March Rally at State Capitol to be Directly Addressed at May Regents Meeting

Photo by Hannah Davey

Part of the May 14-16 University of California Regents meeting will be turned into an opportunity for students and the Regents to band together and meet jointly with legislatures and communicate the shared goal to make “higher education an even higher priority.”

Thousands of UC, California State University and community college students flooded the front of the state capitol in Sacramento on March 5, with over 100 demonstrating inside, for a rally against decreased state funding for public higher education. At least 72 indoor protestors were arrested during the seven-hour occupation of the capitol building.

“You made an incredible impression,” said Sherry Lansing, chief of staff to the regents, in a statement at the UC Regents meeting on Wednesday, March 28 at UC San Francisco. “When thousands of students are speaking in a single voice, on issues so crucial to all of our futures, the legislatures do pay attention.

All of the students deserve tremendous credit for their tenacity… You all did a phenomenal job. We really need to carry this message forward.”

Lansing elucidated that the regents acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of students to be heard and instigate change, and communicated her desire for a positive collaboration as the next step for change. Students were similarly pleased that their presence made the impacts they anticipated.

“We’re more effective as a student movement because we have advocacy through the Occupy route and through the lobbying route,” Student Regent-Designate Jonathan Stein, who was in Sacramento to take part in the UC Student Association’s lobbying efforts, told the Daily Californian.

Lansing emphasized the importance of keeping California’s promise of higher education alive for the future leaders of our society and state.

“They need to stop cutting our budgets and reinvest now in the education of the young people who are going to be running the state one day.”