LOS ANGELES — The governing board of the University of California approved a $2,500 student fee increase Thursday after two days of tense campus protests across the state.
The vote by the Board of Regents in a windowless University of California, Los Angeles, meeting room took place as the drone of protesters could be heard from a plaza outside. Scores of police in riot gear guarded the building.
The 32 percent increase will push the cost of an undergraduate education at California's premier public schools to over $10,000 a year by next fall, about triple the cost of a decade ago. The fees, the equivalent of tuition, do not include the cost of housing, board and books.
"Our hand has been forced," UC President Mark Yudof told reporters after the vote. "When you don't have any money, you don't have any money."
At the UCLA campus, hundreds of students and union members gathered at the arched doorways of the building, waving signs, pounding drums and chanting "We're fired up, can't take it no more" and "Shame on you."
Armed police, some with beanbag-firing shotguns, lined up behind steel barricades, watching over the protesters.