At yesterday’s UC Board of Regents meeting, roughly 500 student protesters blocked entrances to the venue, stalling the three-day gathering on its last day of discussion at the UCSF Mission Bay campus.
The Regents discussed approval of the 2013-2014 university budget, touching on the implications of Proposition 30’s passage as well as tactics that would more efficiently allocate current UC funds. At around 10 a.m., about 10 student activists delayed the meeting when they stood up and chanted demands for tuition reductions and other measures to increase accessibility to public higher education.
Students interested in learning more about UC budgetary issues have the opportunity to do so at today’s Student Regent Meet and Greet, which will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in UCSB’s Loma Pelona Room 1108.
The event — which is being held by the External Vice President of Statewide Affairs Office — will host presentations by current Student Regent Jonathan Stein and Student Regent Designate Cinthia Flores, who will both participate in a Q&A session discussing prominent issues and concerns regarding the future of the UC system.
At yesterday’s protests, when students did not adhere to requests to stop their actions, chair of the Board of the UC Regents Sherry Lansing brought the meeting to a halt, asking UCSF Police Department officers to assist in emptying the auditorium.
Meanwhile, more than 80 students attempted to reignite the Occupy Cal movement, holding banners while they stood outside the administrative meeting.
The protests come after board meetings earlier this week that discussed budgetary measures and other resolutions for coping with decreased state funding. At Wednesday’s meeting, the board requested increased amounts of funding from state government in an effort to prevent future tuition hikes and other cuts to the UC system. In response, Governor Jerry Brown and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom declined such requests, stating that such proposals are not aligned with the restrictions of cur- rent state funds.
UC Student Association President Raquel Morales called for the board to increase budgetary efforts assisting the University, adding that they should strive to secure an affordable future for UC students.
“Students and families will be angry and shocked if, after voting for an eight billion revenue increase, they continue to pay more and get less from the UC,” Morales said. “We need your leadership to ensure that further fee increases are not considered as an option. The potential annual six percent fee increase [is] an unacceptable attack on the accessibility and affordability of the UC system, with the continued disinvestment from our education.”
Morales added that state government should consider the financial constraints continually being imposed on UC students.
“Students are out here trying to func- tion, and we need you to have our backs,” Morales said. On Tuesday’s meeting, university officials and regents discussed the UCSB Long Range Development Plan, assessing the 2013-2014 budget for state capital improvements while proposing to build a San Francisco Mission Bay Faculty Office Building.
Second-year economics and political science double major Sydney Bennet, the campus organizing director for the
EVPSA Office, said students should attend tomorrow’s student regent event in order to gain additional knowledge about UC budgetary issues and resolutions.
“Hopefully we can show the Regents that we care about our school and the UC system as a whole,” Bennet said. “We will work to ensure our voice is heard.”
— Staff Report
A version of this article appeared on page 3 of November 16, 2012′s print edition of the Nexus.