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

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)

Nice try students! The problem with these students is that they don't know how to organize protests or walkouts. Do you actually think the Board of Trustees cares? Why don’t you actually try something radical instead of whining and being reactionary? Whatever happened to the days when students actually planned walk-outs, sit-ins, etc. It’s pretty annoying when a small amount of wannabe—some privileged—“radical” students who want their 15 seconds of fame barricade themselves in a building for kicks. These students mess everything up for those students who actually plan real demonstrations. If students now a day’s were to be well-informed, strategic, and proactive, hundreds of thousands of students would be walking-out and perhaps barricading themselves in more than one building. Meanwhile, here are just a few tips you might want to consider for your next action:

1. Inform yourself about the current educational system and how higher education is financed and the political process and policies that affect these systems.
2. Once, you are informed, inform others and begin a student group that is willing to rally behind important educational issues—not just the budget cuts.
3. Begin to do classroom presentations to not only inform your group, but everyone and anyone on your campus. It is important that students actually know why they are walking-out in order to avoid embarrassing themselves if they are interviewed on t.v., for example. This looks bad!
4. Make sure that everyone is on the same page with the same message (e.g. we are walking-out because….). Media is very clever when it comes to picking-up different messages from different students. This gives the opposition a reason to call-out students and claim that students don’t know what they want or what they are doing. This goes back to tip #3.

Take this from a student who organized successful walk-outs at a 4-year university a few years ago.

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.

I join them with my outrage to this failure.

"This is what happens when students believe the government should be their mothers and fathers. This is what happens when students believe that government owes them a education.
Obama and his socialist/marxist ideas are taking away the hard working ethic of the past."

wtf are you talking about? This has nothing to do with Obama, Socialism, or whatever twisted, ignorant conservative fantasy you and others seem to have. I'm only 32 years old and there is now no way I could afford to go back to school because the cost for the university I went to now costs 60% more than it did just 10 years ago. Do you see something horribly wrong there?

There was a time when most Americans could afford to go to college. My Grandad was able to pay for college with a small job stoking a furnace in one of the school's basements. I worked 40 hours a week and even so, there was no way I could have paid for my education. I had to take out a loan which I only recently paid off. Now there's no way I could afford to even get a loan.

So you are dead-wrong that somehow, what's going on now has anything to do with "socialism" or a mentality that's ''destroying our country" . Its about education becoming unaffordable to the working and middle class. China, India, and much of Europe have much greater numbers of students graduating because they make education a priority because they realize that educated students contribute to a healthy economy. We as a country are falling behind because of greed and mismanagement.

When our future students can't afford college, we ALL suffer- even some of you right wing whackos.

When protestors turn a peaceful protest into a takeover of a Hall or throwing objects at the authorities..it's time to make arrests and quite frankly expell the student offenders.

You can make your opinion heard without violence and from what I am reading here about this particular Hall...I'm not surprised..there are always instigators who relish this kind of behavior.

Maybe cuts in other areas could help us all out..why can't more classses be made available online...this saves on the cost of a brick and mortar facility. I realize that there are classes that this isn't a possibility..but there are many that it would.

These students at the 4 year universitys need to realize that even those who have no choice but to go to a community college are facing higher fees, full classes, CANCELLED semisters.

Noone wants increased fees anywhere...but you work with what you have...and be grateful that you have anything.

It's completely unjust to put the burden on students? Newsflash California college students....a college education is a choice, not a right. If you want that degree, be resourseful and find a way to acheive your goal. To many of you students have been lied to since day one of Kindergarten in California's progressive/liberal paradise. To many of you rail on about how great European countries are, fine, move there, let me know what you think. If you like annual unemployment rates of 13% and higher that they're fine with then let me know how you like it. Oh they have free health care in Europe, really? You mean those services are provided for free? No one pays for that? It just magically appears out of thin air at no cost...right. Oh they have free college education! Most European workers pay 60% and higher in taxes, free eh? To many of you have fallen victim to your university professors pro "workers paradise" mentality. To many of you actually believe that you're entitled to everything and that government is there to provide it to you while confiscating it from us. To many of you worship at the alter of radical environmentalism and government run everything. The reality is, you live in a little make believe bubble on college campuses. You want that gimme everything because I'm entitled to it world. Guess what, that world is paid for by those of us who worked to get our degrees, or work period, now we're out here in the real working world. Guess what? Nothing's free! Amazing! And those of us out here working are fed up and sick of you government should run everything types running our businesses into the ground or out of state. I can't employ you if I have no incentive or can't afford to, think about that.

