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Students protesting possible tuition hike briefly shut down UC regents meeting

University of California chancellor Nicholas Dirks gets an earful from U.C. Berkeley student Giovanni D'ambrosia protesting proposed tuition hikes outside a regents meeting in San Francisco.

University of California chancellor Nicholas Dirks gets an earful from U.C. Berkeley student Giovanni D’ambrosia protesting proposed tuition hikes outside a regents meeting in San Francisco.

(Karl Mondon / Bay Area News Group)

University of California regents abruptly recessed their meeting Thursday morning after more than 80 students furious about a possible tuition increase interrupted proceedings with chants and yells.

UC officials are considering a possible tuition increase of 2.5%, which would amount to about $280 a year, for next year and say financial aid would cover three-fourths of it. But students who packed the board meeting in San Francisco waved signs, stood up and began chanting in unison against fee hikes when regents attempted to discuss the issue.

Board Vice Chairwoman Bonnie Reiss repeatedly pleaded with students to show respect to the speakers and finally warned them several times that she would recess the meeting and ask police to clear the room. The students did not settle down, causing her to end the meeting.

UC San Francisco Police Captain Jim Brock then told students that his officers would begin to arrest them if they did not clear the room in five minutes. “I don’t want to arrest you,” he said, asking them to leave peacefully.

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As time ticked away, most of the the students held their ground. Student Regent Marcela Ramirez asked police for more time and the students left about five minutes later.

The regents reentered the room and resumed their meeting.

teresa.watanabe@latimes.com

Twitter: @TeresaWatanabe

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