By ANNA BLOOM AND KATHARINE MIESZKOWSKI
Josh Haner/The New York Times
Students protested in front of the Business Building at San Francisco State on Wednesday.
Protests over recent increases in university student fees and higher education budget cuts continued this week. At San Francisco State University, a dozen of students have occupied the Business Building this morning. Classes at the building were canceled. Outside, among supporters chanting (pictured above), there is a wooden walk-in shrine draped in black cloth with a sign on the outside that reads, “In Memoriam for Public Education 2009.”
Over on the Berkeley campus of the University of California, students have quietly taken over Wheeler Hall. Their occupation includes poetry readings, dance parties, an open-mike talent show.
Both protests, which have little police presence, come as campuses are experiencing what is known as “dead week,” a light week of classes before final exams. They also coincide with hearings in Sacramento over the future of higher education in the state.
Students on the Berkeley campus of the University of California took over a building Monday for a week of protests, entertainment and study.
On Monday, about 100 students defied warnings from campus police and entered Wheeler Hall declaring they were going to hold an “Open University.” About 40 students have spent the night in the building in sleeping bags. The daily schedule is created by participants and posted at “Live Week.”
Joseph Agredano, 20, studied for his linguistics final between protest duties at the information booth. Mr. Agredano, a third-year transfer student and interdisciplinary studies major from Moorpark, Calif., joined the movement for the September campus walkout and became one of the dozens of students arrested on the second floor during the November protest and takeover of Wheeler.
Mr. Agredano, who says his education is paid for by financial aid, said he was protesting because he believes “education is a right. Higher education should be accessible to any person.”
I am a student at SF State, and was glad there was finally a protest. I participated because I'm concerned that I will not be able to get classes next semester, or that fees will increase. A lot of students seemed to be too preoccupied to realize that budget cuts will continue to affect them, so they seemed apathetic. A fight also broke out on the south wing of the business building. None of us know what the ****ers in Sacramento will do next year, but I imagine it will only get worse.