Maybe some of you will wise up when you leave the lala land of unicorns and rainbows on campus and get your first paycheck. I want you to look real hard at how much they take from it and tell me if you still believe in your entitlement mentality that's turned California into a socialist welfare state. When you look at where all your hard earned money is going maybe then you'll figure it out and then join OUR fight against government oppression.

Maybe what you guys are getting is a long overdue lesson in the world of hardknocks and fiscal reality. Get some backbone, stop whining, grit your teeth, get dirty. None of out here are crying for you by the way, you didn't think we were did you?

Of course they're protesting. After paying cellphone and
premium cable service, who's got money for education?

UC students should be paying for their public education? Seven-year-olds should be paying for their public education.

Oh, you think that sounds ridiculous? Why should I be subsidizing anyone's education? Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, junior!

The government owes these kids an education as much as the elderly deserve to get medicare. I'm appalled by the decision to hike up the tuition increase by this much. Each year the tuition increased substantially but not to this extent. This is simply insane. I went to a UC for my undergrad/grad school. I worked, volunteered, did research and busted my ass off for good grades to support myself.

I don't understand whats wrong with wanting to live with an educated populace which is apparently lacking greatly in the country. I don't see many is against my fellow students from receiving quality education. Currently right now, I'm taking a massive amount of loans to support my medical education. By the time i'm finish, its probably enough to put a 4-5 students through their undergrad at the UCs.

If I had to choose between medicare for the elderly, or education for our young, I would choose the later. I see how many of the older folks are looking scornfully at those who want an education. Its selfish. I feel when I get out of medical school and residency, I shouldn't accept anyone with medicare unless they're willing to make up the costs that the government isn't paying me for my services. I shouldn't take a hit for treating highly expensive illnesses, and waste my time for what would probably at most just increase there lifespan by a negligible amount and provide an almost insignificant increase in their quality of life. If they're not willing to take a hit for the future of our young, I rather not take a hit on my income/time to negligible increase their lifespan/quality of life.

I have a question of all the students who are protesting the fee hike, how many are actual out of pocket paying. And how many are on grants design for the low income population, are they protesting becuase they are actually going to have to pay out of pocket after they get this grants

Those commenting on how comparatively cheap 10k is for a college education need to keep in mind that that's just the tuition. Even without this latest fee hike, we're already paying about 27k per year with housing, food, and other costs. That means a UC education currently costs in excess of a hundred thousand dollars. For a public school, this is absolutely ludicrous.

When money is short, what can you do?

State budget should cut the privileges on non-citizens such as lower tuition and other welfare......

I'm concerned as to who is instigating this "rebellion." Most faces in the crowd are of color (Latino/African American). Most students of color get financial aid. However, Latinos and African Americans represent such a small percentage of UC students. Maybe thats why Latino and African American students dont get in. They demand too much and give too little.

Easy credit did this, just like easy credit inflated the prices of homes. I feel sorry for anyone trying to go to college these days. It's ridiculously expensive, and whenever the government claims it's going to make college more affordable, that's a whole lotta crap. It's just handing out more loans to perpetuate the debt slavery, and also causing education inflation - eventually you will need a college degree just to flip burgers at McDonald's.

how many countries out there that dont need to pay for school fee? go get yourself a job and stop the stupid whining, in china everybody needs to pay to go to school what makes you guys different?

