UCLA Students Occupy Campus Building in Protest

Students in California are protesting the University of California System's 32 percent fee hike.

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It's getting pretty hairy out in the Golden State as the state's university system considers a major fee increase for students.

A committee on the University of California Regents approved a 32 percent jump in fees yesterday, and the full regents are expected to approve the plan today, the Los Angeles Times reports. The increase of more than $3,500 would make the cost of tuition three times what it was 10 years ago, the report says.

UCLA students occupied a campus building this morning to protest of the tuition increase, the Times reports. The protesters stormed Campbell Hall, which is in the northeast corner of UCLA's campus, and chained the doors shut. Students camped out last night, and hundreds more are expected to join the protests leading up to the regents' meeting, according to the Daily Bruin.

In a statement posted on UCLA's website earlier today, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block urged student protesters to remain civil.

"As you likely know, the UC Regents are meeting on campus in Covel Commons," Block wrote. "There were a number of protest demonstrations yesterday, and they are continuing today. It's important for us to honor the right to protest, but we also must maintain an environment of civility, respect, and safety on our campus. . . .

"Currently, a number of students are conducting a sit-in in Campbell Hall, and classes there have been canceled. If you do not need to be in the vicinity of Campbell Hall or Covel Commons, please stay away."

A Daily Bruin report says that more than 500 students rushed into Covel Commons yesterday, pushing into a blockade of police officers. Some officers wore riot gear and others had Tasers and nightsticks, but no injuries in the confrontation with students were reported.

We'll continue to follow the situation in California as it unfolds today.

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