Californian students vent fury at soaring cost of public universities


Photo published on Twitter by @Tiffanydloftin.

Hundreds of students from all over California, unhappy with plans to raise tuition for the state’s public university system, held a raucous protest in San Francisco on Wednesday. They clashed with police and tried to stop a regent – a member of the board that governs the university system – from entering the building where the measure was being debated.

The video below shows students blocking the regent’s way. The regent starts to panic, and several police officers arrive to form a circle around him. They attempt to get him past the students, before giving up and ushering him away from the scene.

Video by Harley Litzelman.

The University of California system – which includes some of the nation’s top public universities, like UC Berkeley and UCLA – is facing a major budget shortfall. To fix this, the system’s board of regents is considering raising tuition by 28 percent over the next five years. This would bring tuition – which excludes campus fees, room and board – from 12,192 dollars to 15,560 dollars per year. A committee of regents voted 7-2 on Wednesday in favour of bringing this proposal to the full board.

Student protesters argue that this hike would price many young Californians out of a college education. Tuition at Californian universities have already been raised several times between 2009 and 2011.

Over the past week, students have protested at many California university campuses, many with poignant signs:

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Photo published on Twitter by @_melquez.

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Photo published on Instagram by whosedward.

Photo published on Twitter by @JoshDalavai.