit of the Middle States to 10 of the 11 campuses of the UPR system they keep in probation the 10 of the 11 campuses for the leadership and governance standard. “I personally get informed of why the university continued on probation, and I was in favor of the strike but the big majority weren’t” said Juan Alicea.
The Special fee the administration of the UPR system plan to impose consists of $800 per year, per student. The administration plan to impose this fee because of the economic crisis in the UPR system. The UPR system are owed about $231,493,005.92 from different institutions like “Hacienda” who owed 21 percent of that debt (Presentation Fee CRE).
The special fee is one of the main reasons if not the only one for a new strike. Students all over the UPR system are doing their methods of struggle against this imposition. “In my house we are 3 in the UPRM, that would be $800 x 3= $2,400 more per year. We only have the Pell grant which only cover enrollment and apartment” said Miguel.
Cops at the Entrance “Jardin Botanico” ,Picture Taken By College Students In Action
The UPR administration said that at least 50,000 students will pay the special fee of $800 for a total of $40 millions (Presentation Fee CRE).The Other 10,000 or more students will get out of the UPR by the lack of money. “If the special fee is imposed like the administration says in January I couldn’t pay. Maybe if I get a Job or if I get a loan, that isn’t the best option” says Luis Candelaria. The special fee will only cover a 16 percent of the entire deficit
As The Presentation fee CRE shows The UPR will collect $ 40 million from the special fee, but they will lose approximately $8,152,800 or more from students leaving the University. Also the Presentation Fee CRE shows that 65 percent of the sub graduated student recive the Pell grant the other 35 percent don’t get anything. From that 65 percent just 38.1 percent gent the Pell grant entirely. “Fortunately I am part of that little part who received the entire Pell grant, but I dare to say that sometimes it isn’t enough to cover all the fundamental stuff” said Miguel.
Between other ways to solve the deficit the Presentation CRE shows, Include the UPR in tax revenues to cigarettes with a 9.6 percent between other possible solutions. UPRM students as the Different Campuses don’t want the special fee, just fight in different ways.
To: UPR Community
From: UPR Students Inform
Date: December 20, 2010
To the UPR Community
Companions we make this appeal to you as a student of the UPR system to urge you to participate, to get informed, and to organize yourselves. As we have seen in the different assemblies you, the future of Puerto Rico doesn’t get informed. That’s why we urge you to browse through the internet, read newspaper find what is happening in our University.
The recent assemblies show that you people didn’t wanted a strike, but its big majority just went there with their decision already taken and without being informed. The assembly is suppose to inform you students of the current situation.
That’s why I urge you to read the Middle States Inform, go to forums at the UPR expressing your thoughts. The UPR have to be all together to defend what is ours and someday the University of our next generation.
Sit down some day and think of those students who by the date are still fighting for you, for me, for all the UPR community. Those who you people call “Fupistas” because their fight for our rights, those rights the PR governance wants to remove.
Our University is being threatened by the now famous special fee of $800 and the UPRM community is sit down watching the different campuses fighting for what we all should fight together. That’s why I urge you not to fight with us, not to vote in favor of the strike not to stand in front of a gate, just to get inform chose your own decisions but do it consciously