College tuition started to rise from 1978 into the 21st century, making college unaffordable for most students. To survive, college students frequently requested for subsidized loans from the government, but when that wasn’t enough they had to receive private loans with high interest rates. In 2014, the tuition and book prices were at an all-time high of an increase of 618% from 1978. In particular, SJSU (San Jose State University) students had enough of it. In 2015, students from all departments started to form a group to prepare for the day of protest in 2016; they called themselves the BSA (Broke Students Alliance).
The BSA was first started by Business student who called himself, Hungry; his real name was never disclosed. Through the leadership of Hungry, BSA gained 99% of students attending SJSU to join and protest for lower tuition. Hungry established many movements to protest against high tuition which included; The March of Boccardo, Yoshiro Campaign, and the Spartan Stand.
Most commonly used tactics of BSA included; marching through the center of the school, picketing in front of Boccardo building, and boycotting against the book store. Their unique tactic against the bookstore was to show students the cheaper options instead of buying from the bookstore. The bookstore took a huge loss of revenue as demand started to fall gradually. Many BSA members also supplied simple school supplies like paper and pencils to give out to students that were planning to buy. BSA’s form of communication to organize these protests included the use of social media website, Facebook. Through successful communication BSA were able to protest, causing the campus to be a catalyst of their anger of tuition.
February 25, 2015
The March of Boccardo was the most successful to this day. Students gathered throughout the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floor of the building marching in sync and silence wearing combat boots. The sounds of 700 boots stomping the floor could be heard from the Student Union, raising morale for other BSA members to join outside of the building. Many classes were disturbed and had to be cancelled due to the protest.
December 3, 2015
During finals of Fall 2015, BSA gathered to recruit for their belief of lower tuition by setting up tents throughout campus giving motivating speeches to their fellow students who were stressed about finals and gave out free BSA pins for students to show their support.
February 25, 2016
Marks the anniversary of their first movement and is the date of their last protest. The Spartan Stand protest was the last of protests for BSA. BSA members, 99% of the students attending SJSU, stood throughout the school singing the BSA anthem. A surprise to most, there were staff members including professor and deans who also attending this movement.
After many movements, their voice has been heard by the administrative staff that handles tuition prices for SJSU. Tuition prices at SJSU dropped 20% after 6 months of the Spartan Stand and many students and students to-be were extremely satisfied. Today BSA stands as a legacy to all college students; they have inspired many throughout the country to stand up for tuition fees.