UCLA braces for possibility of more protests ahead of UC regents meeting

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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
UCLA braces for protests ahead of UC regents meeting
Days before graduation ceremonies begin, more protests are expected at UCLA when the UC Board of Regents is expected to discuss the appointment of a new chancellor.

WESTWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Days before graduation ceremonies begin, more protests are expected Wednesday at UCLA when the University of California Board of Regents is expected to discuss the appointment of a new chancellor for the Westwood campus.

UCLA chancellor Gene Block is set to retire from the post on July 31. The Regents' agenda includes closed-door and open-session discussions of appointing a chancellor and interim chancellor.

The new chancellor will inherit a campus that has been roiled by protests in recent weeks, leading to hundreds of arrests, accusations of unfair labor practices by unionized employees, a congressional inquiry into the campus' response to antisemitism, lawsuits accusing the university of failing to protect Jewish students and accusations by protesters of excessive force by campus police and interference with free-speech rights.

About 25 arrests were made Monday following clashes between police and pro-Palestinian demonstrators when officers stopped the establishment of an encampment.

The demonstrators repeatedly tried to set up tents, canopies and barriers as they moved to various locations, disrupting nearby final exams. The group also damaged a fountain, spray-painted brick walkways, tampered with fire safety equipment, damaged patio furniture, stripped wire from electrical fixtures and vandalized vehicles, police said.

Some students said they're ready for the school year to end and hope graduation goes smoothly.

"I'm fed up with it. I think other people on campus are fed up with it," UCLA junior Dylan Cesar said. "I understand these people are fighting for what they believe in, but at this point it's getting repetitive and kind of just want it to end."

Activities were back to normal Tuesday, with students finishing finals and others preparing for graduation.

Final exams will continue at UCLA through the week. The main commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Friday at Pauley Pavilion. Individual department ceremonies will be held throughout the weekend.

City News Service and the Associated Press contributed to this report.