Chanting student protesters halted a meeting of trustees for nearly three minutes Wednesday following the approval of a 15.6 percent tuition hike for in-state students.
The protesters said they felt ignored by the Board of Trustees after the budget, finance and audit committee of the board passed a proposal that would raise in-state tuition by $2,800 over the next five years. It would also increase out-of-state tuition by 6.5 percent.
The proposal, which was crafted by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney, will be voted on in the full board meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. today. Student protesters will likely attend the meeting in a last attempt to change administrator’s minds.
A group of approximately 50 protesters started in the Pit Wednesday and marched down Cameron Avenue banging drums and stopping traffic until they reached the committee meeting at the Carolina Inn.
Junior Zaina Alsous, one of the protesters, said the goal was to force the board to consider alternatives, such as using funds from the University’s endowment before taking revenue from tuition.
“Whether we’re listened to or not, we need to make our presence felt and our opinions heard,” Alsous said.
Protesters packed the Carolina Inn ballroom, spilling out into the corridor, holding signs and interjecting into the trustees’ conversation.
Several of the protesters, including sophomore Ana Maria Reichenbach, said administrators failed to consider drawing from the Chapel Hill Investment Fund, which makes up most of the University’s endowment funds.
“What is this $2.2 billion endowment there for?” she told the committee. “It is there for a rainy day, and today it is pouring.”