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At 11:40 a.m. this morning, the UC Board of Regents voted to approve an eight percent fee increase that will raise the newly-named “tuition” $822 for the 2011-2012 academic year. Unlike last year’s 32 percent increase when only one vote was cast in opposition by then student regent Jesse Bernal, five regents voted no this year: Odessa Johnson, Charlene Zettel, Darek DeFreece, student regent Jesse Cheng and Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado.

During the discussion preceding the vote, Maldonado asked the Board if they had truly exhausted all of their options before turning to the students. “In my heart, I feel like we haven’t, so I’ll be voting no,” Maldonado said as members of the audience burst into applause.

About half an hour after the vote, protesters met at the flagpoles at UCI for an hour-long rally where speakers discussed the eight percent increase, reports of police brutality in San Francisco during the Nov. 17 student protest and the university’s unfair practice of outsourcing workers.

“We are not picking fights with the UC Regents or administrators,” Fernando Chirino, a fifth-year sociology graduate student, said. “They pick these fights with us.”

For full coverage on the meeting and the protests in San Francisco and here at UCI, see next week’s Nov. 23 issue of the New University.

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