Well, the results are in, and the 32% fee increase has been approved by all of the Regents (save one, student regent Jesse Bernal). This may be a disappointing loss but fret not; this war is far from over.
Much praise needs to go to our brave brothers and sisters who peacefully protested during the Regents meeting at UCLA today, despite the arrests and abuse. My heart also goes out to all of those who spoke in the open forum, because you helped to represent those of us who could not be there. The same goes out to fellow UC students and faculty at both Berkley and Santa Cruz, who all displayed solidarity and passion in their respective demonstrations. UC Berkley, always at the forefront of social awareness, held a rally of one thousand strong at Sproul Hall. Three hundred students and staff members at Santa Cruz, in a show of strong defiance, blocked both primary entrances to the campus, all the while shouting slogans and making speeches.
But the dust has settled on this day, and the skirmish is over. It’s now time to use the momentum we’ve built off this crises and set our sights on Sacramento. We need to take this fight to our dear legislators because after all, they are the ones who hold the purse strings. The Regents are attempting to secure an additional $913 million from the state, this is a goal that we should share as well.
However, if history has shown us anything, this is not something that we should too much faith in, so it is imperative that we take action. In a state that is ranked 48th in quality of education where sixty three out of sixty four citizens have no ties to the University, it is more important than ever to make the public realize the importance of higher education.
Everyone should keep their eyes and ears open for information about a planned march in Sacramento in March, where students from community colleges, CSUs, and UCs are planning to unite and take the fight to the Capitol steps. Do not lose heart fellow students, because in the words of our fellow students at UCLA, “We shall overcome.”