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Students storm UCLA building to protest expected UC system fee increase [Updated]

Ucregents
About 30 students stormed UCLA’s Campbell Hall and barricaded the doors with chains and bike locks early this morning to protest a student fee increase that is expected to be endorsed by the University of California’s Board of Regents today.

Me-UCfees19 [Updated at 8:39 a.m.: The UC Regents have started to meet, and hundreds of students have surrounded the building, protesting the proposed fee hike.]

Students who spent the night were sprawled outside Campbell Hall in sleeping bags. They carried posters and signs that read, “Don’t take our education away” and “Don’t privatize, democratize.” Many wore bandannas over their faces.

Dozens of other students spent the night camped out in tents on top of Parking Structure 4. Hundreds of other students are expected to join the protesters and demonstrate at the UC Regents meeting that will take place later today.

The proposed two-step student fee increase would raise UC undergraduate education costs more than $2,500, or 32%.The annual cost of a UC education, not including campus-based fees would rise to $10,302.

Kyle Tramberly, a junior at UC San Diego, said he did not sleep since arriving at UCLA late Wednesday night.

“I’m here in solidarity with people across the state of California that are being subjugated to these outrageous fee increases,” he said. “I can’t afford the fee increases, personally. I have to take out private loans in order to cover this. It’s completely unjust to put the burden on students.”

A key committee of the UC Regents backed the two-step hike Wednesday, despite appeals from students who urged the board to at least postpone a vote. About 500 student and labor-union activists demonstrated outside the meeting. Fourteen were arrested.

-- My-Thuan Tran

Photo: Students march in front of Covel Commons at UCLA, where regents will be voting on a fee increase later in the day. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Masked250 Audio: Statement from demonstrators

More photos  >>

 
Comments () | Archives (281)

Another uprising of the peasants(students), fighting for the privileged wealthy(Professors). 70% of college costs go to salaries. Tuition has tripled in a decade to increase those salaries, while tax revenues have recently declined to those of a decade ago. Why is the approach here to increase the burden on the students and not cut the salaries of the professors? Oh, that's right, the professors have convinced the students to fight for increases in tuition that goes into their pockets. Nothing new, the wealthy getting the poor to fight their battles for them.

Is enrollment being cut for political reasons? Wouldn't it make more sense to have more students per instructor to share the cost of that professor and other overhead costs? Is cutting enrollment, that threatens the future of youth a means to gain political support, all to maintain or increase the wages of the professors?

You'd think that the most educated among us would understand the current economic situation better ... as typical in society when ox is gored but you're willing to let everyone else go bankrupt so you can maintain your lifestyle. Whatever happened to teaching ethics as a real subject not just a class to let you know what you could get away with

this comment below is just outrageous, what is destroying our country is that ignorance that keeps growing and growing.

It seems that both sides of this argument have got it wrong.

I am a student at Cal Poly Pomona, a part of the CSU system where we have seen tuition increases similar to the UCs and have to suffer through forced faculty furloughs, and reduced quality in our education. However, the solution to these budget cuts shouldn't be even higher taxes! I work part time and full time over the summer and understand fully that we are a high-tax state. What we need to do is evaluate where our money is being spent and what our priorities should be as a state. Making an investment in higher education makes our state more competitive by having an educated workforce, which attracts businesses, and fosters new ideas which lead to new industries.

Why do we pay 4 times as much to house prisoners per capita than states like Arizona?! Yet, many see that as having a higher priority than higher education. Our state enjoyed tremendous economic growth and prosperity in the 1950s on. This was due in large part by the passage of the Education master plan for California. They had it right by seeing that investing in education, they would be able to reap the benefits for years to come. Something changed in this mentality, but we ALL need to look at this situation and determine what we want for the future of California. Having a comprehensive, higher education system for a reduced cost should be an integral part of that.

To all the commenter arguing that students ought to take out "a second job" and "stop whining" should probably keep in mind that studying IS a job, it is very difficult and very time consuming, and is hardly possible to be performed in while working 2 OTHER jobs. Further, the education of our citizenry ultimately benefits economically their country. Students potentially provide valuable resources to an economy and they should be treated as assets NOT as burdens.

It seems that both sides of this argument have got it wrong.

I am a student at Cal Poly Pomona, a part of the CSU system where we have seen tuition increases similar to the UCs and have to suffer through forced faculty furloughs, and reduced quality in our education. However, the solution to these budget cuts shouldn't be even higher taxes! I work part time and full time over the summer and understand fully that we are a high-tax state. What we need to do is evaluate where our money is being spent and what our priorities should be as a state. Making an investment in higher education makes our state more competitive by having an educated workforce, which attracts businesses, and fosters new ideas which lead to new industries.

