UC student regents warn of possible tuition hikes

UC Student Regent Alfredo Mireles Jr. and UC Student Regent-designate Jonathan Stein spoke of impending tuition hikes facing students if they do not voice their opinions at Wednesday night’s ASUC Senate meeting.

The UC Board of Regents will be making long-term financial decisions during the next five months and is looking for alternative solutions to tuition hikes to allay the budget woes facing the UC system, they said.

The regents are looking at a plan that would help cover the $2.4 billion shortfall the UC faces over the next five years by raising revenue by 16 percent annually. However, Mireles said that the regents have not adopted a plan yet and are only discussing possibilities at this point.

Under the plan, which was discussed at the board’s September meeting, $1.4 billion could come solely from tuition increases, especially given some regents’ predictions that any increased contribution from the state is unlikely, according to Mireles.

Some regents at the board’s September meeting rejected the potential plan to cover the revenue through tuition hikes, he said.

“We had regents for the first time who said, ‘We can’t keep going down that road,’” said Mireles.

The rising cost for students to attend the UC is the product of continued state divestment from the university, Stein said, adding that the UC has lost its “historical role as leader of access and affordability.”

Stein said that there is a political action committee being formed to lobby for funding for higher education in Sacramento and that the regents are also looking into gaining unrestricted funds from corporations.