California State University trustees today approved a 9 percent tuition increase to take effect this fall, university spokeswoman Claudia Keith said, increasing the cost of attending a state college by $498 a year.
The vote came after trustees reconvened their meeting in a different room following an outburst of protests in the normal meeting room at the CSU Chancellor's Office in Long Beach. Protesters broke a glass door, injuring three police officers, said CSU spokesman Erik Fallis. One of the officers has been transported for medical care, he said.
Four people were arrested, Fallis said. One is a Cal State Long Beach student, two are San Diego State students. Fallis did not identify the fourth person, but said he was arrested for breaking the glass door.
The California Faculty Association -- the union that represents CSU professors -- sent an email report saying:
Police pepper sprayed the front door of Chancellor Reed's HQ, where the trustees were meeting to push the students out. Faculty members are trying to leave the building now as riot police are marching toward the protest.
A group called ReFund California, which is backed by several large labor unions, had pledged to protest at today's trustees meeting. Many members of the group spoke before the chaos erupted, calling on Cal State leaders to support higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy to fund public education and other services that have been reduced as the state has struggled with ongoing budget deficits.
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PHOTO CREDIT: An injured California State University police officer stands with other police near the entrance to the California State University Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach. A struggle erupted between demonstrators and police Wednesday as trustees of the huge CSU system met to vote for another tuition hike. Associated Press/Nick Ut