Twenty members of the UC Board of Regents were present to vote on the motion to increase student fees, now called tuition, yet only 5 voted no.
Student Regent Jesse Cheng, Regent Charlene Zettel, Regent Odessa Johnson, Vice President of Alumni Association of UC Darek DeFreece, and Lieutenant Governor of California Abel Maldonando voted against the 8% tuition increase. With the motion carried, students will see the tuition increase reach a total of over 50% over the last two years. UCSB students will see this 8% increase on their BARC accounts beginning Fall 2011.
Once again, the public pleas of students and UC employees during the public comment period assailed the ears of UC Regents to no avail.
Eric Khan, an undergraduate at UC Berkley, commented on how the UC Regents have not utilized the media fully in order to gain more public support for keeping student tuition unchanged and receiving more money from the state of California.
“When all people see is police holding down students in riot gear, they may not be sympathetic to our cause or put appropriate pressure on Sacramento,” explained Khan.
Chairman of the UC Regents Board Russell Gould acknowledged the “tough decision” Regents had to make today, yet he still believed student tuition was an important step in resolving the UC budget deficit.
“We have a lot of interests at stake,” stated Gould in a press conference held after the vote. “But the fact of the matter is that there is no real remedy for California without the function of the UC system.”
University of California President Mark Yudof also addressed the press, stating that 55% of UC students will not see tuition increases in the following year due to the Blue and Gold Program as well as to continued financial aid.
“Students whose family incomes are less than $90,000 still pay nothing to attend a UC,” said Yudof.