Occupy this

Are California’s university campuses merging with the Occupy movement and becoming flashpoints of the protests? Judging by recent events at UC Davis, UC Berkeley and at the California State University Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach, the answer is an understandable “Yes.”

Why shouldn’t students be demonstrating? They’re paying more and more to attend college, being forced to take out larger and larger student loans, and facing bleak employment prospects when they graduate. They are bearing the brunt of state budget cuts because ideologically intransigent Republican lawmakers refuse to consider any new sources of revenue.

And it’s getting worse. Tuition at CSU schools has gone up 9 percent again, and the CSU and the UC system are each facing an additional $100 million in triggered cuts because state revenue receipts are below projections.

One difference between these campus protests we’re seeing at UC Davis and Sacramento State and those of the Vietnam War era is that campus administrators and faculty largely seem to agree with the students that the situation has become intolerable. It’s good to see students and their teachers standing up for themselves and their universities. Are our legislators listening?