I sympathize with the students, or more to the point, their parents about fee increases. However, I work at a UC and have personally been absorbing alot of financial damage from the fact that my salary is flat, no raises since I can even remember, while my rent goes up regularly once a year and other expensese aas well, including health insurance and what I pay to UC for parking. So I make less and less every year. And to top it off, I am now on furlough, so I am really making less. The students need to demonstrate in Sacramento, the Regents of the UC are a small part of this picture.

Ah...and what, pray tell, is your solution then, seemoreglass?

Cut regents' salaries? Already been done.
Cut chancellor salaries? Already been done.
Cut the governor's salary? He doesn't even take a salary.
Raise state taxes? Already been done.
Cut other state agencies down? Already been done.

Or maybe we can just cut UC employee jobs. I'm sure that when you think of a UC employee, you think of football coaches, highly paid researchers, and chancellors...but you seem to forget the hourly employees barely getting by, and the career employees who make JUST enough after furloughs and pay cuts to support their families.

No one wants this tuition hike. But it's necessary. Period.

If you know you have trouble with finances, attend a JC for two years. During that two years , work and put money away. Also more time for your parents to put some money away. You do not need to move away from home and incur those extra costs for the first two years. Attend JC!

Next what is all with this free stuff? Free education is provided K-12. College was never part of any "deal" nor it should be. Free just means the taxpayer is picking up the tab...well kids the taxpayer has had enough. Time to grow up and face reality on your own or with help from family and friends.

To the people whining about football. Little do they know that at major universities and colleges like UCLA these programs bring in big bucks to their schools. Money to keep lesser, as far as paying attendance, sports, up and running. Possibly some of that money filters down to the spoiled brats who are expecting something for nothing.

Why do protesters always seem to tie schools and prisons together whenever the issue of school funding comes up? Makes me wonder who's behind all this.

In Switzerland students are complaining that the yearly University fee of $690 in Zürich is to high. What exactly get US students more than high qualified Swiss students for the difference of $9,500 more?

@ michael. College is much tougher and more expensive today than it was 20 years ago. Students can't get a first job let alone a second to make up the difference. Education is about studying to obtain that higher learning to make ends meat at the end of the day, not the other way around.

@ Jkeyes: Agreed that students should be responsible for the wellfare of their own education, however, at the proposed fee increase only the wealthy would be able to afford an outstanding PUBLIC university. we might as well privatize them and leave the masses - along with the majority of our talent pool - scouring for work at mcdonalds.

A fee increase is needed, but not at 33%. make it 17% and have individual UC's modify their budget by getting rid certain programs.

These students are CALIFORNIA's future. Not the 40 and 50 yr olds on this comment boards.

Did they not get the memo: the California budget deficit is projected to be $21 billion dollars. btw, half the stimulus went to education and 40% of California's budget is education. Does the economy really need ethnic studies? Total waste. Something has to give and the tax payer is tapped out.

Re: "UCLA spends more than 30,000 dollars per year on each student. "

No, they don't. The state spends 9 thousand a year on each UC student, and that number decreases every year. These kids should take their protest to Sacramento. The state has been slashing higher education spending for years, but nobody says anything about it. Now that it's at a crisis point, they're protesting.

Pressure needs to be put on Arnold, the legislature, and on Senators Feinstein and Boxer, who are AWOL on the state budget. California is a donor state--we send more money to Washington DC than we receive in federal spending. This needs to stop. We are subsidizing billion dollar bailouts for the crooks on Wall St., while our own state, which has given so much to this country and the world, crumbles.

Wake up!

Maybe Big Education should be regulated. All those Professors could take a pay cut, or perhaps work for free one day a week, giving back for the greater good.

Maybe Big Education should be regulated. All those Professors could take a pay cut, or perhaps work for free one day a week, giving back for the greater good.

I guess the people of California aren't entitled to the same education their parents and grandparents received. Half of the people complaining about these students didn't pay a cent for their education, and now think it's a communist plot. I guess we lived in a Marxist state back in the 50's and 60's. For years it was free, and then low cost. Maybe a solution would be to go back and find all of the UC alumni that recieved a free or low cost college education from California and charge them. They could repay the state and help out now that they are getting rich.

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