Why do we pay 4 times as much to house prisoners per capita than states like Arizona?! Yet, many see that as having a higher priority than higher education. Our state enjoyed tremendous economic growth and prosperity in the 1950s on. This was due in large part by the passage of the Education master plan for California. They had it right by seeing that investing in education, they would be able to reap the benefits for years to come. Something changed in this mentality, but we ALL need to look at this situation and determine what we want for the future of California. Having a comprehensive, higher education system for a reduced cost should be an integral part of that.

I do not agree with this protest, not because of what they stood for, but because I believe that they are blaming the wrong people. There are problems in how the Regents have acted during their terms, there is no doubt about that. Getting pay raises, and then complaining of no money? Canceling required classes? Shutting down libraries? they are not the base of the problem.

I hope that the Regents are doing their best with what they can, and while they seem to have many faults, you can't do much without money to begin with.The root of the problem lies with the Governor. He is the one who massively cut funding. These cuts have not started recently.

Government funding per-student has dropped by 64% over the past 8 years, all the while student fees have risen.By Spring Quarter, the student fees will have risen 200% in the last 6 years alone, which coincidentally is when our Governor was inaugurated. Education is an investment in infrastructure, and investment in our children, and those who will replace and replenish our society. Education is the key to the future, it ensures that the US, and California, the 7th largest economy in the world, will stay that way, and not lose its edge, not fall, and not collapse.

I'm a UC staff member with an advanced degree. What's really pitiful is that some the students who have commented here can barely write a coherent sentence. Is that how UC is educating it's students? The fact is that the free ride is over. You get what you pay for and like it or not, the State has decided to no longer value higher education (I think it's wrong for many reasons related to economic growth, innovation, and the like, but that's beside the point). Thus, you either pay to play or you don't play. A UC education is not an entitlement. And, UC's new tuition is still a GREAT value for the money, as much as it may hurt now. And, I worked my way through college and graduate school; I have no sympathy for these students.

I'm a UC staff member with an advanced degree. What's really pitiful is that some the students who have commented here can barely write a coherent sentence. Is that how UC is educating it's students? The fact is that the free ride is over. You get what you pay for and like it or not, the State has decided to no longer value higher education (I think it's wrong for many reasons related to economic growth, innovation, and the like, but that's beside the point). Thus, you either pay to play or you don't play. A UC education is not an entitlement. And, UC's new tuition is still a GREAT value for the money, as much as it may hurt now. And, I worked my way through college and graduate school; I have no sympathy for these students.

As a student at UCLA, I appreciate the efforts made by the protestors. While I don't believe in the methods they chose, I'm glad that at least our thoughts are being expressed. I never wanted to attend UCLA. When I was little, I never dreamt of wearing blue and gold. But this was the only quality education my parents could afford. My parents gave me two choices: let them pay for a UC or I can pay for a private school. I chose to come to UCLA. But when things turned ugly in 2008, I took the entire burden of paying for my education. Though I was resentful that I was forced to pay for a school I never wanted to attend, I did not want to transfer to a private school, knowing I'll have to take out a loan for grad school in the future.
I've been working since I was a senior in high school and two jobs since last fall, and I am bearly making ends meet. I'm lucky because compared to my friends who have had to return to community college because they could no longer make it work, my situation is much better. These conditions are not uncommon.
Our fees are increasing but the quality of our education is dropping. Majors like Art History and International Relations are already in the trash. This means that if you graduated with either degrees, your diploma just disappeared.
We understand that there is a financial crisis. However, those of you saying we need to suck it up and be adults, instead of brushing us off, you should join us because we are all in the same boat. Your salary is being cut and your expenses are rising, just like ours. I don't know how to fix this problem but I don't think it should be at the expense of California's education.

Bruin10 is a rockstar!

I am appalled by some of the reactions on this message board! Work harder, get a job, get over it... this is completely unacceptable! UC students do work hard, that is how we got in the UCs in the first place! And as far as jobs go, many students have more than one job to put themselves through school. At the protest today I met many students who are working 2 to 3 jobs while working hard to keep up their grades!

As for our state's financial crisis, we, the students, were not the ones who put us here! It was the inept people we call legislators!

Furthermore, this 32% tuition increase is not meant to keep our education the way it was prior to the budget cuts... it's meant to fund construction! Despite this increase, classes are being cut, mentoring and tutoring services are being obliterated, and our faithful UC workers are being fired or forced to take unpaid furloughs! And to make it worse, one of our sources of financial aid, the Cal Grant, has been greatly reduced!

I will be paying $50, 000 after I graduate to pay off an $18,000 loan... so excuse me for being a little angry!

