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Hundreds rally at UCLA to protest expected 32% increase in student fees

A second day of protests roiled the UCLA campus today as the UC regents prepared to approve a 32% increase in student fees.

Groups of UC students from several other campuses arrived in Westwood to join a noisy demonstration against the fee hike, and a group of protesters was occupying a UCLA classroom building.

UCLA officials declared  Campbell Hall, where the sit-in continued, closed for the day. Inside, about 40 to 50 students had chained the doors shut shortly after midnight and were issuing e-mail statements.

“We choose to fight back, to resist, where we find ourselves, the place where we live and work, our university,” their statement said. Campus police surrounded the classroom building, but no arrests were made.

Meanwhile, across campus, a crowd of several hundred gathered outside Covel Commons, where the regents were meeting.  Students and UC employees chanted such slogans as “Whose university? Our university!”

Among them was Tommy Le, a fourth-year student at UC Santa Cruz, who left his campus at 3 a.m. today in a convoy of two buses headed south. Le, 21, an American studies major from El Monte, said he was worried about how he being able to afford the higher charges, starting with an additional $585 for the rest of the school year.

“It’s adding more stress and more burden,” said Le, who said he works two part-time jobs and sends.money home to help his family. The fee increase, he said, would be “a lose-lose situation.”

The full Board of Regents is expected to approve a fee hike of $2,500, or 32%, in two steps by next fall. That would bring the basic UC education fees to about $10,300, plus about another $1,000 for campus-based charges, for a total that would be about triple the UC cost a decade ago. Room, board and books can add another $16,000.

-- Larry Gordon

Photo: Chanel Nealon, center left, and Hyacinth Noble join other UCLA students, faculty and workers in a demonstration at UCLA's Covel Commons to protest fee increases that are expected to be approved today by the UC Board of Regents. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

More photos > > >

Audio: Statement from demonstrators

Audio: Charles Alexande, UCLA Vice Provost for Student Diversity and Director of Academic Advancement Program

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Comments () | Archives (45)

wow. people taking action. looks good. keep it up ! woo !

Why aren't there more Caucasians protesting?

Did they head for the beach?

Si Se Puede!

"Convoy" of *2* buses?

This is sick. Where are our skilled workers and future tax dollar going to come from if regular people's kids cannot afford college? My tuition at UC was $250 a quarter for undergraduate and $1,300 a semester for law school. I cleaned toilets, never had a student loan, and the State of California has received far far more from me in taxes than it contibuted for my education due to the higher salary that education allowed me to earn.

There's one simple answer for California's problems. RAISE TAXES. And stop this idiotic proposition process unless each one has a concurrent tax raise attached to pay. You want to put a guy in prison for life for stealing a pizza - then PAY FOR IT. You want to let J.G. Wentworth to buy that crippled kid's annuity for 10 cents on the dollar so he has to go on welfare when he runs out of money, then recognize there is a cost. We have to GROW UP, not have tea parties with our buddies dressed up in cutesy little costumes.

Listen up, UC students. I'm about to lose my job and I'm close to losing my house. Do you want me to sell my 10-year old car so that I can pay for your incredibly cheap tuition?

Who taught these people that they were entitled to free (or unreasonably cheap) stuff in life?

How about we stop financing foreign nationals not in this country legally and see if that helps out with this budget mess before we start cutting jobs and education for people who have obeyed the laws of the state and country. How much do you think 30 years of not paying attention to the illegal immigrant wave coming across the border has cost us? Probably about $10,000 a student. And yet this issue doesn't get even a minute of airplay. Unbelievable.

Lots of bloated bureaucrats and special interest take PRIORITY; and we KNOW (reading the LA Times) too many illegals are getting kidney transplants and dialysis, while US CITIZENS are getting the UC shaft...for more CASH!! Next, we'll hear from UC saying they'll 'increase student aid' after robbing ALL the students and their parents. Seems that CA taxpayers/parents and students have some real issues to think about; how their former VOTING PATTERNS have brought them here, to this politically corrupt quagmire.

they should expel all of them esp the ones wearing masks. why are they wearing masks?? bunch of hodlums.

There all laughing and smiling while they protest? Again, their hearts are not in it and they are just using it as an excuse to be rebels. Go to class, get your degree, and get a job and start being a productive citizen and improving the economy.

I would like to know why? Give me Ten I said Ten reasons for raising the student fees. Sure money can be rasised either through cutting costs or looking for more ways to rais funds through contributions.

Have you looked at cutting support services? Have you looked at cutting consumables? Have you looked at the various schools involving science and technology to see how energy costs can be cut. Have you looked at technolgy at the schools to increase new sources for water and power?

Have you looked at raising fees for only non California residents? What about increasing fees for foreign students?

California High School Students should not have any fee increases.

A thirty-two percent increase? That sounds very excessive. The State of California is being run into the ground. The politicians keep spending and spending and will not face reality. The reality is to cut spending and services. I fear for my State and country.

This state is bankrupt! Your FREE education ended at High School. You want to be treated like an adult, act like one and PAY YOUR OWN WAY. The UC system already subsidizes your education with fees below their cost. What you want is continuing "Student Welfare" on the backs of us Tax Payers; go to a cheaper collage or to a Cal State like my kids. But NO, you want caviar education paid by others. GROW UP!

You can always raise taxes and chase more people out of the state. That would really help the schools.

IF UC wants to save some money...get rid of the worthless soft-science degrees such as gender and ethnic studies and make those profesors get real jobs instead of pusing their anti-American rants on the tax payer dime!

Get over it. Worthless protests...its gonna happen anyway. Hey Tommy Le from Santa Cruz...studying "American Studies"...you better accept these fee increases with open arms. Without them, programs will start getting cut and i guarantee "American Studies" (whatever that is) will be among the first to go. Do you guys want college? Then shut up and research how to get financial aid. Also, aren't you supposed to be in class?

Whine whine whine....

The local podunk community college here runs students around $6000 in tuition. Compared to UILA, it has 1/100th the educational resources (libraries, computers, labs, 1/50th the amenities (gyms, pools, student acitivities) and an absolutely horrible, beyond belief-terrible, academic reputation.

It costs around $24,000 in tuition, books and fees in this state for in-state students to attend a no-name state cow college.

If they want to go to attend a university with a top flight reputation that is located in one of th emost expensive states (and cities) in the US, they are going to have to pay.

And yes, it is important how much it costs to live in those areas as the staff ahs to be paid enough that they can afford to live there.

Wonder how many of the parents of these 'protestors' are rabidly anti-tax, fervently pro-Proposition 13 and whine endlessly -and incorrectly - that they 'pay the highest taxes in the US'?

No wonder California is broke. The "We want this and We want that and We will be damned if We will actually pay the real cost in fees or taxes" is finally catching up with the state.

Students may have to cut down on cell phone and internet expenses, stereos for their cars, alcohol consumption and vacations during spring break. I wonder if American Studies is a good investment of that student's money. Where do you get a job with that major?

Whoever voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger last time you needed to ask him about this. He needs to be impeached and kicked out of the office because he does not know what he is doing. He does not care about you or Californians, he got so much money that his kids will be well taking care of no matter how much the tuition fees are raised.

I agree with the students, the fee hikes are a horrible thing. Plenty of students will no longer be able to afford a UC education.

But the thing is, did they offer any alternatives to the hikes? For example, cheaper ways to do business, cuts in staff/instructors/admin, 6 or 7 day school weeks, 12 week semesters, etc. Education isn't free, someone has to pay. If it isn't the students, and the state says it doesn't have the money, then how do you close the gap? It won't get done with sit-ins and marches.

UCLA Protestors Holding Campbell Hall Issue Statement :

On 19 November at approximately 12:30 students occupied Campbell Hall at UCLA. The time has come for us to make a statement and issue our demands. In response to this injunction we say: we will ask nothing. We will demand nothing. We will take, we will occupy. We have to learn not to tip toe through a space which ought by right to belong to everyone.

We are under no illusions. The UC Regents will vote the budget cuts and raise student fees. The profoundly undemocratic nature of their decision making process, and their indifference to the plight of those who struggle to afford an education or keep their jobs, can come as no surprise.

We know the crisis is systemic - and that it reaches beyond the Regents, beyond the criminal budget cuts in Sacremento, beyond the economic crisis, to the very foundations of our society. But we also know that the enormity of the problem is just as often an excuse for doing nothing.

We choose to fight back, to resist, where we find ourselves, the place where we live and work, our university.

We therefore ask that those who share in our struggle lend us not only their sympathy but their active support. For those students who work two or three jobs while going to school, to those parents for whom the violation of the UC charter means the prospect of affordable education remains out of reach, to laid off teachers, lecturers, to students turned away, to workers who've seen the value of their diplomas evaporate in an economy that 'grows' without producing jobs - to all these people and more besides, we say that our struggle is your struggle, that an alternative is possible if you have the courage to seize it.

We are determined that the struggle should spread. That is the condition in which the realization of our demands becomes possible.

To our peaceful demonstration, to our occupation of our own university, we know the Univeristy will respond with the full force of the police at its command. We hear the helicoptors circle above us. We intend to learn and to teach t

These protesters are a bunch of whiny babies. The cost of a college education in California is significantly lower than the national average. Get over yourselves and pay up. You do not deserve an education for less than what others are paying in other states. The state of California owes you NOTHING!

No one said college is cheap. Deal with it. Arrest the kids !

You go students! Don't let the politicians keep fat paydays and pensions on your backs. Fight back for your rights to an affordable education.

Any...ya know, rationale here?

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