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

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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)

hey someone needs to pay for those liberal arts classes. Where else could those professors make a living.

to chris...i am the watchdog
i pay more for my 11 year old to go to private school here in LA than students pay for tuition at the big U. i am a grad of UCLA...so don't tell me about how the public U is going all corporate. face reality chris...if you can't afford it...you shouldn't get it. look at our troubles right now...that's right...right now. the state is bankrupt....the idiots who thought they could afford houses are finding out exactly what a mortgage means...if you don't pay...you can't play. yeah...education is expensive, but why should i subsidize your education. look at our schools...i wouldn't send my kid to public school (K-12) due to the penalty that the kid would have to pay...do what's right and reduce government...reduce taxes...lower the pay of all government workers by 50% as a start...bloated government doesn't solve any problems...they only create problems...like anchor babies and exploding illegal immigration with the free ride...free welfare...free healthcare...somebody has to pay!!!

As written by "Joe:" "Individualism is what this country was founded upon...." Incorrect. Democracy is not about individualism. It is about an informed community of citizens making collective decisions to benefit the greater good. That is is the idea, anyhow.

Joe did not do a very good job of paying attention in class. Or he is simply ignorant and receives his education from Oxycontin Limbaugh or Mister Bottle Beck. If Joe wants to live a life based on true "individualism," he should move to a shack in the Amazon to see how long he lasts and leave civilization to the rest of us.

Welcome to liberal California kids!

This is your first real-life lesson: NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING is free.

Wait until you get your health insurance bill or pay the fine, whether or not you can find a job in this liberal mess of a state.

As a former UC student and a current Private school grad student I feel the need to express some opinion. For all those who say they cannot ask their parents for money I sympathize. I too was one of those students. I however did not let it stop me. I at one point had 3 jobs as an undergrad working over 40 hours a week. I worked my butt off and worked the system. I knew where all the free resources like printing and books were and how to get my hands on them. However, despite all the hard work. i still ended up making about $12,000 a year. Barely enough to cover my tuition and personal expenses. For 3 of my 5 years as an undergraduate I lived at home and commuted 35 miles round trip to school and work. It was a very tough long way and I made it. Even writing this makes me emotional because I know how hard it was.

I am a first generation American and first generation college student. I am a proud Latina working towards a career in Education because I believe our state and country can do better than this.

I graduated with about $30,000 worth of loans, which included the money I borrowed to study abroad. I must say, this is still VERY cheap considering I would have that much debt from just one year had I went to a school like USC.

HOWEVER, despite my ranting and raving I believe that there are definitely ways to cut back. For example, pay cuts!!! ALL AROUND!!!!!! Also, in addition to the "hiring-freeze" they also need to do "construction-freeze". the university I attended just recently remodeled their gym and replaced every single piece of gym equipment, regardless if they were broken. This seems very lavish to me considering the budget cuts. there is even a brand new copper cast park bench in the middle of our student center with a bronze cast mascot sitting with a laptop. Perfect picture place I'm sure but are they serious? Is that really necessary? At a university?

I think that students do need to understand that working is a necessary part of undergraduate life but even in this economy a part time job is hard to come by. Work for what you can but don't charge the students so much that they graduate with an immense amount of debt, they will starting turning to the private schools. It's the same price right?

I think it would be more useful to protest in Sacramento. The Regents are trying to deal with the state's budget issues. They're proposing the student fee hikes because the legislature drastically reduced the funding for the UC system. I wonder if all these students voted for those pro-education propositions last year.

I watched the "parade" walk around the campus today. Lots of young people, hopefully all were students, some were local, and others coming to join in the melee and display their "solidarity" from other campuses, and maybe from elsewhere too.

I wondered what the ethnic proportions might be as the news photos available for display at this time shows mostly afro-american women in foreground, with others in background.

Since UCLA is hugely known to consist of asian-american students ,it would be logical to assume that a large portion of protesters about anything would the same ethnic grouping, no ?

Not so visibly. It appeared to be majority brown-ethnic-groups,also mixed heritage people probably, with most or many "latino"-american, afro-american, and some fewer euro-americans and very very few asian-american... based on what could be seen by visual appearances.

Sure eyes lie and deceive. But statistics are sometimes relevant and accurate, but not always as honest as actual perceptions of a person being "here". So there is a big discrepancy of who was there and who is the majority of the student population at UCLA.

