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UNC students plan to march on Board of Governors meeting to protest tuition hikes

It’s been almost two months since the Board of Trustees approved a 15.6 percent tuition hike to the dismay of dozens of student protesters lining the walls of the Carolina Inn.

But since then, the fiery student opposition hasn’t cooled.

Students concerned with the rising cost to attend UNC will meet in the Pit this morning to march to the General Administration building, where the UNC-system Board of Governors will be discussing tuition increases.

“This continues to be something that’s on students’ minds,” said Ben Elkind, executive board member of the Campus Y, which is helping to organize the march.

“This is a wider array of students than it was before the break. We still totally care and have recognized — even after Christmas and Hanukkah — that this is really about the character of our University,” he said.

The march to today’s meeting is not led by one student, but by multiple campus leaders, said Lily Roberts, senior adviser to Student Body President Mary Cooper.

Members of student government, the Campus Y and other groups will all march, in addition to students unaffiliated with campus groups.
Vera Parra, who will participate in the march, said the march is open and welcome to student participation.

“Public higher education matters, and it’s something we all need to get united to preserve,” she said.

The Nov. 17 decision by the Board of Trustees to raise tuition would increase tuition for in-state students by $2,800 during the next five years and 6.5 percent next year for out-of-state students.
Roberts said she hopes students’ presence at the meeting influences the board’s discussion.

“Tomorrow is really about turning out a group of students who can demonstrate to the Board of Governors that students are paying attention and are invested in the decisions they make.”

Mackenzie Thomas, co-president of the Campus Y, said she is confident students will make a difference.

“I definitely think there’s going to be reconsideration of the current proposal,” she said.

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