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Wednesday, December 13

Campus activists shift focus to conflict-induced fee hikes


After two months of war-related protest on campus, student
activists are redirecting their efforts toward a more local
issue.

Instead, student activism is focusing on different facets of
military action, including its effects on education and the rest of
the world.

Because of increased defense spending for the war, student fees
have increased, said Jenny Gálvez, a second-year political
science and history student.

“The state subsidized a large amount before for education,
but now it’s sending its subsidy somewhere else,”
Gálvez said.

“California is prioritizing the prison industrial system
over education,” she said.

Spending for outreach would decrease from $40 million to $23.4
million while prison spending would increase by $40 million as
outlined by Gov. Gray Davis’ budget plan released in
January.

Student services, such as the Arthur Ashe Student Health and
Wellness Center and the Academic Advancement Program will also
suffer, said Robbie Clark, Cultural Affairs commissioner for the
Undergraduate Students Association Council.

“(California’s) priority should be on
education,” Clark said.

On May 14, titled “UCLA Day of Action Against Student Fee
Increases,” UCLA students will travel by bus to the
University of California, San Francisco to protest the UC Board of
Regents’ meeting, during which the regents will be discussing
Davis’ proposal to increase student fees, according to
Gálvez.

Students will meet at Royce Hall at 11:30 a.m. on May 13, where
they will conduct teach-ins, workshops and listen to speakers
before leaving for San Francisco.

Some priorities have been directed toward military occupation in
countries such as the Philippines and South Korea.

“They’re everywhere,” said Emerson Lego,
fifth-year biochemistry student and Samahang Pilipino
president.

Though foreign military occupation is illegal,
“they’re back because of the so-called war on
terrorism,” Lego said.

Events are also being organized to raise funds to provide
supplies for injured Iraqi civilians and children.

The United Arab Society is organizing a three-day event from May
13-15, the proceeds of which will go to organization Life for
Relief and Development.

The event will take place on Bruin Walk and in Dickson Plaza and
the Court of Sciences.

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