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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)

32%....32% ....32%
For all of you who think the students are out of line in staging a protest:

consider gas prices going up 32%
consider food prices going up 32%
consider medical insurance going up 32%
consider property taxes going up 32%
consider interest rates for credit cards and mortages going up 32%

Outrageous right? This is no different...UC cut employee salaries 15% and increases student fee 32%...suck it up, or quit school? Then the school will only be for the rich (who can not get into an ivy league school), and the foreign students who come to the US for and education and then go back home.

Can we afford for the general population to become less educated than they are now? STOP HURTING THE FUTURE...we need to have young people who can compete on a global level.

What part of the "State of CA has NO MONEY" can't these students understand? Look - yes, higher fees suck, but at least the colleges are still open.

I am still paying my own student loans after graduating 12 years ago, so I don't feel bad for these students having to take out loans. An education is worth it! If you still can't afford it, then maybe you should transfer to a Cal State, especially if you want to teach.

If California was a country, I'm sure its education dollars would rival Germany. Lets compare apples to apples instead of talking about countries 1/10th our size.

40k in debt after 4 years at a university does not sound so bad to me. Thats less then a year's salary?

so we can find billions of dollars to give to the banks (crooks) and to failing car companies...but we have no money for education or medical care....i guess no free ride for our future generations...just free rides for the rich and greedy...the tens of billions wasted on crysler...gm...aig...etc...how stupid are we? well doesnt matter...the country will just get dumber now...but at least the banks can charge 30% interest to the people saving all their jobs!!

As a student at UCLA, and one who chose it over Eastern elites because of the purpose for which it stands, I can say that I think people who are protesting have a valid point. I can afford to go to UC; I'm fortunate in that regard. But, not everyone can. I have classmates who are homeless. They aren't drug dealers. They're students at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. They got in because of this work ethic so many of you are so quick to diss. But, they can't afford to stay here. Not when Regents vote to increase fees.

"That's the way it goes- get used to it," some of you will say. You'll question our choice for standing up for this. But why does it have to be that way? We aren't Stanford or Harvard, nor are we trying to be. We believe in the value of a public education- one that is accessible to all. When we lose this ideal, of accessible education, we've lost Middle America. Those Eastern elites I mentioned earlier? That's why I chose UC. Because I did not want to attend a school with a fancy name that made you go broke paying for a crimson tie and champagne glasses. I wanted a place where normal people- the "common man," if you will- go to immerse themselves in a system which requires hard work and unbridled dedication to a rigorous course load and leadership development.

"Go out and get a second job," you state. I have 3. We don't want to burden taxpayers, we just want to cut unnecessary funding (e.g. the new "garden walk" at UCLA), and unnecessary salaries (UC President Yudof makes over $800,000/year). If you want us to step aside, then that's your opinion. But it's probably why you didn't graduate with a degree from the University of California.

I'm not protesting. But I'm glad someone is.

Every time I saw some one post "stop whining get a job" I honestly felt like punching that person in the face. Many students that are protesting the fee increases are students that are already paying their way through college. I for example already work 55 hrs/wk over the summer and already work 20+ hours during the school year. Over the past 2 years I've been at UCSD it's been enough to scrape by if this fee increase passes it won't. It's ridiculous that we're expected to pay our way through college yet every year the financial aid that is available to us gets cut more and more while the prices keep rising. Why should the students have to pick up the slack of improper funding.

"We are letting public higher education die in CA. We need a state where it doesn't take a super majority to raise a tax. This is disgusting. Enjoy your low property taxes and watch the state crumble around you. Education in our democracy is apparently only for the rich."

- Oh, PLEASE! Once you own a house, you will be wanting the State of California to pay your property taxes too.

Both the UC and Cal State need to cut administrative costs before begging for more taxpayer money!

Have you bothered to see how much other States charge at state colleges? CA has been a good deal for years and now suffers as so many businesses leave the state for other states with CHEAPER TAXES! You keep raising taxes and the ones you expect to pay them LEAVE! Not a very good idea.

Well said, Andy in Pasadena and Stephen.

"We are letting public higher education die in CA. We need a state where it doesn't take a super majority to raise a tax. This is disgusting. Enjoy your low property taxes and watch the state crumble around you. Education in our democracy is apparently only for the rich."

