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The Daily Tar Heel

Occupy Chapel Hill active in tuition hike protest

Occupy Chapel Hill will be one of the many voices at the tuition hike rally outside of the General Administration building today.

The goal is to allow students to have their voices heard in a decision that will affect students by thousands of dollars and could change the affordability of UNC-system schools.

Alanna Davis, who has been involved with Occupy events, said many students involved in Occupy Chapel Hill/Carrboro have also been active in the tuition protest.

“The burden is falling to the students,” said Davis, a student involved in organizing the protest.

“I’ve been wanting to be part of a revolution my whole life and the time is now.”

This protest is one of many planned rallies throughout the state, and a number of different groups will be involved.

“Even though the students are not involved in Occupy, the movement has created that space that it’s okay to stand up for themselves,” said senior Ana Maria Reichenbach, a founding member of Occupy UNC. “The Occupy movement has helped people realize that something needs to be done.”

She said the tuition hike protest is a student-led, statewide effort and Occupy movements will be speaking at the rally in solidarity with the cause.

Other organizations include the Campus Y, Students for a Democratic Society and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

“There are a lot of organizations involved. It’s a coalition of groups,” said Bryan Perlmutter, an N.C. State University junior, member of Occupy NCSU and protestor.

Reichenbach said N.C. Defend Education put together the rally in an effort to organize students across the state.

“Students do not have a vote on the Board of Governors,” said junior Zaina Alsous, a protester. “We hope we can demonstrate to the public that students are engaged in the process.”

Davis said if the hikes are approved, diversity among students will be lost socioeconomically and racially.

“We’ll become another Duke, and we don’t want that,” she said.

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