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Wednesday, July 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Protesters Interrupt UC Regents Meeting

SACRAMENTO (CN) - As the University of California Board of Regents meeting was interrupted for 25 minutes Wednesday when students and protesters refused to leave the room, UC President Janet Napolitano told the Chairman of the Board, "Let's go, we don't have to listen to this crap." Police were called to remove the protesters.

The interruption came after the public comment section ended.

Napolitano and Gov. Jerry Brown, a committee of two, the Regents Board that they have not created any concrete proposals in their private meetings about UC tuition, but are working with various agencies to seek ways to save.

Brown and Napolitano stressed the importance of cutting student debt and said tuition rates must come down after years of increases.

Brown said the two-person committee, which they nicknamed "CO2," is trying to "flatten the tuition curve," which has left the average UC undergrad with $19,000 in debt after graduating.

The CO2 met twice privately since Brown's budget proposal in January and are scheduled to meet again in April.

Napolitano said the governor's staff has visited several UC colleges and she has been meeting with UC students to discuss compromise.

"They want to be sure that their voices are being heard, and I want to commit to them that their voices are being heard," Napolitano said.

Brown told the regents that any group funded by the state always wants more and that the Legislature and special committee's responsibility is to find common ground.

"Inevitably, I'm the one who has to say no and I will when I have to," Brown said.

The committee is discussing online courses and how to cut UC costs and help graduate students faster. Brown described his experiences with his iPhone to drive home the importance of technology in an attempt to relate to online courses.

"I consult my little iPhone several times a day," Brown said. "There's just a lot of knowledge that's now available ... and I think it's symbolic."

Brown, Napolitano and the Regents all said that they think compromise will be found.

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