CSU board of trustees vote for tuition increase at meeting turned violent

California State University police hold the line as protesters forced out of Wednesday's board of trustees meeting demanded to be let back in. Photo Credit: Andrew Lopez / Online Editor

CSU board of trustees voted to increase Fall 2012 tuition 9 percent while protesters turned violent outside after being removed from the Chancellor’s Office Wednesday.

Trustees voted 9 to 6 to raise full-time undergraduate tuition by $498 a year, bringing the total annual cost to $5,970.

“(It’s) time to tell the legislature this is what we need to operate this system, and if they’re not going to act then we have to show the leadership and make those tough, hard decisions,” board member Bob Linscheid said. “I hate like heck to make that decision, but I will.”

Chancellor Charles Reed told the board that a vote on tuition needed to be made as soon as possible to give prospective and current students plenty of notice of the fee increase.

“The timing of the (state) legislature is not congruent with the timing that the decisions that we have to make about the academic year,” Reed said. “We wanted to provide students and parents with as much notice as possible that tuition will go up in the fall.”

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, also a board of trustee member, said the board needed to end their trend of raising tuition if they ever expected to receive more state aid.

“We’re a record with grooves and we need to scratch that record,” Newson told the board. “You did a very good job today trying to justify a bad decision.”

Just outside the doors where the vote was taking place, several protesters with ReFund California Coalition clashed with police after being removed from the meeting for continuously disrupting board members.

The board also voted to approve its 2012-13 budget, which pressures the governor and legislature to provide $333 million in additional funding to cover all of CSU’s essential costs, including more classes, student services and faculty and staff health care, according to a statement from the CSU.

Once outside, protesters demanded to come back in, chanting “Whose university? Our university!”

When CSU police tried to close the doors on the protesters from the inside of the building, a struggle ensued.

Demonstrators who actively tried to regain entry to the Chancellor’s Office were pepper sprayed and pushed out of the doorway by CSU police. When police regained control of the door, the scene calmed down.

The violence picked back up when a student involved in an altercation with police was dragged back inside the building, thrown to the ground and arrested. At the same time, two other female students were also taken to the ground and arrested by CSU police.

Shortly after the three protesters were taken away by police, the glass front door was shattered.

Protesters outside backed away from the scene when the door shattered, marking the end of the chaotic scene.

A total of four people were arrested during the violent confrontation, including two students from San Diego State University and one student from CSU Long Beach, CSU spokesperson Erik Fallis said. Their charges have not been named.

First Report: LONG BEACH –CSU Board of Trustees voted 9 to 6 behind closed doors to increase tuition by 9 percent for Fall 2012 in a meeting marked by violence and arrests.

Three people were arrested when a group of protesters shattered the glass front door to the Chancellor’s Office after being forced out of a Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday.

Board chair Herbert Carter suspended the meeting after protesters became disruptive when not everyone was allowed to speak during the public comment section of the meeting.

California State University Police were brought in to escort the protesters out of the building. Some protesters refused to leave as police resorted to pushing them out and guarding the line.

The situation escalated when protesters continued to press forward after police told them to move back from the door.

Police coordinated an effort to pull the doors closed but protesters resisted, leading to several of them being pepper-sprayed.

  • A Proud Alum

    Many CSUN students, such as those active in CalPrig, are willing to pay higher tuition and fees. General fund revenues should be shifted away from education to pay for important projects like high speed rail. The $117 Billion high speed rail project will help transport business people from downtown SF to Downtown LA saving them time. More efficient business people makes our economy stronger. 

    • Vlad

      Alum,

      WHAT! The California Rail project is a boondoggle. They just announced that it would cost 3 times its original cost, when put on the ballot. Surprising, right?

      There are NO rail systems in the world, where the cost of a ticket provides an adequate enough revenue to service its operations. In other words, we(the taxpayer) will have to subsidize EVERY purchased ticket.

      There are flights from LAX to OAK/SFO for $99 roundtrip, and I can get there in an hour.

      Please spend more time thinking through your “ideas”

      Vlad

  • In addition, perhaps better oversight could’ve at least eased what became of this situation.

  • If any of you have ever had to deal with Chancellor Reed, you would know that he is not a man who deserves even a little respect. He wasn’t making a timely decision so that students and parents would know about the fee increase in advance. He makes it sound like it’s a courtesy or something. He just doesn’t want a lawsuit. He doesn’t care about students or parents. He cares about his own ass. And, because of that, I will never respect him.

    • Vlad

      Kyle,

      you will not see me defend Chancellor Reed. I do not know him from Adam. However, he is placed in a very difficult situation, not of his making.

      The State just announced a $13B shortfall. Promises of state subsidies were made a decade or more ago, that are now unfulfillable. The State, in its race to “social justice” has rapidly increased its obligations to those “who need” and their demands from those “who have.”

