UC Regents committee approves student fee increases; at least 14 protesters arrested at meeting at UCLA
A University of California Board of Regents committee today approved a series of controversial increases in student fees that, if passed by the full board, will raise UC undergraduate education costs by more than $2,500, or 32%, in two steps by fall 2010.
The finance committee vote is expected to be endorsed by the full Board of Regents on Thursday. The two-day meeting is being held at UCLA, where today's session has been marked by raucous protests with at least 14 arrests.
The first step of the fee hike, costing undergraduates an additional $585, will take effect in January. Next fall, students will see another $1,344 increase, bringing the UC education fees to $10,302, along with about $1,000 in campus-based charges. That does not include room, board and books, which can add another $16,000.
Demonstrations broke out inside the meeting hall at UCLA's Covel Commons soon after the meeting began this morning. A presentation on the budget and fee increase proposal by UC President Mark Yudof was interrupted. Police cleared the public from the hall but a group of protesters refused to leave, standing and singing “We Shall Overcome.”
They were escorted out and handcuffed and police said they would be cited for misdemeanor unlawful assembly. It was not clear whether they were students.
Outside the hall, meanwhile, an estimated 300 students and union activists faced off against a large contingent of UC police in riot gear and carrying non-lethal weapons. At one point, bottles were thrown and police pushed the crowd away from the front door. There were no reports of serious injuries or additional arrests beyond the 14 people arrested inside.
-- Larry Gordon at UCLA
Photo: UCLA students, from left, Frances Clark, 20, a history major, and Amanda Bahamonde, 20, a biology student, protest student fee hikes today at UCLA. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times.
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