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UC Fees Rise 8 Percent

Helen Tobin |
November 18, 2010 | 10:51 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter


UCLA (Creative Commons)
UCLA (Creative Commons)
The University of California Board of Regents approved a plan Thursday to raise student fees 8 percent next school year. The vote comes just one day after 13 people were arrested and four police officers were injured in protests outside the meeting on the UC San Francisco Mission Bay campus. 

On Wednesday, one officer drew his gun and others used pepper spray to control an aggressive crowd of 300 UC students and employees. Eleven students and two other people were arrested and police used pepper spray on an estimated 15 protestors, most of who were treated at the scene, officials said.  

Protestors threw barricades and other objects at university officials and the 100 city police in riot gear at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus, according to UC San Francisco Police Chief Pamela Roskowski.  She defended the police actions, calling the crowd  “angry and unruly and aggressive.”  

At one point, an officer guarding an elevator was rushed by protestors and hit on the head with his own baton, police said.  The officer heard protestors say they planned to take his gun, so he drew his weapon and pointed at demonstrators but did not fire, police said. Roskowski said video evidence proves that the officer was justified in drawing his weapon and that he had shown "great restraint."

The crowd was made up of people from across the state, angry about the decision to raise tuition for the sixth time in four years.  Demonstrations are expected to resume Thursday, the final day of the three-day meeting, when the regents approve the plan to raise tuition next fall from the present $10,302 to $11,124.  More than half of undergraduates receive free tuition through financial aid, but the rest of students will have to pay the increased fees to offset rising pension costs and avoid more layoffs and program cuts.      

Regents Chairman Russ Gould said Wednesday that the tuition decision would be "the hardest choice any of us will have to make." 

Students are questioning why UC President Mark Yudof is asking them to pay more when the state just increased UC's funding by $370 million.  Finance experts explained inside the public meeting that the funding restored only 58 percent of what had been cut since 2008. According to Yudof, the tuition increase will raise $180 million per year for the UC system, though other options for increasing revenue are still being considered.  

“I wish UC were free,” Yudof said. “But that's not the world we live in."

UC campus police across the state are preparing for massive protests when the fee hike is approved. 



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