The University of California Regents Committee on Finance has voted to increase student fees come spring.
The committee approved a 15 percent midyear increase in fees for undergraduate and graduate professional students, and a 2.6 percent increase for graduate academic students, effective this coming spring semester.
The committee also approved an additional 15 percent increase for all students the following summer semester.Each of the increases was recommended by University President Mark Yudof.
The increases are necessary because of $535 million in cuts last year and the possibility of more cuts from the state this year, according to meeting documents.
Some of the money from the fee increases will be used to help the systems financially neediest students.
The vote was carried out in an empty board room after student protesters continually disrupted the meeting. At various times, the students chanted "si se puede" and "we shall overcome," highlighting their argument that lower-income, first-generation and minority students would be mostly affected by the increases.
Just before noon, University Police entered the meeting room and ordered all audience members, with the exception of the press, to leave the room.
California's open meetings laws allow a governing body to clear a meeting room of all audience members if order can not be achieved even after disruptive members have been removed. Once cleared, the board can only address the issues that were included on the public agenda.
Student regent Jesse Bernal voted against the increase. The full board of regents will meet Thursday to accept or deny the committee's decision. Live audio of the 8:30 a.m. meeting will be provided here: http://california.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2.