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Sonoma State University Joins National Protest Day

At Sonoma State, students will hold a"Reclaim the People's University" event at noon today in Stevenson Quad.

organizers are joining students around the Bay Area today to protest rising tuition costs and state budget cuts to public education in a wave of demonstrations at campuses up and down California.

The protests are part of a " to Defend the Right to Education" called by student organizations and members of the Occupy movement.

In California, the protests are the latest in a series of demonstrations over the lack of funding for public education in the state, which has resulted in dramatic fee increases for public universities in recent years.

Protesters intend to march on the state Capitol in Sacramento on Monday as well, and students are organizing to send busloads of protesters to the event.

At Sonoma State, students will hold a"Reclaim the People's University" event at noon today in Stevenson Quad.

The event is partculary important at SSU, where a shrinking budget hasspurred a . Tuition at the school has almost doubled since 2000, and budget cuts have forced enrollment restrictions, which some students say will .

The event will last throughout the day, starting with teach-ins, discussion circles and performances discussing cuts to departments, campus programs and the availability of student jobs.

Organizers said that university administration officials are intending to attend the events and discuss the students' concerns.

There will also be a night event on the campus, with a concert featuring musical performances and speakers from 9 p.m. until midnight.

One of today's most ambitious actions began at 4:30 a.m., when students at the University of California at Santa Cruz gathered intending to shut down the campus for the day.

Protesters at the University of California at Berkeley are holding their own open university this morning, and began gathering outside California Hall at 8 a.m.

A rally is planned in Sproul Plaza at noon, and then protesters are planning to march to Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza to join an evening rally there at the site of the former Occupy Oakland camp.

A "Reclaim SFSU" rally will be held at San Francisco State University starting at noon, followed by a march from Malcolm X Plaza.

Organizers of the SFSU event said the action is being held to improve the quality of education at the school, and reclaim a student voice in education.

Students at San Jose State University are planning a walkout at noon today, followed by a rally and march.

In San Francisco, protesters will hold a teach-in and occupation at the California State Office Building at 455 Golden Gate Ave. before holding a rally in Civic Center Plaza at 4 p.m.

Occupy Oakland protesters are planning a rally in Frank Ogawa Plaza at 5 p.m.

Protesters from throughout the state will hold a larger, unified demonstration on Monday in Sacramento.

The "Occupy Education" rally will begin at 10 a.m. followed by a march to the state Capitol building. The daylong event will also feature nonviolent direct action training and another rally at the Capitol that evening.

By Bay City News and Alexis Fitts

Milan Moravec March 03, 2012 at 04:04 AM
I love University of California having been a student & lecturer. Like so many I am disappointed by Chancellor Birgeneau’s failure to arrest escalating costs, tuition. Birgeneau has doubled instate tuition. On an all-in cost, Birgeneau’s UC Berkeley (UCB) is the most expensive public university. Tuition consumes 14% of a median family income. Paying more is not a better university. Birgeneau dismissed removing much inefficiency: require faculty to teach more classes, double the time between sabbaticals, freeze vacant faculty administrator roles, increase class sizes, freeze pay & benefits & reform pensions, health costs. Birgeneau said removing such inefficiencies wouldn’t be healthy. UCB ranked # 2 in earning potential in USA. Exodus of faculty, administrators: who can afford them? Californians agree it is far from the ideal situation. Birgeneau cannot expect to do business as usual: raising tuition; subsidizing foreign student tuition; granting pay raises & huge bonuses during a weak economy that has sapped state revenues, individual income. Recently, Chancellor Birgeneau’s campus police deployed violent baton jabs on Cal. students protesting Birgeneau’s increases in tuition. The sky above Cal. will not fall when Robert J. Birgeneau ($450,000 salary) is ousted. Email opinions to the UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

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