- Oh, PLEASE! Once you own a house, you will be wanting the State of California to pay your property taxes too.

Both the UC and Cal State need to cut administrative costs before begging for more taxpayer money!

Have you bothered to see how much other States charge at state colleges? CA has been a good deal for years and now suffers as so many businesses leave the state for other states with CHEAPER TAXES! You keep raising taxes and the ones you expect to pay them LEAVE! Not a very good idea.

How is that there are so many damn conservative trolls commenting on an article in the LA Times? I would expect this in the OC Register but not my beloved Times...

http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/aboutuc/mission.html

Is the University of California's Mission Statement. All of those blind and callous enough to say things akin to 'get a job' or 'suck it up' obviously have no idea what the University stands for. This University is meant to serve the public not JUST to teach and conduct research. Adding burdensome fees to those on the edge of being forced to drop out due to monetary concerns is about the most short-sighted thing the wise leaders of this fine public institution could do. Excuse me for the use of an obvious platitude, but this is cutting off your nose to spite your face. Who knows when the next future mayor is going to be forced to leave the University due to not being able to pay? I might remind you all that Mayor Villaraigosa was himself a marginalized youth of not great financial means... and eventually a graduate of UCLA.

This University has an obligation to educate all those Californians that are intellectually capable enough not just those with the most capable bank accounts.

The Regents should have been putting pressure on the state from the beginning. Anyone remember exactly how long it took for the latest budget to pass? Now they have no one to blame but themselves. Now they look not only ineffective but clueless as well. This is a sad day for all Californians interested in the future of this great state not just those that think that the University of California is a great white Ivory Tower, immune from the realities of the world. Paying more for getting less at a pubic institution meant for the good of all Californians is not only bad public policy but downright unfair.

SHAME ON YOU UC REGENTS!!

Andy in Pasadena,
I agree with you totally. I spent 6 years to get my four year because I was working to pay for my education. Too many people feel that they are entitled to everything. My parents taught me to work hard for what you want. I wanted an education, and through working, loans, and pure determination I got my degree. We as parents need to teach our children that nothing is free. NOT EVEN FREEDOM!!!

The graphic they put up shows that the cost of higher education has been rising ever since 1978, when Prop. 13 passed requiring super majority votes for all state tax increases. That graphic should have been adjusted for inflation, but even if you adjust using the Consumer Price Index, the 1979 fees would be $2040 in 2009 dollars. (http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm)

So, the real cost of UC fees has increased more than five-fold since Prop. 13 passed, and it's about to increase again. What a disaster.

You can buy sulphuric acid at your local Lowes store for "plumbing" purposes. The system UCLA Students are in might have some "clogs" that need to be "fixed."

To all those who say students should get a part time job and stop whining, I suspect you went to UC when it was cheap and are out of touch with the reality of the cost of education today. Some communities do not offer lucrative jobs or have poor job markets, for example in Santa Cruz students like myself would be lucky to find a part time job. Also, jobs interfere with studying and the student may not earn $2,514 more to offset the fee hikes. I have friends who split the costs of their education with their parents (and yes, worked throughout college) and owe $30,000 to $40,000, not to mention what their families owe. A part time job that pays $8.00 an hour 10 hours a week is not going to make a big dent in debt like that. If students graduate and owe a lot of money, why would they want to work in the public sector as public defenders or social workers and have to bear the weight of student debt for years?

Part of the problem are the people who run the University of California. The University of California was established to be a public school financially avaliable to everyone who was academically qualified. It was my observation that at UC Santa Cruz, administration was superficially interested in student needs and interests, particurally the Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs. She was more concerned with her own legacy as administrator and of course, defending her salary when challenged.

While you might blame students, do not forget that the president of the University of California, Mark Yudoff, is paid and receives bonuses that total about $850,000 a year. His predecessor, Robert Dynes, was compensated about a mere $450,000 in comparison.

keep up the fight ucla! we're here at uc santa cruz, supporting you 100%. we've occupied a building on campus ourselves. we don't plan to stop until we get a transparent budget, free or affordable education, and the disbandment of the corporate and privatized industrialization of the public education system. make your voices heard! drown out the regents, the michael richardsons and jkeyes of the world, and take back our public education system!

