UC regents’ meeting adjourns after protesters cause meeting to halt

Gracie Malley/Staff
Protesters of the UC Regents hold a 'People's UC Meeting' during the UC Regent's Meeting at UCSF, November 28, 2011.

The UC Board of Regents’ meeting came to a halt at approximately 11:40 a.m. at UC San Francisco-Mission Bay when demonstrators overwhelmed communication during an extended public comments session.

Protesters, in solidarity with the Occupy movement, began to hold a meeting of their own once the regents left and introduced numerous proposals, including one in favor of UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s resignation — which passed unanimously.

The meeting — which was originally scheduled to be held in San Francisco on Nov. 16 and 17 — was rescheduled due to public safety concerns. According to UC spokesperson Ricardo Vazquez, it was not cost effective to bring the regents together for the four-hour meeting, resulting in the decision to hold the meeting via teleconference at UC San Francisco, UCLA, UC Davis and UC Merced.

“I’m sorry a small number of students decided to disrupt our meeting,” said board Chair Sherry Lansing. “They could not hear what we had to say and that saddens me.”

The regents and UC President Mark Yudof left the San Francisco location and quickly relocated to a smaller room in the same building, allowing press and the public limited access. UC spokesperson Brad Hayward said in an email that as of 12:30 p.m., the meeting and an online audio feed of the meeting had resumed.

The meeting was also disrupted at UCLA and UC Davis, according to Hayward. UC Student Regent Alfredo Mireles, Jr. and UC Student Regent-designate Jonathan Stein attended the meeting in Davis, where they joined the protesters’ general assembly.

As protesters left the San Francisco building around 12:30 p.m. to go eat lunch, they chanted, “We are the people’s regents, we’ll make banks pay!”

The meeting adjourned shortly after 1 p.m., after which Yudof met with the press.

“I was very pleased with the meeting … and that no one was hurt,” he said.

Damian Ortellado contributed to this report.