These are statics I could find for now. There may be better ones elsewhere to clarify who was at this university-fee- protest or walk or parade or display, whatever word fits the viewpoint you hold:

from google & from : http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/ucla-admits-12-098-freshmen-students-87095.aspx

"Of the students admitted, 2,137, or 18.6 percent, are underrepresented minorities, including

407 African Americans (3.5 percent),

1,675 Latinos/Chicanos (14.6 percent)

and 55 Native Americans (0.5 percent)

[snip]

In other ethnic categories, admitted 2009 freshmen included

4,893 Asian Americans (42.7 percent)

and 3,677 whites/Caucasians (32.1 percent)

Additional categories included 156 freshmen who described themselves as "other" (1.4 percent)

and 605 whose ethnicity is unknown (5.3 percent)

Also, 630 international students were admitted. ..."

So that is 42.7% asian-americans, which is a large enough marjority , who were under-represented were they ?

Maybe later the police or other video tapes should show more clearly , who actually is willing to "march" [a military term ? ] and shout and hold up signs and then go back to their classes... without more exciting news-"worthy" drama or must-see-violence [ it sells well as news ].

Who frames the news pictures we now see ?
Who choses which group seems to be at the head of the line of students 'protesting' ?
Who does not mention the dis-proportion of those that may be most affected by fee escalations, or those objecting and displaying their concerns?
Why is there no mention to compare the population groups who are not visibly or voicing their concerns as openly or as much ?
Why is this part of this story not explored, explained, revealed ?

While many decry that they have to now pay more for this UC 'good' education, -maybe better than many youth have available in other parts of this USA who do not have easy access to our multiple universities, are wishing they could have what is coming here, even at the higher price...

and it may be that everyone, including UCLA students who dont have wealthy-enough parents or families, those that have to do More to get that desirable degree will find a way to get that prime education here...

In other not-so-long-ago times university students did not get as high grade point averages but they worked long hard boring hours at menial jobs ...just to save up Before going to college or any university...and many had to take out family or neighborhood loans instead of bank or credit card ones.

The 'entitled-ment' expressed by those who Expect and Demand to have what they assume was forever promised to Them, but that was not available in earlier times, or in other places even in this country, may be a bit self-serving. Or demanding more than is their actual due.

By chance, this very morning I encountered a student named David entering this university - who spent the last 2 years outside of school - working and saving - and he has just returned here to UCLA to pay his own tuition- without financial aid or family assistance. I was truly impressed !

Now, this is a person who will surely make it in life ... not just at UCLA, but anywhere he decides to dedicate himself to working and learning.

That sense of self-responsibility is around... but is less often found in student and youth - labeled as 'this generation XYZ'...and this age group assumes itself to be more Deserving than others or more than most of the entire world experiences daily.

Why bemoan increase in the student fees only - when there are so many others who cannot pay their rent from lost employment, or who realize they temporarily have to defer and delay their desires and hopes - since the global economic disaster has cast so many of us down lower than we were before.

Students are sometimes "unrealistic" - believing themselves to be "more special" and immortal as well. Not true.

Time to learn. UCLA and all UC students, plus the rest of us are having to re-shift our lives and priorities.Maybe a strong and good lesson tho unwanted. So bemoan all they want. The students are no more "special" or deserving than the rest of the Californians - all suffering from cutbacks, salary and hour work reductions, unemployment, and losses of all kinds.

"you are not so special" as you want to be,UCLA students. This may be is a good lesson to all - including who complain so loudly - only for themselves .

Uncle Rico: Why don't you actually check some information before you start spouting BS about how only white people go to UC. FYI, there are more Asians at UCLA than white students (or do they not count as a minority to you?).

UCLA Domestic Undergraduate Student
Enrollment by Ethnicity*

African American: 938 3.70%
American Indian: 104 0.41%
Asian American: 9,135 36.04%
Caucasian: 9,006 35.53%
Chicano/Mexican-American: 2,919 11.52%
Filipino: 991 3.91%
Latino: 1,026 4.05%
Other: 545 2.15%
Decline to state: 683 2.69%

Source: http://www.admissions.ucla.edu/campusprofile.htm

Here's that CHANGE we can believe in!

hey someone needs to pay for those liberal arts classes

If I were back in school I would organize a meeting and/or rally and support a boycott of the schools. If there were no students attending how would they deal with that? The students are the lifeline of the schools. Of course the teachers are important but without the students there is no school. Make them reverse this decision. Do something about this! Stand up and make your voices heard. We bailout corporations with taxpayers billions but RAISE fees on the students?! Raise your voices until they are heard.

I am a graduate student at UC San Diego. The fee increase is cruel, and I am glad that I won't be here much longer to deal with the administrative excesses of Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors of (insert random title here), and Yudof.

