SACRAMENTO — Professors, students and workers at all 10 University of California campuses on Friday staged protests and rallies and set up picket lines to draw attention to the effect of state budget cuts on the university.
Originally planned by professors angry that they've been forbidden from taking their unpaid furlough days on days they're scheduled to teach, the rallies have snowballed. Professors have been joined by workers locked in labor negotiations with the university system and students upset about a proposal to raise fees by 15 percent in the spring and another 15 percent next fall.
At the UC-Davis campus, students mingled with faculty and members of the University Professional and Technical Employees, holding signs that read "No to furlough," "Keep UC public" and "Say no to fee hikes."
Several thousand students, professors and employees crowded into UC Berkeley's main plaza for a noon rally. Many waved signs reading "Save our University" and "Reform UC Now."
Agnes Balla, a 21-year-old junior majoring in public health, said she was skipping three classes to join the walkout.
"I think the quality of education has been diminished by these budget cuts," she said. "I don't mind paying more for my education, but what I'm paying for is classes being cut, services being cut and a system that's becoming increasingly inaccessible."
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