As for feeling entitled to an education? Yes, we are entitled to an education! We need to invest in the students in order to save our country from what it is becoming. Privatizing our public universities and denying low-income students the chance to go to college is not an investment.


I personally was not too supportive of the protests because I feel that there needs to be a focus on our state government and it's misplaced priorities.

Now after reading some of the comments made by some people here about so many things that reflect their own personal preludices and downright ignorance I feel otherwise.

This country owes every last citizen something. As a matter of fact this society does. If you feel as if this government does not have to give anything to it's people then go to a country that doesn't do anything and live there. After a few months tell me how you like it. Go ahead... I'll wait.

If you are not willing to help your fellow Americans then what did I waste my time in the military for as a target so you could sit home and be safe.I m tired of the selfishness that is so prevalent now. Learn to invest in the future of this state and nation, not just your mutual funds and retirement.

Get a job. I paid for my PRIVATE school education in the mid-90s which was still 50% higher than what the uc hike would be. Working 3 jobs throughout the week wasn't easy but it was the only way. I have a hard work ethic. These kids can all get a pt job and make up the costs easily. Such an entitlement generation!

showing my age, yeah but the guy with the red bandana wrapped around his face looks more like Mort from the old Bazooka Joe comics than Che.

Get with it. The state is broke. No one authorized any increase in taxes at election, no we authorized more spending instead. Prop 13 screwed up education 30 years ago and it needs to be fixed, it's a good idea with bad implementation that became antiquated. California can't get a budget because of the super majority required. We also can't get a lot of federal money for education because of tenure rules (which I disagree with, my best teachers were non-tenued and my worst were tenured). That's the situation.

Squeeze money from here and there. I'm a grad student and I know what it's like. Use store brands over brand names. Go to Food 4Less rather then Bristol Farms. Shop at Ross/Marshalls/TJ Maxx instead of Abercrombie, Hollister, or American Eagle. Join ROTC or the military outright. I know the job situation is difficult, find different things you can do for spare money. I made some on the side doing massages and data input. Drop the BlackBerry or iPhone and get a basic phone with a basic plan or drop the phone completely. Carpool or take public transit. Go to a CC to do the basics. They're crowded as well but a lot cheaper. Live with your parents (it's not that bad). Hang with your friends at someone's house and share the cost of cooking in rather then eating out. Wait till movies are on DVD rather then watching them in the theater.

For those who keep tooting Europe's education system. Compare apples to apples. Europe has a completely different system of education. You are tracked into vocational or university after primary school. Your education shifts there and if you're vocational, your going to a vocational school. Here you get the option of going to university even if you weren't the best student ever. Can you imagine your 6th grade grades determining whether you could go to University? Not to mention they are K-13 unlike our K-12. The extra year just got bounced elsewhere. Besides, it's fully possible to do your education in 3 years. My cousin graduated UC Berkeley in 3 years, even after spending her first semester changing her major practically every week. Not to mention, Europe pays a LOT higher taxes for the privilege of having university considered part of free education from K up. American's only pay ~21% in taxes and we bitterly complain about it. Europeans pay ~50-60%, depending on the country, for that.

You may not like the situation but this is the situation. Live with it if you want to stay at the same school or shift your education elsewhere. I hear NC has a state school for ~3000/year if you don't mind living in the mountains.

No one owes you an education, if you don't want to pay you don't have to, but the taxpayers are not their to pay for "your" education. I pay for my own education and everyone should do the same. If you can get scholarships, grants etc. fine. But you aren't entitled to them. Way to show how our generation is a generation of spoiled brats.

STUDENTS SHOULD KNOW THAT PROTESTS ARE USELESS. GET SMART. SIGN A PETITION STATING THAT IF IT IS NOT RECINDED, THE STUDENTS WILL NOT SIGN UP FOR CLASSES FOR THE YEAR 2010. IF THE MAJORITY OF STUDENTS SIGN UP, THE SCHOOL COULD NOT AFFORD THE LOSS IN REVENUE. ITS CALLED THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE WITHOUT VIOLENCE.

One thing to note: Even when the economy was booming, and university endowments were flush and tex revenues were high, tuition fees hikes across the country still outstripped any inflation levels we ever had by an order of magnitude. The schools overspent, over-leveraged and now they can't afford themselves anymore. Too many fancy buildings, too many fancy sport coaches, too many services- campuses are like their own cities now and all this infrastructure and employees have to be paid for in one way or another. The thing about an education, though hasn't changed. For the most part, you need a desk, a book, a professor and a blackboard and the occasional beaker and test tube to get a decent undergrad education. You don't need health "services", subsidized lunches, high rise dorms, $200 million new buildings to house the architecture department, soccer coaches who make $350,000 a year, etc, etc. All this other crap isn't even needed and never was. Pigs at the public trough.

