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University of Illinois Trustees promote tuition hike and re-segregation, deny student voices

By Ben Rothschild |
November 21, 2010
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Students speak out at a Board of Trustees meeting, Nov. 18
Students speak out at a Board of Trustees meeting, Nov. 18 (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Chicago, IL - About twenty students from the University of Illinois campuses in Chicago and Urbana-Champaign attempted to speak out at a Board of Trustees meeting, Nov. 18. The students are organizing against tuition increases and the re-segregation of higher education.

Patrick Thompson, a Urbana-Champaign community member spoke on the importance of recruitment of African-American students, stating, “The number of African Americans in the freshmen class at UIUC was higher in the late 1960s than in 2010.”

Rebecca Marcotte, a student, addressed the trustees on racial discrimination against African Americans and Latinos. Rebecca then said, “We students are asking that the board freeze tuition.” The Board of Trustees is planning another hike at their January meeting.

At the end of the public comment, one student shouted, “Our concerns haven’t been addressed!” Four security guards rushed toward him. Two other students spoke up and said “Higher education is being re-segregated!” and “We want to be listened to!”

Security grabbed them and began to escort them out. Other students joined in and chanted, “Tuition freeze now!” One policeman then pushed a student and campus police forcefully removed protesters from the building.

50% of UIUC students graduate in debt, according to an Associate Provost at the University of Illinois.

The protest brought together students from the Undergraduate-Graduate Alliance, a coalition of student activist groups at University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and University of Illinois-Chicago’s Students for a Democratic Society.