California is pretty broke. Last year the University of California (all 99 of them) had to increase tuition 32 percent. Now it costs 224 percent more to attend UC than it did ten years ago. This year the board of Regents wasn’t done raising fees. From the desk of the chancellor :
November 18, 2010
To the Campus Community:
This afternoon, the University of California Board of Regents approved increases in tuition (which the UC previously referred to as student fees) and financial aid, effective as of the 2011-12 academic year. While I am deeply concerned about the impact of any tuition increase on our students and their families, the additional revenues are needed to ensure UCLA’s continued excellence. (Coverage of the Regents’ vote is available at the UC Newsroom website.)
Oh snap. 8 percent? That works out to about $822 per student, pushing tuition to an unruly $11,244. In tough economic times, how can you just raise tuition across the board with no regard to individual students ability to pay! He continues:
It is important to note that one-third of the new revenue generated by the fee increase would be dedicated to financial aid, and that no eligible resident student from a family with an income below $80,000 would pay tuition. In addition, for the 2011-12 academic year, the amount of the tuition increase will be waived for eligible students from families with incomes less than $120,000…
That does seem important to note. It’s also pretty reasonable. Kinda what Obama wants to do with tax cuts. If you can afford it, pay up. I wish my school did that. I also wish my school cost anywhere near 11 grand. When the whole country (especially California) is facing massive budget deficits, an 8 percent tuition increase to students whose parents’ combined income is over 120,000 doesn’t seem that absurd. Nothing to clash with police over, right?
[P]rotests that turned violent yesterday, when nearly 300 demonstrators clashed with officers at UC San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus. When it was over, 13 people were arrested, including 10 UC students, and four officers suffering minor injuries.
Demonstrators trying to storm the building where the regents were meeting surrounded UC officers, who had barricaded a bank of elevators in a campus garage. “We tried to get into the meeting and go down the stairwell,” said one student. She said the cops “started pushing up the stairwell. Someone fell on top of me, and then there was pepper spray.”
Pepper spray? Jesus. Well at least no one was shot.
UC cop pulls gun on students, lies about being beaten with his own baton. Students post flyers on campus with picture of the incident, which are then torn down by UCPD. Students chalk on campus and are accosted by police. Students hold meeting to plan response, police show up outside the door. WTF?
This according to a student protestor on reddit.
Here’s his evidence:
His film ends with a still frame of an officer, gun drawn, helmet on, looking terrified. The text says: “Demand Freedom, Join the Movement.” What movement? To corner a lone riot policemen in a parking garage, spin him around 15 times, take his baton, and then push him onto a car provoking him to draw his pistol that he then aims at the ground, as this not-so-edited version of the clash shows. Lucky this poor bastard kept his composure and didn’t bust many shots your direction. A single riot policeman, without his buddies/shield, is definitely more scared of you than you are of him. And then you take the man’s baton? How emasculating.
Says campus police Chief Pamela:
They hit the baton out of his arms. He was struck in the head with a baton
One lonely campus police man, beaten with his own baton. Have you no shame?
It wasn’t his fault tuition rates were increased. You think when the government cuts his petty state salary he’s going to go protest at your hackie sack game or quidditch match (damn kids)? I don’t think so. Although, he may arrest you for pot because you couldn’t get Prop 19 passed.
If anything, this incident is the reaction of a bunch of frustrated students sick and tired of paying more each and every year. And on the other side is the big bad Board of Regents who are just as frustrated because there’s no money. I understand – my small liberal arts school tries to move an admission building and the whole campus goes batshit because the school was broke. The words ‘tuition increase’ is a serious cause, but certainly nothing you could, by any stretch of the imagination, relate to the tragedy at Kent State. Remember Neil Young wrote a song about it? the students protesting an actual fucking war and actually shot by national guards troops called in by Nixon.
California in 2010 is not Ohio or Mississippi in 1970, of course. Two years ago I would have scoffed at such a comparison.
I’m not scoffing today.
Today I’m worried. Today I’m sad. Today I’m angry.
writes Angus Johnston, super serious non-scoffing Huffington Post blogger and founder of studentactivism.net. Angus, before you get sad, worried, and angry (all at the same time!) maybe take some time to relax, calm down, and scoff at your own comparison. Unless your goal is to fire up more protests, enrage more students, and spark some real violence.