SF State Students Stage Walkout in Solidarity With Occupy UC Movement

San Francisco – The UC Board of Regents was forced to cancel a meeting at UC San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus today after protesters planned to occupy the building

Among the plans the Board of Regents is considering is an 81-percent tuition hike by 2015 for UC schools. If approved, the four-year budget plan could increase tuition annually for UC schools from the present $12,192 to $22,200 by fall 2015.

But UC students weren’t the only ones joining in the protest against the fee hike.

Students at San Francisco State University staged a walkout on Tuesday, organized by the group Occupy SFSU, to protest tuition hikes and budget cuts across all California universities in solidarity with UC students.

Another meeting, held by CSU Trustees, is scheduled to take place today in Long Beach at the CSU Office of the Chancellor. Students in Southern California plan to protest that meeting, where trustees are expected to vote on a plan to raise CSU tuition by 9 percent next fall.

One first-generation immigrant student who joined the San Francisco State University walkout reported taking out $30,000 in student loans in four years; another said she owed $40,000.

Even then, students acknowledged their privilege over others as students of a university.

Kandell Nevarez, a junior at San Francisco State University, said to a crowd, “We must fight not only for ourselves but for those who’s back this society is built on.”

Nevarez later said that she wanted to double major in anthropology and Latino studies, but resorted to minoring in one subject and majoring in another because of the high cost of classes.

Despite the dismantling of Occupy camps in New York and Oakland, students at San Francisco State University remained hopeful for the future of the Occupy movement.

“They attacked New York and Oakland, but the fact that there are so many people here right now lets me know that this is a fire you cannot stamp out,” said one student.

The UC Board of Regents released a statement Monday indefinitely postponing the meeting, after UC San Francisco Police Department warned of public safety concerns.

According to the statement released by Regents Chair Sherry Lansing, Vice-chairman Bruce Varner and President Mark G. Yudof, UC police said they had “credible intelligence” about plans to disturb the typically peaceful student presence with “rogue elements.”

The ReFund California Coalition, made up of student groups and university staff unions, released a statement saying, “The UC Regents’ decision to cancel their meeting wastes a huge opportunity for the UC community to engage in dialogue about how to make the 1 percent pay to refund public education and all Californians instead of more cuts.”

Protestors had planned to bus an estimated 1,000 students from all over the San Francisco Bay Area to the regents meeting. Instead, the buses from UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, CSU Fresno, UC Merced, and San Francisco State University will be transporting students to a rally at Justin Herman Plaza today. The students plan to march to the banks and the corporate offices of the UC Regents in the San Francisco Financial District.

The UC Regents meeting has yet to be rescheduled.