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Small, Vocal Berkeley Crowd Protests UC Tuition Hikes

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A protester addresses the crowd at UC Berkeley (CBS)

A protester addresses the crowd at UC Berkeley (CBS)

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BERKELEY (BCN) — About 50 students protested University of California tuition hikes at UC Berkeley Friday morning and damaged 10 buildings with marker and chalk graffiti.

“The damage was significant to various campus buildings,” UC Berkeley police Lt. Alex Yao said. He added that no arrests have been made, but police have a list of suspects and are looking into what action can be taken.

The protest began around 10 a.m. in Sproul Plaza, where demonstrators scrawled words on nearby pillars about the unfairness of tuition hikes.

“If they’re so strapped for cash, why did they approve more raises and big salaries to administrators?” protester Tanya Smith said.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

The University of California Board of Regents on Thursday approved an 8 percent tuition hike for schools system-wide in efforts to help cover a $1 billion budget shortfall.

At the same meeting, regents approved promotions for a number of staff members. Several promotions included salary raises in excess of $40,000.

In total, the University of California system has seen a 40 percent raise in tuition since 2009. The 8 percent raise beginning in fall 2011 will bring total tuition costs to $11,124 per year.

Hundreds of UC students protested the fee hikes at the regents’ meeting on Wednesday at UC San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus. Thirteen were arrested for getting rowdy with police.

But with only five regents voting against the measure, many officials understood the necessity of the tuition hike.

“You can’t look at the last 30 years and be at all confident you’re ever going to avoid a fee increase,” University of California President Mark Yudof said.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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