University of California students disrupted a meeting of the UC regents in Sacramento this morning, protesting tuition increases in a sustained chant that forced regents to break early for a closed session meeting.
The regents were about to discuss the impact of Gov. Jerry Brown's May budget revision on the university system when about 18 students dressed in orange prison garb and complaining they were "sentenced to debt" began marching in a circle in the audience.
Regents were expected to return to open session before noon to discuss the budget. The protest died down about 30 minutes after it began.
"The UC regents are closer to Wall Street than they are to the people of California," UC Berkeley student Charlie Eaton said.
The UC system last year raised tuition by about 18 percent over the previous year, and administrators are considering further increases. Brown's May budget revision, released Monday, did not include an additional $125 million for the college system that administrators said they need to avert a potential 6 percent tuition hike.
The crowd included students from UC Davis, where last year's pepper-spraying incident still resonates.
Students in the audience hissed when Nathan Brostrom, a UC vice president, said administrators have "full, unequivocal confidence" in UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi.
A member of the audience yelled, "Is that a joke?"
The regents are meeting in Sacramento for the first time since 1993, as administrators lobby lawmakers at the Capitol for additional funding.