University of California – Berkeley Students Protest Tuition Hike

The new tuition increase at the University of California – Berkeley brought out many student protesters on Wednesday night in the school’s, Wheeler Hall. By early Thursday morning, roughly 200 protesters had set up camp in the hall, according to the UC Berkeley newspaper the Daily Californian.

Protesting students created a list of demands that they would like to see met by the administration after the Board of Regents passed the policy to increase tuition by a minimum of 5% per year for the next five years. The hike in tuition will increase the amount paid tuition and fees by $612, for a total of $12,804. The Board of Regents is citing the drop in state funding as the cause for the raise in rates as it is the lowest it has been in nearly 30 years.

A few of the items on the protesters list of demands are as follows:

  • Charges against fellow Berkeley student, Jeff Noven, are requested to be dropped after he was arrested during the regents meeting on Wednesday.
  • Reversal of the decision to raise tuition.
  • Complete transparency of the UC Berkeley budget, which falls in CA law AB94.

The protesters made themselves comfortable as they camped out in Wheeler Hall overnight. There was a vote among those in attendance on Thursday morning, which resulted in the decision not to completely take up residence in the hall with the intent of allowing other students the needed access to the building for scheduled classes.

Lauren Kivlen is a senior studying microbiology at UC Berkeley and spent the night inside the building. She said, “More and more, I realize that education should be a right and not a privilege. Everyone should have access to education as a human right. (Tuition hikes could keep people from accessing something that is rightly theirs, and you have to fight against that.”

The choice to vacate Wheeler Hall did not mean the protest was over though, as students opted to stage teach-ins instead. If the pictures circulating Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are any indication, the occupiers are operating on caffeine and the passion to change the tuition hike as they watched the regent meeting via livestream.

If the new tuition policy isn’t repealed by Monday students are threatening to stage a walkout of their classes on Monday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *