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UC regents approve fee hike amid loud student protests [Updated]


Amid loud student protests that roiled the UCLA campus, the UC Board of Regents this afternoon approved a 32% increase in student fees.

The fee hike of $2,500, or 32%, will come 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.

Only student regent Jesse Bernal voted against the undergraduate fees.

The noise of protesters came through the window as the regents voted. It was only lightly discussed, with UC President Mark G. Yudof urging that students explore all the financial-aid possibilities so they don’t get scared away or drop out.

Groups of UC students from several other campuses arrived in Westwood to join a 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 who had chained the doors shut shortly after midnight 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.”

[Updated at 1:33 p.m.: As news spread that the regents had approved the increase, hundreds of student protesters gathered in the courtyard outside the building and yelled, “Shame on you! Shame on you!”

After the vote, Jasmine Guerrero, a freshman at UC Santa Barbara, said she feared she would have to drop out of school.

“I can’t afford it,” said Guerrero, who wore a red bandanna across her face. “They (the regents) don’t care. They’re laughing at us.”

Gaby Arita, a senior at UCLA, said she recently lost a $4,000 grant to pay for her final quarter of school and is worried about finding the money to graduate. She said she is working two jobs to pay for her education.

“I’m on my own,” she said. “I can’t ask my family. In this economy, no one is stable.”

Mark Villela, a junior at UCLA, also said he would probably have to drop out of school and attend community college in his hometown of Palmdale.]

-- Larry Gordon and Amina Khan in Westwood

More photos > > >

Audio: Statement from demonstrators

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

Photo: Elliot Goldstein, right, of Berkeley protests for the "future of education" as UC police officers watch the crowd during a regents meeting at UCLA.  Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (193)

(FROM BERKELEY) INFORM YOURSELVES : The 26 UC Regents (not including campus administrators) each earn $500,000-$700,000, and receive CEO “bonuses” (i.e. lavish stipends for living/travel expenses), while most professors in my math department are making $30k per year. The administrators try to operate our University like another Ford Corporation, asking for salary increases each year, while at the same time declaring that the UC system is in a financial crisis.

This is absurd, and if you opt for getting loans, then it only validates this mutation of public education. Loans=Conformity.

I am a current UCSB student and the fee hike is going to seriously hurt my chances of remaining here. As a low-income student, I do not have the ability to ask Mommy and Daddy for money. I pray that the state will somehow compensate some federal funding because a shift to private assistance will hurt the "public" school system.

A higher education should be free to Americans. How we compete with other countries in the sciences, math & engineering.

Yet we still pay billions on warfare. Unbelievable.

It seems the US Government State and FED, values killing people ( for no good reason whatsoever) over education for our future. Horrible.
How they sleep at night I'll never know!

I would just like to say that I am now able to pay a lot of taxes and contribute to the tax base because of the UC System. Stopping education stops future revenues. If you want a state where there is no public higher education, get out of this state and go to a third world nation where they have no education and low or no taxes. If you want to live in a state with prosperity for all, then you have to fund public education. That is the real world.

Every student deserves the same shot I got at getting an education (not just the ones with rich parents). There are some seriously clueless people who think that you can pay that tuition and living expenses on a part-time student job. That is not reality. That is not the real world. Asking students to come up with this type of cash is ludicrous. It is impossible for those struggling to get by right now to pay this type of increase. How many of you would be willing to pay a 45% increase in taxes over the last few years? Well that's the exact tax increase these students are expected to pay now when they have no income.

It is idiotic to tax them now and not after they have obtained good paying jobs when they actually have the ability to pay. The Regents have failed and it is only right that the students hold them accountable to their failure.

The faculty and the administration are just going to pass all the rising costs onto the students. They are not going to even think about cutting back on their sabbaticals, or big pay packages.

The logic is simple: these students are trapped like rats. They will just have to take on more and more debt, hocking their futures, while the UC faculty laugh at them all the way to the bank.

Yet we still pay billions on warfare. Unbelievable.

Posted by: Brian | November 19, 2009 at 01:31 PM

That would be in the Trillions!

As an alumni of UCLA, this enrages me so much. Pretty soon the cost of going to a UC school is going to be the same as a private school.

The U.C. regents earn nothing.

" The UC regents are not paid for their 12-year appointments, but
receive compensation for their travel expenses to attend the meetings.
All of the regents hold other jobs, including heading major
corporations such as Blum Capital Partners and Paramount Pictures."
source: The California Aggie, 8/23/04

From the University of California bylaws:

"BYLAW 8. Special Provisions Relating to Regents
8.1 Compensation of Regents.
No Regent shall receive salary or other compensation for services as
a Regent nor shall any Regent other than the President of the
University be eligible for appointment to any position in connection
with the University for which a salary or other compensation is paid,
provided, however, that the student Regent shall not be deemed
ineligible for part-time compensated University employment. A Regent
may be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred by reason of attendance
at any meeting of the Board or a Committee thereof or in the
performance of other official business of the Corporation. Members of
the Board of Regents serving as representatives of The Regents of the
University of California to the California Postsecondary Education
Commission may receive stipends as provided by law for attending
meetings of the Commission or of its committees or subcommittees."

undergrad university education is all BUSINESS BUSINESS BUSINESS! as I suspect post-grad is as well. we have the Kelly School of Business here and you should see the slime balls this place rolls out. I'm in my last semester as an undergraduate (not in the buSINess school) and can not believe I stayed through the whole process in the perpetuation of AMERICAN'S CLASS SYSTEM.

undergrad university education is all BUSINESS BUSINESS BUSINESS! as I suspect post-grad is as well. we have the Kelly School of Business here and you should see the slime balls this place rolls out. I'm in my last semester as an undergraduate (not in the buSINess school) and can not believe I stayed through the whole process in the perpetuation of AMERICAN'S CLASS SYSTEM.