The structure of the university system must be rearranged to reflect administrative and managerial practicality. The UC emperors fear the demise of "mediocrity" as the argument for looking after their own well-being. They have no managerial talent! The real managerial talent is in the mid-level to lower-level administrative positions at each school. Every time you suggest something to a UC bureaucrat they always delegate the task to their staff or some other department. They are all ceremonial leeches who want things done on a silver plate. All UC emperors must be replaced by honest hard working managers, for more modest salaries. And we are certainly not talking about 3-4 times the income of the President of the United States. The system I want is an election system, which is appropriate given the democratic nature of a public institution. All candidates would propose a salary, and the nominee with the best combination of the low bid / expertise wins the election.

This would never happen if Americans didn't become so obsessed with financial aid.

Some people are too poor to go to college. Sucks for you. There are other options. College is not a right.

The fee hike is still not much when compared to private schools like USC, Stanford and IV League schools were tuition fees jump every 100$ per unit every semester.

If Chicanos spent half as much time studying as they do complaining about perceived white conspiracies maybe they'd receive enough scholarship award money to go to a UC.

I'm a student from the UC system, and there are many of us that agree that these protests are being demonstrated against the wrong audience. The Regents are trying to do their best to counter the effects the state deficit and budget cuts have caused. It is the governor and the state legislature that is at fault for ruining our system of public education with their dog-eared bills and mismanagement. We should be bringing the protests to them.

And to Joe: You're right. There is no "free lunch." You accuse all public school students of being free-loaders; however, you forget that these very students will be tax-payers within the next few years themselves. And as for your complaint, if you can't handle living in "expensive" California, move out of the state. Don't forget, California spends the most on prisons, yet does not even have the most inmates. Maybe you should aim your frustrations at the corruption occurring there, instead of the people who will be formulating your retirement pensions in the future.

To Sharon: When you say "I'm sorry your fees are being increased but my spouse is one of the "managers" who just took an 8% pay cut, we are all in this together and our state is insolvent", you don't realize the severity of this increase. Imagine the impact of having your husband's salary cut by 32%. Better yet, imagine yours cut by 32%, too. As well as for the rest of your family, and not temporarily, but from this day forward.
I was a student-worker thinking I could makes ends meet, until my position was eliminated because of the crisis. Now I'm also faced with a 32% increase?? SO YES, I DO NEED GOVERNMENT HELP. And people are sick for calling people in my situation 'socialists'.

Some of the people protesting against the fee increases on this comment board are the movement's own worse enemies. Instead of having a serious discussion about the pros and cons of a publicly funded higher education system, they are trying to degenerate the argument along racial and class lines. Of course the fee cuts are going to impact poor people the most (and minorities are disproportionally represented among the poor), but I doubt there are any regents celebrating ruining some peoples lives with these fee increases. I especially doubt that they pleased that the poor are going to feel the biggest pinch. The discussion should be about priorities. What do we value as a state and how much are we willing to pay for it. It should not be about race or class.

"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."

Hey Joe, I (and just about every other poster here) think you are a Grade A a-hole and that people like you and your slimy kind are what's wrong with America.

More prisons!

More billions for the American war machine!

Not a cent for education or libraries!

That's the Amerikan Way!

The protesters are shouting at the wrong people. They should have been in Sacramento when the legislature failed to act responsibly. They should be starting a signature drive to repeal the three strikes law. Instead of complaining about how much the UC Regents make, they should be complaining about how much we handover to the prison guard union.

The protesters, and even no protesting students, faculty, staff. All people who benefit from the existence of the UC schools (whether the benefit is education, research or simply employment), should be knocking down doors in Sacramento not on any given campus.

Sure the Regents get paid a lot of money, but come on people you're losing focus: The problem is and has been for a very long time now: a steady decline state funding.

That problem is multi-faceted but it starts with the state's constitution and backward tax policies. Go protest in Sacramento, if you want to see any good come out of it.

Californians are stupid. How many billions of dollars of debt are you in and you're complaining about an increase in tuition. Maybe you'll should all look into the liberal crystal ball and see what else will increase before the next budget shortfall. You can't have your cake a eat it too when your economy stinks. But the good news Caliliberalists is that Obama will save the day and lay this at the feet of all U.S taxpayers so that you can continue into the financial abyss that you created.

My deepest sympathy to students. How about just pay 10% less to the corporation executives in America and save the public education by the money?

I was fortunate to attend UC (UCLA, Santa Cruz & Berkeley) when it was cheap, and the BEST public university system in the nation. Because of that education, I make a six-digit income now. So I am dismayed at the fee increase for students approved by the UC Regents. Higher education should be FREE for all California residents. Those of us who have benefited from that education should be paying for it with higher taxes.
I am willing to pay HIGHER INCOME TAX to assure that the next generations will have as good an education as I did - after all, these are the people who I am counting on to pay my Social Security when I retire. If we don't provide them with the best education, who will take care of us when we retire?

Mark G. Yudof. Go to hell.

 
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