Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Berkeley Students Protest Unfair Fee Increases

In its efforts to close its budget gap, a cash-strapped university in Berkeley has raised the ire of its students with its so-called solutions. Recently, the school administrators unfairly targeted a small group of students who were said to have instigated an earlier protest against raising student fees to help cover the shortfall. The protest leaders were notified that they would be responsible for paying the costs that arose from their occupation of a campus building. Expenses incurred included the cost of repairing damage caused by the protest and the response of law-enforcement officers, and the extra time required for the university's janitorial staff to clean up the mess left by the protest.

When divided among the students identified as the leaders of the protest, the cost per student came to nearly a thousand dollars. When the students in question and their supporters vehemently protested this stiff penalty, pointing out that it was unfair or so few to bear the entire financial burden of the protest clean-up, the school administration offered a compromise; it proposed to spread the costs evenly among all students through a temporary fee increase.

Students expressed their righteous outrage over this latest proposal by breaking certain items of school and private property, and spray-painting the slogan "No Fee Increases!" on several campus buildings, as well as on a nearby regent's house. One protester, who wished to remain anonymous, said, "Nothing makes me feel better about having to pay more money than breaking some stuff. Besides, vandalism shows how serious we are about our education."

As of press time, the University had not yet calculated the cost of repairs and paint removal from this latest protest against fee increases to cover the cost of damage from the previous protest against fee increases.

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