Slowly we are sinking back into the old way of education where only the aristocrats and nobles (now their called rich people) can get a higher education. I think the student's should not have to pay 10000 dollars a year for their education, it should be more affordable then that. I relieze the state is broke, but really think about it CA was the center of the gold rush so why don't we try and find more gold buried in the Moabi desert? Or how about Plantinum?? That would be one way to break the debt.

@michael richardson...get a second job??? students have a hard enough time finding ANY kind of job and the type of job a undergrad might find would come nowhere close to paying the costs of UC or Cal State. Before the passage of Prop 13 community colleges were free and fees for UC & Cal State were less than $500 a semester. California owes its computer, bio-tech and ag industries to research and innovation by UC & Cal State graduates. If the next generation of researchers and innovators leave California to attend college in Utah, Colorado or some other state, they might stay there after they graduate to start the next HP, Apple, Google, Pixar or Genentech.

ATTENTION STUDENT PROTESTERS:
1. go over the budget and FORCE THEM TO MAKE THE CUTS to eliminate the dead weight ADMIN slackers
2. bust the union
3. ELIMINATE the classes that are irrevelant.

Or - go to Pepperdine

Yeah, "you know",
we (UC students) will all fly down to Sacramento to protest. After all, we have all this extra pocket cash to do so.

If you’re getting grants and waivers, you should be the last in line to be crying about increases. You beg others to pay for an education that will bring “you” a higher wage in the future. You take out student loans and use the money to live on. This isn’t high school, the governments’ obligation to educate you ended. You aren’t kids you’re adults. Act like it and pay your fair share of “your” education. If you don't like it, the exit is to the East.

I am a student at UCLA. Things aren't solved by simply "working harder" or getting a second job as previous comments have suggested. Just like everywhere else in the country, jobs at UCLA and around Westwood are hard to come by. If you are lucky enough to have a job now, it is unlikely you will find a second. And if a working two jobs is what it takes to be able to stay in school, how is a student expected to find anytime for class? The fact is that "working harder" is not a viable option.
These students are desperate because the fee hikes could force them to drop out of school and into the job market. Jobs are hard enough to come by and a college degree is the only thing that could give them a chance.
The government should be keeping students in school and out of the job market. The fee hikes along with the cut in admissions in the UC and CSU systems will only lead to would-be students flooding the job market. In a recession the government should be investing in education, not only as an investment for the future well-being of our country, but also in order to keep young people out of unemployment.

Hmmmmmm... people with signs protesting the government? They must be racists. Or even, dare I say it, Teabaggers? Where's Pelosi and her Nazi comments when you need them.

I do like this though..."“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.”

Sure, put it all on the backs of the taxpayers. Why not, we surely will see a fabulous return from every student getting a degree in Women's Studies, Ethnic Studies, or some other time-wasting, feel good curriculum.

Hey bud, where's your mommy and daddy? Go hit them up for the tuition. Unless you cannot because they too are feeding at the breast of Big Government sucking the lifeblood out of the taxpayer.

They can always go to community college like the rest of us. Screw those spoiled brat UCLA students.

Hit up your rich mommies and daddies for the difference. Cry me a river. What a bunch of useless losers.

Though I've never attended UCLA, I found it ironic that the Chancellor of the UC system gets paid, what 11 million a year!?

Time to start cutting that guy's salary and all the other overpaid administrators!

The combination of mystification and vitriol on this thread is a testament to how confused this structural crisis of capitalism has made people.

As jobs disappear and austerity is imposed you go and blame the government? You blame the students and workers who are holding on by a thread? You excoriate people for standing up for themselves in an era when more and more power is being concentrated elsewhere?

Liberals need to realize that the epoch when government could ameliorate the worst excesses of capitalism is over.

Conservatives need to realize that their hard work has been for the enrichment of others and not themselves.

But chances are you wont. You'll all keep blaming bureaucrats or neocons or Obama or Wall Street or whatever, just so long as you don't have to question the logic at the heart of this crisis.

Well, at least these students and workers are starting to get it.

 
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