On Jan. 15 and 16, the UC Regents held their first meeting of the year at UC Riverside.
The regents meeting was once again interrupted by students protesting the increased cost of tuition. Protesters began a general assembly during the public comment session and the campus police cleared the room.
This event makes it clear that students are looking for a better way to voice their opinions. It’s obvious that the students of the UC system have a lot to say to the regents, and the regents need to make time to listen. While each regent meeting has a public comment session, the tension that has arisen during these meetings has made it clear that the time provided is not sufficient.
Students making their voices heard is important but interrupting the meeting should not have to be their only avenue. The interruptions are effective in getting attention, but they often inhibit the regents’ ability to have necessary discussions about the future of the UC system.
The regents have expressed feeling uncomfortable or unsafe at these meetings. While this is unfortunate, regents should aim to fix the root of the problem, which is that students don’t feel their ideas are being heard. The regents need to provide students with a chance to talk to the them outside of these meetings, so necessary agenda items can be completed, while students also have a chance to share their ideas.
The UC system is made up of over 222,000 intelligent students who clearly have ideas they want to share. The regents should take advantage of this resource while searching for ways to fix the UC system.