UCLA Students Riot Over Tuition Hike

LOS ANGELES

Fourteen people were arrested at the University of California, Los Angeles Nov. 18 for repeatedly interrupting a UC Regents board members meeting about a student fee increase, reports KTLA.com.

Hundreds of protestors stood outside the regents’ Finance Committee meeting located at the university’s Covel Commons area. The protestors shouted, “Cut from the top!” while holding banners protesting the expected vote on fee increases, according to the news report.

When campus police asked the demonstrators to leave, they locked arms and sang the civil rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome.”

As it stands, the UC system is facing a $535 million deficit. Thus, the Board of Regents will be raising fees by 32 percent in two phases in order to close the gap. The fees will increase by $585 in the upcoming spring semester. Next fall, there could be as much as a $1,344 increase. (Story continues below.)

The increase, in turn, will bring annual UC tuition up to $10,302, excluding the cost of campus fees, housing and books.

Because of the interruptions, the panel was forced to temporarily adjourn. The meeting room was then cleared. The board voted later in the day on Nov. 18 and approved the increases.

As for the arrested protestors, it is unclear how many of them were actual students. All were booked for unlawful assembly and are expected to be cited and released.

No one was injured during the protest.

In addition to the fee increases, the UC Regents will ask for a $913 million increase in state funding for the next fiscal year. If that funding is not approved, freshman enrollment may have to be cut.

Students at UC Berkeley also protested the fee hikes.

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