Regents’ Meeting: A Historic Opportunity

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This Wednesday and Thursday at UCLA, a historic moment in the state of California will happen. And we, as UC students, will have an opportunity to make that moment ours.

On Wednesday at UCLA, the UC Board of Regents, the governing board of the University of California, will vote on whether to raise student fees by 32%. And on Thursday, the Board of Regents will finalize and execute that vote. This is a historic moment. President Yudof, pressured by decreasing state funding and increasing costs, has proposed a drastic student fee increase that will not only push undergraduate tuition above 10,000 dollars a year, but will also begin the increase in the middle of the year. This is not a historic moment because it will be one of the most devastating fee increases to students in recent history. This is a historic moment because the fee increase speaks to the lack of investment the state of California and the people of California have in the University of California.

If the increase passes, UC Irvine students will face the brunt of the public’s failure to invest in the University.

But there is something that students can do. So far, over 1,000 students plan to descend on the Board of Regents meeting to protest the fee increase. This is a historic opportunity, not just because this is the one chance students will be able to speak out against the fee increase, but because for two days, the eyes and ears of Californians will be focused on what we do and what we say. These two days will be our chance to tell the public, and the state government, that we deserve and need their support. The lack of their support has hurt us too hard, too fast. It will hurt our futures and the future of California. With over 1,000 students from across the state at UCLA and a drastic fee increase on the table, this may be the only opportunity of this magnitude UC students will ever see.

On November 18 and 19, UC Irvine students will have the opportunity to join the fight for the future of a public University.

So please come with us in speaking out for a quality and affordable University of California. ASUCI is arranging trips to UCLA to protest the fee increases on both Wednesday and Thursday. If you’re interested in participating, please email executivevp@asuci.uci.edu. Visit our blog, and learn about our teach-ins, at ucregentlive.wordpress.com. Or join us yourself at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday at Covel Commons, UCLA, where the Board of Regents meeting will be held.

I will be there both days, on one side of the velvet rope, sitting at the table with the Board of Regents, speaking for the future of an affordable and quality UC. I hope to see you on the other side.

Jesse Cheng is a fourth-year Asian American studies major. He is also the student-regent designate. He can be reached at jessec@uci.edu.

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