The Associated Press reported that today’s California State University Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach most prominently featured a private 9-6 vote in favor of increasing the base tuition costs for students, which is now at $5,970 for in-state undergraduates, a $498 increase. After factoring in campus fees, most students’ annual costs will exceed $7,000.
Students and other opponents of the fee increase protested outside the meeting and later interrupted the meeting inside the CSU Chancellor’s Office. Police acted to evict them from the building, resulting in a brief clash. Officers used pepper spray to force the protesters outside, and as riot police arrived, the demonstrators dispersed.
As a result of the conflict, at least four arrests occurred, according to CSU spokesperson Erik Fallis. One was a student at Cal State Long Beach; two attend San Diego State. Fallis told the Sacramento Bee that as demonstrators resisted eviction, they broke a glass door, injuring three officers.
Assistant Chancellor Robert Turnage said of the protests, “I understand why people are frustrated.”
“A lot of this energy is misplaced,” he continued. “It needs to be directed at people who have decision-making power over taxes.”
“We have institutions to run,” he said. “We can’t send the bill to the bank. We have to make payroll every month.”
Gavin Newsom, who is California’s lieutenant governor as well as a member of the CSU board of trustees, said he opposed fee increases. “We have an obligation to our students and their families to send a strong message to Sacramento that our higher education system and economy cannot meet its potential unless this catastrophic trend is reversed,” he told the Associated Press.
- Matthew Medina