Students march with tuition petition for Machen
Students march in protest against block tuition by marching from Turlington Plaza to the front steps of Tigert Hall on Wednesday afternoon. Danica Spears, Alligator

About 70 students chanted and marched with signs from Turlington Plaza to Tigert Hall on Wednesday to protest the administration’s block tuition proposals.

Block tuition, which would charge students a flat fee equivalent to the cost of 15 credit hours, is currently being discussed to be implemented as early as fall 2011, said UF Provost Joe Glover.

The students stood in front of Tigert Hall while members of Students for a Democratic Society addressed the crowd.

“They’ve got us by our wallets, and they know they can do these kinds of things to us,” said Jose Soto, a member of the group.

The protesters handed a petition with 750 signatures to Mary Carodine, assistant vice president of student affairs, who promised to deliver the petitions to UF President Bernie Machen.
Following the rally, three of the protesters, Dave Schneider, Jose Soto and Diana Moreno, were able to meet with Glover.

Schneider said the meeting went well and the protesters achieved their aim of opening a dialogue between the students and administration on the issue.

However, Schneider was disappointed with the administration’s stance.

“It really became clear throughout the entire meeting with him how different the administration’s interests and the students’ interests are on the issue of block tuition,” he said.

The Board of Trustees will vote on block tuition Dec. 9. Schneider, who organized Wednesday’s protest, plans to organize another rally that day.