Board passes tuition hike plan, students protest

Students from schools in the University of North Carolina system protest in a lobby outside a Board of Governors meeting. (Alina Muchado)

February 9, 2012 9:00:00 PM PST
Students from schools in the University of North Carolina system marched on a meeting of the Board of Governors Friday to protest a tuition hike.

Despite opposition, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors voted to increase tuition across the system of 16 university campuses by nearly 9 percent on average. The plan now goes before state lawmakers for approval.

Shortly after the decision, protesters began chanting "BOG, shame on you!" The group had gathered in the lobby at the UNC General Administration Building chanting and carrying signs.

There was a heavy police presence, and one person -- a man several people identified as former NC State student Andrew Payne -- was arrested by officers after trying to pry open the doors to the board room.

He was allegedly one of three students allowed inside the room and was apparently trying to reenter when he was confronted by police.

Payne is a former Association of Student Governments president and flew down from New York for the protest. The organization is comprised of the student body presidents from each school.

North Carolina State University student organizer Bryan Perlmutter said more increases would close the doors of higher education to many students.

But UNC officials said the increases are needed to partially offset over $400 million in funds cut from their budgets by the legislature last year.

Meanwhile, authorities said Payne will likely be charged with trespassing and resisting arrest.

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