Special CSU board of trustees meeting cancelled

Ron Rokhy

Correction: In the last paragraph of both the print and online versions of this story, Ashley Luke’s name is misspelled.

The CSU board of trustees announced the cancellation of its special committee meeting on presidential selection and compensation due to safety issues regarding a broken glass door caused by protesters at a previous meeting, and threats that protesters would return.

“We got word of a couple of groups that want to protest and our building isn’t in a state where we could move a large number of people if needed,” said Erik Fallis, a spokesperson for the CSU. “What Refund California (a group demanding public education refunds) did to our front door by vandalizing it makes it impossible to maintain logistics and secure everyone if we can’t use the main entrance.”

“Currently, we’re using side doors, and it’s just physically impossible with our layout right now to move large numbers of people in and out,” he added.

The meeting, originally planned for Monday, Dec. 5, was set to consider a single action item of updating its policy on presidential compensation, according to a press release.

During the previous meeting, held on Nov. 16, the board of trustees voted to increase Fall 2012 tuition by 9 percent. During the vote, protesters from Refund California and police clashed outside the chancellor’s office and the altercation led to numerous people being pepper-sprayed, four arrests and a broken glass door.

“We made this decision based upon our experience at the last board meeting where a large number of protesters attended, which is difficult to manage under the best of circumstances,” said CSU Board Chair Herbert L. Carter in a press release. “Our ability to guarantee the safety of crowds that we anticipate may wish to attend has been further compromised due to the damage to the entrance of our building that is still under repair. In light of all of this, and the fact that the agenda for the special meeting included only one action item, the board made the prudent decision to cancel the meeting.”

The cancellation also put a hold on a planned action by CSU students to protest the meeting. The Northridge, Long Beach and Sonoma factions of CSU’s Student for Quality Education had originally planned to protest the Dec. 5 meeting, but have now set their sights on the Jan. 24 meeting instead.

“The (Dec. 5) protest has been postponed,” said Ashley Luke, a founding member of the protest’s Facebook group. “The board of trustees has cancelled the meeting after what happened after the last BOT protest. They don’t want a repeat of that event.”