UC Board of Regents approves revised 2018-19 budget plan, discusses student experiences

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The UC Board of Regents convened Thursday at UCSF Mission Bay to discuss the 2018-19 budget plan and other aspects of the university that pertain to student life.

At its morning meeting, the board approved the university’s revised 2018-19 budget plan, which indicates increases in state funding, maintains the student service fee at its current rate and reduces tuition by $60.

“I hope and I pray that it is the first of a new trend,” said Regent Sherry Lansing at the meeting.

According to a UC Office of the President press release, the new tuition — reduced from $11,502 to $11,442 — is a result of the university recovering almost all the damages from two class-action lawsuits by fall 2018: Kashmiri v. Regents and Luquetta v. Regents. These lawsuits were filed because students claimed that the university increased their tuition without adequate notice. Ultimately, the litigation process cost the university $100 million.

Judith Gutierrez, president of the UC Student Association, expressed her support for the tuition reduction.

“As we move into the new year, I hope you are already thinking about how we can proactively build towards budget negotiations that will permanently prevent tuition increases and establish a precedent of funding the UC and subsequently rolling back the tuition every year,” Gutierrez said at the meeting.

Gutierrez credited the prevention of an increased tuition and the funding increase to public comment sessions, visits to budget subcommittees in Sacramento and meetings with the Department of Finance and the governor’s office.  

Dominick Williams, a rising senior at UC Berkeley, discussed concerns related to economic and racial diversity. He advocated for an increase in collaboration to “change the model.”

“Outside of financial assistance, the No. 1 way to get students to the UC is confidence,” Williams said at the meeting. “Seeing another student from their high school with that blue and gold smile is the best way to build that confidence.”

Rachel Roberson, incoming president of the UC Graduate and Professional Council and doctoral candidate in education policy and organization at UC Berkeley, spoke about issues of concern relating to UC graduate students and professionals.

According to Roberson, the UC Graduate and Professional Council will work to mitigate the immigration policy threat impacting international graduate students’ careers and prioritize affordability and access to ensure “viable training for our future careers.”

Roberson stated that the UC Graduate and Professional Council will be focusing primarily on issues related to Title IX.

“We are both apprentices under our (principal investigators) and advisers. That interesting power dynamic is unfortunately all too ripe for being taken advantage of, and it happens far too frequently,” Roberson said at the meeting. “We also happen to be in various areas of direct service with undergraduate students. That shared trust and respect puts us in a position to hear too often the issues of violation.”

Contact Aarya Gupta at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @aaryagupta.