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DePaul University students protest proposed tuition hike

Protesters exit executive offices DePaul University  located 55 East JacksBoulevard Wednesday evening after trying meet with executive officers. Thursday

Protesters exit the executive offices of DePaul University located at 55 East Jackson Boulevard Wednesday evening after trying to meet with executive officers. Thursday, March 1, 2012. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: March 2, 2012 1:13AM

About 20 DePaul University students protesting a proposed tuition hike were holed up on the 22nd floor outside the president of the institution’s downtown office for about five hours Thursday.

But by about 8:30 p.m., the students had decided to leave the building at 55 East Jackson, said Robin Florzak, a DePaul spokeswoman.

The students had a range of demands, including wanting a public forum to discuss the tuition hike, which is expected to come up for discussion Saturday during a meeting of DePaul’s board of trustees.

“It will make or break students,” said protester Amanda Walsh, 21, who is studying women and gender issues. “But the bigger issue here is (administrators) are not including the students in the discussion. They’re undemocratically making decisions for us.”

The students did meet with President Dennis Holtschneider Friday afternoon but they apparently came away unconvinced he would support their demands.

“I was not impressed,” said protester Dan Rosiak. “He was rather condescending.”

Rosiak, who was one of the students occupying the downtown office, said he and the other protesters decided to leave and regroup on campus Friday.

Florzak said the proposed tuition hike is roughly equivalent to the rate of inflation. She also said next year’s budget includes a 11.5 percent bump from this year in student financial aid.

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