      In a free society, there is a dimishing return from a perennial increase in demands from “the rich.”  They can, and have, and will continue to move out of state.

      Further, by subsidizing higher-education, they’ve produced a hyperinflationary increase in the “cost” of college. An increasing number of students, who might not otherwise participate, are attending State schools. This has placed a burden on the system, and has produced an increasing cost, and decreasing performance.

      Chancellor Reed may be a d*ck, but he is playing the hand that was dealt him, over the last couple decades. Who should be blamed, are those (long-gone in many instances) that made promises that now go unfulfilled.

      Peace!

      Vlad

      • You’re right, of course. I don’t like him for other reasons, and this gave me an opportunity to express that dislike. As for the situation, I know he couldn’t control the hand, that he has to play the best he knows how based on what he’s been dealt… but any Adam can be an asshole.

      • In addition, perhaps better oversight could’ve at least eased what became of this situation.

  • Police used batons and pepper spray to assault students. The police turned violent first. You can see it in this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMmTrL19QS4. Students were simply trying to return to a public meeting. They committed NO violence.

    • Vlad

      Unlawful, forceful entry to a private complex is a violent act.

      If I read the article correctly, students were permitted inside, and then asked to depart. It was there attempts to forcefully re-enter the complex that escalated the altercation.

      I understand your ANGER about tuition hikes, but it is your actions that resulted in violence.

      Vlad

    • David the small-L libertarian

      Shortly after the three protesters were taken away by police, the glass front door was shattered. Protesters outside backed away from the scene when the door shattered, marking the end of the chaotic scene.

      Who shattered the door?  It didn’t shatter itself; though the way the Sundial writes it, it just “happened.”  Of course it was the protesters and this is “violence” in my book.  The CSU should expel these ingrates if they can be identified.  I don’t care to subsidize their educations if they behave like this.

      • Achilles

        The police obviously need to use bear spray.

  • Leahsparkle17

    All I have to say is what will it take? What will it take to show that students are serious about their education? This!!!! Seriously? It shouldn’t even have to go this far…What is it that the CSU Board of Trustees not understanding? We are not made of money. Help develop ways to help students get tuition instead of raising it! We need to petition because obviously this protesting is not solving anything. This is really ridiculous because all alot of people have to turn to is education, and without it it will create more violence, more crimes, homelessness, I mean the board of trustees seem like they don’t care, they haven’t even came to the students first to get their opinions on anything, but they are quick to raise tuition. This is going to create a higher dropout rate and make the “college business” look so bad. I hate to say this, but it will backfire financially!

    • Vlad

      Leah,

      It is difficult to NOT view something from a first-person perspective, and from your perspective I’m certain that you see tuition hikes as a personal afront.

      The State has created the problem that you’re presented with today. By offering subsidies, they’ve artificially raised the “actual” cost of education. What is happening in the state, is the constriction of “false promises” that Progressive Liberal politicians have made in order to garner votes.

      While easy to blame those who now have to deal with diminished resources, in an Inflationary economy, your angst should be directed at those who made promoses that they knew they could never fulfill.

      Do you have an opinion(as you assert)? Lay it out. How would you fix the states budget shortfall?

      Vlad  

      • Vlad

        Leah,

        Let me pre-empt your “Tax the Rich” proposal.  Please review the attached article. It highlights the detrimental impact of raising taxes and onerous regulations.

        Wealth and business is fluid. As you raise taxes, people, and businesses move to other states. Businesses are exiting California at an alarming rate. Raising taxes will accelerate this process.

        http://www.city-journal.org/2011/21_4_california-businesses.html

        Vlad

  • T. Hooks

    This is HORRIBLE! How many CSUN students won’t be able to attend when this hike goes into effect? How much of a raise will our professors see from this hike? Oh yeah… $0! Just like they got the last 7 years! How sad is it that the CSU boards believe that they are deserving of raises and pensions and yet they are preying on students and their families who can barely afford to attend school now? IMO… this is ludicrous and something needs to be done to stop these leeches from taking away our money and many of the resources available to us on campus!! We can’t print for free anymore! We have to bring our own paper and volunteer our time just to keep our libraries open. And they are taking away more than half of the class offerings for next semester? What did our last tuition hike go to exactly? I see strikes in the future and I hope that as students, we walk with our professors and all stand up for what’s right. I mean… without students and professors… there is no school!

    • David the small-L libertarian

      Just ask Obama for a bigger student loan.  The federal government took over all student loans as part of “ObamaCare.”  That was just one little socialist piece of legislation hidden in the bill.  If you fail to get a decent-paying job you don’t have to worry because the loan will be forgiven after 20 years.

      • Achilles

        Time to apply for my graduate education then isn’t it?!?