Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Trustees Flee Public Eye to Raise Tuition

This morning, the CSU Board of Trustees' Committee on Finance voted 4-3 to pass the tuition increase. Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, a member of the Board, objected:

"We're absolving our opportunity to put pressure on the government and the legislature by giving them every excuse to focus on those other hungry mouths up there," Newsom said, noting that the CSU has raised tuition 20 percent in the last year.

Later, the Trustees ordered police to clear ReFund California protesters from the meeting room and retired to a private room rather than continue the meeting in its normal (and now demonstrator-free) location.

Trustees then reconvened out of sight of the public to pass the tuition increase by 9-6. Most observers in the room at today's meeting were peaceful and not disruptive. The Trustees' actions show the extent of their respect for the public's right to observe their deliberations and votes.

After demonstrators were pushed outside, they attempted to re-enter the building while police held the doors to keep them (and anyone else) out. With people tugging/pushing from both sides, one of the glass doors shattered and cut an officer's arm. Police used tear gas or pepper spray (reports differ) on the crowd. Several people were arrested.

Police were also gathered at a park near the Queensway Bridge, apparently staged to respond to protests at the CSU or elsewhere in Long Beach today.

Note for those who haven't been to the Chancellor's Office: The doors at the entrance to the Chancellor's Office are glass, with no enclosing frame. They look like bigger versions of the type of doors used in home showers, which sometimes shatter (with or without someone present at the time) and injure people.


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