I think UC tuition should be sky-high. The time has come to stop dependence on taxpayer dollars and make people bear the cost of educating themselves. The lesson here is that there is no "free lunch" in this country and people should stop expecting others to take care of them. Individualism is what this country was founded upon, and it is time to return to traditional values, rather than escalate the amazingly large programs of social welfare that make it more expensive for everybody to live in California.

Hey UCSB student,

If you are so "poor" and all the student loans and grants you recieve on the tax payer dime isn't enough...why are you going to school in one of the most expensive places to live in California or the USA for that matter? Go to Cal St. Bakersfield and quit your excessive whining that other people arn't paying enough for your education.

Also a "free" education for all Americans...well maybe for those who are math or science majors, but not for lame soft science degrees with add nothing to inovation or the economy, i.e. gender or ethnic studies!

Thank you for posting that information, Xavier! If that doesn't shed any sort of light on the situation, I don't know what would. I'm a UC alumn (class of '08). I got out just in time to beat these hikes.

But it is ridiculous what the Regents are doing. If they care so much about higher education, they should be taking a pay cut. Or, maybe the number of regents should be lowered? Lose 2 of them, how much money would that save UCs? But I do agree that this is a state issue as well.

Start prioritizing our education!

this is really funny stuff. why aren't these kids protesting the war? no they protest having to pay their fair share of the burden we all face...bloated government with bloated government payrolls and fat overpaid government workers. they should be protesting our fat pensions and salaries of lazy government workers like the DWP pensions that equal hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. what a bunch of idiots...protest the war...protest the things that will make a difference instead of your low tuition at the big U!

As a chicano/chomarron poet in this nation, I feel that we the indigenous people of the city should drop our anchor babies, and blog post, and stand up like real gauchos in our world. I come from a small island that you people have ruined now you take away my chance to shine as a chapbook poet. Hdede

Very dissapointing that the students can no receive the support they need. Instead they are taking so much away from us, and our chances to bring foward this country.

I really feel let down by our educational system... Some many students with all the drive in the world,and the potential, will simply not be able to move foward with their educational goals for these fees increases. I'm sure they were so many options out there....

Hmmm... I think this situation is unfortunate but I wouldn't be surprised if most of these students have partaken of the "cool-aid" that got us into this mess in the first place (massive well-fair programs w/o accountability). Maybe we'll get a new wave of fiscal conservatives after they rethink their political ideology.

brixton77 - the faculty has nothing to do with this.

faculty makes a fraction of what the Regents are making. second point - no one is taking sabbatical, and most faculty are fleeing the UC system. non-tenure faculty are going to slowly get cut. why would any bright young faculty member stick around when they know the ax is going to drop?

in the end, the students suffer. not only will UC and CSU be more expensive, but they will be harder to get into, there will be larger classes, and less engaging faculty members. the state should be ashamed for treating their future this way.

Actually they don't make as much as Xavier says and they don't receive "CEO bonuses"... Perhaps you were referring to the way GM runs since they had to be taken over by the government, their problem wasn't CEO pay though, it was the pay of your average Joe working because of Union issues.

Back to the subject, it's not really greed that drives fee hikes. Take a look at their campus facilities, technology, and workforce required to run it. If they scaled back there wouldn't be an issue. Take a closer look at the break down of the fees and you'll see what I'm talking about. "administration" is not a large chunk of fees, it's the parking lot, the extra curricular activity, and etc... at my university I've tried to push for not having to pay for extra curricular activities that I'm not involved in. Their(administration) retort is that not as many students would get involved on campus if they had to pay for it outside of fees. Personally I think they should since I don't involve myself in anything but classes... I don't even use the parking lot which I pay about $100 a semester in fees for.

I don't know why people keep posting about having rich parents to go to school. My parents were middle class, far from rich, and I was able to go to a private university. Granted, I did take some loans, but if you have decent SATs and grades, these schools want you to go their school and will do whatever they can to help you out financially besides just loans, at least that was my experience and I'm only 31, so it was not too long ago.

Watchdog - obviously not much of a watchdog! The entire point is that the "u" no longer has "low tuition." This fee hike amounts to the privatization of public education. The same way a BS politician is bought/sold by private corporations, so the "public" universities of California are becoming part of a corporate shell game.

Simple, everybody stop going. Sacrifice a couple of semesters and let these b*stards choke on their increase, see what happens by then. A year from now don't be surprised if these devils raise it another 20%.

Nothing in life is free. The state is broke. Taxpayers have had enough of footing the bill for every social program under the sun. If I can balance my budget the state should be held accountable to do the same.

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