This past Monday, the University Office of the President announced that the UC Board of Regents meeting, previously scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday of this week, would be postponed due to safety concerns.
According to the press release, they received information of possible “rogue elements intent on violence and confrontation with UC public safety officers were planning to attach themselves to peaceful demonstrations expected to occur at the meeting.”
While it is understandable that safety issues are a concern, the UC Regents should not have cancelled the meeting. Those in charge need to be making decisions that will affect students in a timely manner, especially in a time of economic crises.
The regents should treat the potential tuition increase as an urgent matter. Don’t get us wrong, we’re in no rush to pay more to the UC, but while they would not have voted on the potential 81 percent increase in this meeting, they would and should have discussed it.
Many UC students have already dropped out of school because they cannot afford tuition, and many others are waiting for the decision from the Regents to decide if they will be able to continue paying for their education.
Furthermore, while the UC Office of the President has not released any more information, it seems to some that the only “rogue elements” that could have been an issue would have been student protesters. Because of the vagueness of the release, it seems concerns of safety could merely be an excuse to cancel the meeting. Students should be given the right to express their opinions, and the regents should not see cancelling the meeting as an answer to the students’ complaints.
Many students and faculty had planned to bus to UC San Francisco, where the meeting was to be held, to protest against the fee hikes. Some cancelled classes, moved midterms and arranged their lives so they could go to the meeting.
Alfredo Mireles, UC student Regent and Jonathan Stein UC student Regent Designate, have come out against the cancellation of the meeting and encourage students to continue to make their voices heard. We agree with them, and are glad that they support the students’ cause.
The regents have a responsibility to the students to make these decisions in a timely manner, and the meeting should be immediately rescheduled and promoted to encourage student involvement.