Last Tuesday night, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) held a live Web cast with student representatives from the University of California, California State University and California Community College systems.

There was a pre-recorded “day in the life” segment of students within the public higher education system and the impact of the fee increases. Steinberg discussed the state of the education system in California before opening the discussion up to comments submitted online by viewers.

Steinberg; Reid Milburn, president of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges; Roberto C. Torres, president of Associated Students, Inc. at CSU Sacramento and Victor Sanchez, external vice chair for Student Union Assembly for the University of California system, all answered the students sent in by viewers.

The event, titled “A Statewide Conversation: Student Fees in Higher Education,” aimed to involve anyone interested in the topic and to spark discussion about the fees in California’s education system.

One question asked if students are paying more for the system and if they should they have more representation in the system. Sanchez compared it to taxation and said, “You can’t have taxation without representation.”

Torres said students have the ability to influence change on their campuses if they unite.

“The most important thing is that students get involved on campus,” Torres said. “We are only as strong as how we work together.”

Steinberg said students need to do three things to make change in the education system in California: educate themselves about the choices, be consistent about advocating and show up everywhere.

“The students of California have incredible power,” Steinberg said.

Any questions sent in and not answered on the Web cast will be answered by e-mail as part of the guarantee to answer all questions.

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