Students and union faculty members, frustrated by rising tuition and cuts within the University of California system wore orange jumpsuits at a UC Board of Regents meeting Wednesday.
The protesters said they were “Sentenced to higher tuition and debt”.
The Regents are meeting at the Sacramento Convention Center, their goal is to rally for more money for the University of California. Board President Sherry Lansing opened the meeting by saying the Board will lobby lawmakers and the Governor for $125 million to avoid a 6% tuition increase.
"We need $125 million buy out of tuition in order not to increase it," said Lansing among a spattering of applause.
Some students welcomed the added support by the Regents, but some felt it comes a little late.
"This can't be a one time thing, we urge the Regents to collaborate with students," said UC Berkeley student Shahryar Abassi.
When the Board of Regents starting talking about a report on how to handle future demonstrations on campus, protesters in the meeting room started chanting and making a scene.
"There was no recommendation to cap tuition, we don't just protest to protest," yelled one protester from the crowd.
After several requests for them to quiet down, Regents decided to move to another room and continue the rest of their meetings in a closed-door session leaving non-protestors in the audience bewildered.
Over two dozen people dressed as inmates circled the room chanting "I've been working on the chain gang." Protestor Charlie Eaton, a student in the student employee union, doesn't regret chaing Regents into closed session rather than engaging them.
"When the Regents meet for business, it's usually to increase executive pay. We should be cracking down on administrative mismanagement is what we should be doing," said Eaton.
UC Student Association President Claudia Magana who addressed the Board before the outburst told them that the Board's support is welcomed, but that students are not convinced that the Board's support is genuine.
Outside the meeting, students said they will lobby with the Regents but after a 300% increase in tuitions in the last ten years, the distrust continues.
"I personally don't believe it. I don't thing the Regents know how to support the students right now," said UC Irvine student Tracy Ishigo.
Lansing said the Board will support Governor Brown's tax increase initiative and a bill that gives tuition grants for middle income families. She also said they will push for a long term stable funding source for the University system.
FOX40 was told the Regents have a busy schedule while in Sacramento, including lobbying lawmakers to fund higher education.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun