Massive Protests Erupt After UC Fee Hike

SANTA CRUZ, Calif.

A three-day student occupation at UC Santa Cruz has ended after nearly 70 students surrendered the administration building they had occupied.

However, according to school officials, participating students may still face criminal and judicial sanctions. The second floor of the building allegedly was damaged and is expected to remain closed for several days.

The protest occurred after University of California regents approved a 32-percent hike in tuition on Nov. 19. The first phase of the increase will take place in January and will raise undergraduate tuition to $8,373. The second phase, which takes effect next fall, will raise tuition to $10,302 and students who live campus could pay up to an estimated $17,200 in additional fees, reports CNN.

At UC Berkeley, police arrested 41 students after a classroom building was occupied during a daylong protest. The struggle ended on Nov. 20. According to university officials, the protesting students were taken into custody without incident. They were charged with trespassing, reports the Los Angeles Times.

According to reports, the students occupied a second-story floor and locked exits before unveiling a banner that read “32 Percent Hike, 900 Layoffs.” During negotiations, protesters demanded amnesty and that 38 laid-off custodians get their jobs back, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Students are now alleging police used excessive force to break up the demonstrations. UC officials say there will be a thorough investigation of any police brutality claims. Students took video and photographs of some altercations between protesters and police.

In Los Angeles, students also voiced their thoughts on the tuition hike. On Nov. 18, more than a dozen University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) students were arrested for allegedly interrupting a UC Regents board members meeting. Hundreds of protestors rallied outside the regents’ Finance Committee meeting.

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