Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/29/2012 03:53:26 PM PDT

Cal State San Bernardino student Natalie Dorado and 12 students from other state university campuses plan to go on a hunger strike Wednesday until university officials discuss freezing tuition, reducing administrators’ compensation and other demands.

The students will only consume fluids from then until members of the California State University board of trustees meet with the students and seriously consider four demands that Students for Quality Education said they first made March 20, leaders of the student union said.

“We’re striking until they meet with us to discuss these demands and provide legitimate feedback,” said Dorado, 22, student intern for the CSUSB chapter of Students for Quality Education. “We want a meeting that has substance – we don’t want a meeting where they listen to us and nod their heads.

“I’m definitely optimistic they’ll see these are good changes.”

The university system is suffering from a loss of state funding, but the proposed solutions demonstrate poor understanding of the situation, said Mike Uhlenkamp, spokesman for the Chancellor’s Office.

“We’re advocating for re-investment by the state in higher education, and we will do so next week in Sacramento,” Uhlenkamp said Friday. “Tuition increases are a direct reflection of what happens with the budget.”

The student union, which is affiliated with the California Faculty Association but said it is acting independently, lists four demands for the 23 Cal State campuses:

A five-year moratorium on fee increases.

Eliminate housing and car allowances.

Reduce administration and executive salaries to 1999 levels.

Remove all restrictions to free speech on campus.

The free speech restrictions, which involve a one-hour limit on “sound” during protests and a 30-minute limit to the public comment period at state trustee meetings, weren’t problems at the Inland Empire’s two CSU campuses, leaders there said.

But Dorado’s brother, Daniel, the student intern for the Cal Poly Pomona chapter of SQE, said he supported the four demands as a first step and a symbol.

“We want to see action – we want to see change,” he said. “We’re not waiting for them to mull it over. This isn’t something to take lightly.”

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