Facing massive budget cuts, the UC Regents approved a 32% hike in undergraduate fees last week. This led to a number of student protests across the state. When I got to campus on Friday, I found that Wheeler Hall (which houses the computer lab I use) had been roped off with police tape.
A group of students had occupied part of the building’s second floor. In addition to a repeal of the fee hikes, they were demanding that the school: rehire 38 custodians that had been laid off, renew the lease for a low-income co-op that was about to be discontinued, and allow several food-court vendors to renew their lease.
At first, I thought the protest would be like the protests I’d seen at UCSB, with most of the participants taking the event as an opportunity to wear tie-dye and smoke bowls. But this one was much more sincere. I was pissed at first because I was planning on getting a full day of work done, but found myself caught up in the fervor of the demonstration.