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

November 19, 2009 |  7:17 am

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

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