A group of about 30 students and workers gathered outside of the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center this afternoon to protest a proposed premium hike and existing lifetime benefit caps for students on the University of California Student Health Insurance Program.
The protesters began the march in Bruin Plaza and marched down Westwood Boulevard, ending the demonstration in front of Ronald Reagan Medical Center.
The UC is currently discussing different options to address a multimillion-dollar deficit, including a proposed premium rate increase of up to 20 percent that would take effect next year, according to the UC Student Health Advisory Committee.
Today’s protest was organized by a coalition of the UC Student-Workers Union, a graduate student labor union group; the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 3299, a union that represents UC workers; and Scale, an undergraduate student group against labor exploitation.
Ruby Bolaria, a graduate student studying urban planning and an organizer of the demonstration, said the purpose of the protest was two-fold.
The protesters wanted to alert students about the issue and garner a response from university administration regarding student reaction to the possible fee hike.
Dianne Klein, a UC spokeswoman, said that while there is an advisory committee, which includes students, it is premature to say what is or what is not going to happen.
“The truth is that there is a deficit that has to be dealt with,” Klein said.
Final decisions will rest with the individual campus chancellors, she added.
Compiled by Christopher Hurley, Bruin contributor. Contributing reports by Yoonjae Lim, Bruin contributor.