University of California students across the state broke into a frenzy of protests last week in response to the 32 percent tuition increase approved by the UC Board of Regents on Thursday.
Demonstrations erupted at UC Santa Cruz, UCLA, UC Davis and UC Berkeley over the two-phase fee hike that begins with a 15 percent increase in Winter and Spring Quarters 2010 and a 32 percent total tuition jump by Summer Quarter 2010. This increase translates into a fee raise from $7,788 to $8,373 in January and $10,302 by next fall.
According to official estimates, between Wednesday, Nov. 18 and Friday, Nov. 20, approximately 100 UC protesters were arrested for disturbing the peace, trespassing or unlawfully assembling in response to the UC Regents’ deliberations.
UC Santa Cruz
Hundreds of protesters shut down both school entrances on Thursday as a group of students took over UCSC’s Clark Kerr Hall for the better part of three days.
According to press releases from UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal and Campus Provost David Kliger, more than 100 individuals entered Clark Kerr Hall at approximately 3:30 p.m. Thursday and refused to leave for three days. Their occupation of the hall ended yesterday around 6 a.m. when 70 people left the building after UCPD announced that they could either exit or be arrested. As of press time, no one was arrested for the occupation, although students involved face possible criminal or student judicial consequences.
According to the press release, nearly 150 Kerr Hall workers were unable to work on Thursday or Friday because they were evacuated from the building due to the students’ occupation of the property. Also, the release said, some portions of the hall were damaged and the building may remain closed for several days to come.
UC Los Angeles
During Wednesday’s Regents meeting, UCLA police arrested 14 protesters for disrupting the gathering. Additionally, UCLA’s Campbell Hall was stormed, barricaded and chained Thursday, Nov. 19 by over 30 demonstrators who spent the night on lockdown in the building to protest the fee hikes. Classes in Campbell Hall were cancelled Thursday as a result of the sit-in.
Roughly 50 UC Davis students occupied and refused to vacate Dutton Hall — the campus’ administration building — Thursday evening to protest the 32 percent tuition increase. Thursday’s demonstration led to 52 arrests at a sit-in at Mrak Hall following a march through campus. The majority of protesters left peacefully after police closed the building to the public; the remaining demonstrators were detained.
Police arrested 41 UC Berkeley student protesters for the partial takeover and occupation of Wheeler Hall for almost 12 hours on Friday, Nov. 20 to contest the Regents’ decision. Following citation for misdemeanor trespassing by campus police, the protesters ended the barricade peacefully Friday evening. Friday’s protest resulted in the cancellation of classes in Wheeler Hall that day.