UC Board of Regents meets in Sacramento for annual meeting

The University of California Board of Regents met in Sacramento on May 14 and 15 at the Sacramento Convention Center. The Regents discussed a variety of issues and topics concerning University of California (UC) campuses and students.

The meeting began at 8:40 a.m. on May 14. The public comment session initiated the meeting. Various UC students, professors, faculty and community members expressed concerns at their respective UC campus.

There were over 70 attendees from the public who wished to address the Regents during the public comment session.

Of the groups of public attendees, Fossil Free UC was prominent. The group protested the UC investment in companies that utilize fossil fuels, arguing that they perpetuate environmental pollution. Students argued that the tuition money UC students pay should not go towards companies that engage in practices that are not environmentally friendly. The students cited that Stanford University recently divested from companies engaged in practices involving fossil fuels and want to see the same shift in investment for all UC schools. Students rallied and protested for the duration of the public comment session and again outside the convention center once public comment session was over.

The public brought up other issues as well. Some wanted the regents to visit UC campuses more often to ensure their connection with students and faculty at each campus.

Some demanded that regents ensure student safety at campuses. A female student from UC Berkeley demanded an apology from the regents as she explained how she had been raped on campus on April 12. Due to the traumatic experience, she had to receive incomplete grades on all of her courses for the spring semester.

Some students asked the regents to divest from companies that provide weaponry and machinery to the Israeli military.

Students also expressed concerns with issues such as student loans not covering tuition costs, the gap in preparedness for graduate students and the demolition of student housing that caters to low income students and families in the Davis area.

Following the public comment session, individual committees discussed various topics.

The Committee on Finance discussed the 2014-15 fiscal budget and proposed it for approval. The expenditure rate and the cost recovery rate was proposed to be adjusted for the General Endowment Pool. CapEquip financing was also discussed for the fiscal year of 2014-15.

The Committee on Grounds and Buildings moved to amend the budget for Capital Improvements to repair student apartments at UC Santa Cruz. The committee also suggested that the president of the university be authorized to approve an amendment to the UC Monterey Bay Education, Science and Technology (MBEST) Center Master Plan to change the boundaries of the Fort Ord Natural Reserve (FONR) and remove five acres from FONR and include five acres of the West Campus of the MBEST Center Master Plan. The Long Range Development Plan for the Richmond Bay campus was also moved towards approval. The committee moved to adapt the Long Range Development Plan for the Santa Barbara campus and Los Angeles campus due to some negative environmental impacts discovered through the California Environmental Quality Act.

Under the Committee on Oversight of the Doe National Laboratories, Robert L. Powell was appointed as a governor of the Executive Committees of Boards of Governors of the limited liability companies known as Los Alamos National Security and Lawrence Livermore National Security.

The committees on Educational Policy and Finance both met during private sessions that were not open to the public.

LAURA FITZGERALD can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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