Increasing the tuition by 32% to get more money isn't the right solution. What increase there is will be off set by fewer students attending UCLA.

It's like buying a car. If the car you were comtemplating purchasing went up 32%, from $21,000 to $28,000...fewer people will be able to purchase it.

The question then becomes, "Is the increase enough to off set the business you lose from the $7000 price increase"?

With an increase of 32% in anything (cars, education, etc), initially you sell less and what you sell isn't enough to make up for what you lost in business. That especially true in this economy.

Kenny

Should UC students be able to pick themselves up by their own bootstraps and shoulder these fee hikes with financial aid (with the University of California's plans to increase financial aid opportunities) or extra jobs?

***YES!!!! UCLA/Berkeley is tuition is 66%-75% CHEAPER than USC/Ivy league schools. That is a GREAT deal. That is making higher education affordable and accessible. These bratty kids do need to take an ECON class and realize that life is about the allocation of scarce resources - we the taxpayers can't continue to foot the bill on everything. In addition, there is still a plethora of fin aid for those and those parents that make less than a certain amount, so quite a few will not even pay the full tuition.

***Our gov't does waste money on other projects/subsidies, etc., but where are all of these students to protest the wastefulness in Sacramento??? When they start protesting about other wasteful projects that suck taxpayer $$ as well, then I'll be more symphathetic to their cause, in the meantime, this is a GREAT taste of reality for them. (Kinda like running your own business - when you need to get your business set-up (in this case they need to get their education done) and someone pulls the funding out from under you, what do you do?? - that's life for you - learn to deal with it, after all, you supposedly are smart people, right??

Or are there more serious implications from the increases, which may force students to take out private loans or even drop out of the UC system?

***NO - Give me a break. Would it really hurt these kids to go to a Cal State/Cal Poly or to use their brain to check out other schools across this great country of ours.
It's not the end of the world people if you can't get into UCLA and need to end up @ a state university. Do you know how many people I have met in industry that have come from OMG - a State university only to be partners/CFO of public companies -

Also, it's Risk vs reward.
If you got accepted to a UC and you're not willing to take out a loan because you don't think you can pay it off, then don't go!! Why should I fund your 4-yr college degree when you're not willing to bear some of the risk on yourself? Again, these bratty-clearly not-so-smart kids need to take ECON/Business to think about the risk of taking out a loan, calculate potential ROI (i.e. reward) and move forward in life knowing that they still have a fabulous opportunity in life that so many people in the world will never get to have.

Universities are supposed to teach kids about the world, life, business, etc., well, here is a great lesson on life.
In tough times, you need to GROW-UP!!!

ddm97-
(I may not speak for every student, but my statement below is reflective of my and my friends' feelings/thoughts/motives).
As a student protester, we do not feel we are the only ones who should be exempt in this budget "crisis." When CSU faulty signed contract to be furloughed, they lost their right to strike... We protest for students, faulty, staff, AB 540 students... For every citizen of California. ALL OF OUR PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS are becoming privatized, which means that the individual and community rights are not taken into account when BUSINESS decisions are made. (Yes, business. UCs & CSUs are becoming similar to a business institution). Please note, we do not feel solely entitled to be protected from the financial "crisis," but instead we feel the community needs to be protect. You, me, and everyone else needs to be protected from these devastating times.

ddm97-
(I may not speak for every student, but my statement below is reflective of my and my friends' feelings/thoughts/motives).
As a student protester, we do not feel we are the only ones who should be exempt in this budget "crisis." When CSU faulty signed contract to be furloughed, they lost their right to strike... We protest for students, faulty, staff, AB 540 students... For every citizen of California. ALL OF OUR PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS are becoming privatized, which means that the individual and community rights are not taken into account when BUSINESS decisions are made. (Yes, business. UCs & CSUs are becoming similar to a business institution). Please note, we do not feel solely entitled to be protected from the financial "crisis," but instead we feel the community needs to be protect. You, me, and everyone else needs to be protected from these devastating times.

I live in California and already pay outrageous amounts of property tax in addition to income tax and sales tax, associated registration fees and other "fees" for little or no benefit. Where is all the money going?

The administration of Gov. A. Schwarzenneger should be blame for
what is happening in the States of California.

I'm not sure but I believe the UC and CSU systems are cheaper than other state college systems outside of California. I still think a bit above $10k a year is still a great bargain for a UC. Everyone has taken a hit in the private sector and it trickles down to the public sector also. My only problem with a price hike just like a sales tax hike is that it will probably never go down: once it is raised, it's stuck.

Get ready to get some private loans. Maybe the Feds will intervene and boost the amount of subsidized loans. A degree is still worth it's weight: only about a quarter of the US has one.

 
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