Students protest at Regents meeting

    Twenty UCSD students joined about 200 to 300 students from all University of California campuses to protest at the UC Board of Regents meeting on Nov. 19 at UCLA.

    Among the issues that protesters raised included fee increases, enrollment caps and accessibility of the board members to students. Protesters also voiced support for comprehensive review, an admissions policy used by the University of California that aims to look at factors other than grades and test scores. Comprehensive review has recently been scrutinized following a report by Board of Regents Chair John Moores examining admissions at UC Berkeley.

    Students gathered from approximately 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the meeting’s first session and made their complaints known outside the Covel Commons throughout the duration of the meeting. According to UCSD students who participated in the protest, by the time of their arrival, there was no available seating during the public input portion of the open session, so the students had to resort to making their demands outside of the building.

    “”I think the major point that I got out of it was that it was really hypocritical of the Regents because they’re supposed to be working for us, but we had to be the ones to go there,”” said Caroline Song, campus organizing director for the A.S. External Affairs Office. “”We needed to be there to realize that our voices aren’t really being considered and that we’re just being told what’s going on.””

    A.S. Vice President of External Relations Harish Nandagopal, who participated in the protest, said students protested the lack of input at Regents meetings.

    “”Most of the Regents meetings have been in Northern California and [have often been at] UC San Francisco, where it’s mostly graduate students,”” Nandagopal said. “”They segregate themselves from the undergraduate population.””

    UC president Robert C. Dynes addressed the students outside regarding comprehensive review. According to Nandagopal, Dynes also promised to meet with a student delegation sometime in February to further discuss issues pertaining to students.

    “”They made a promise to us that they won’t dismantle comprehensive review and that President Dynes will meet with us early next year,”” Nandagopal said. “”We got two victories today, and we’re hoping that the next Regents meeting will be held on an undergraduate campus in order for us to be able to give more input.””

    Other board members also came out to speak to the students, including Moores and Dolores Huerta. According to Song, Huerta encouraged the student protesters to continue to take their issues not only to the Regents but also to Sacramento.

    “”Huerta told us that she appreciated us for being there, that she would work for us, and she spoke about the need to emphasize education,”” Song said. “”It was very inspirational for her to come out and to say that she’s with us.””

    The Nov. 20 meeting will include reports and discussion from the Committee on Oversight of the Department of Energy Laboratories, the Committee on Education Policy and the Committee on Health Services.

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