Cal-Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, who had hoped the Regents would block UCLA’s move, grazed a reporter as she left the meeting immediately after it ended. “I have nothing to say,” she said.
Lark Park, one of the five Regents who voted against the approval, said “It wasn’t there for me,” but declined to elaborate. Leib believed that those who opposed the deal did so for philosophical reasons. “Some people felt it would be better to put the genie back in the bottle and try to get UCLA back to Pac-12, I think,” he said.
That the vote took place on UCLA’s campus, at the Luskin Center, located adjacent to the soccer team’s practice fields and basketball arena, the historic Pauley Pavilion, may seem symbolic — but it was coincidence. A special meeting on Health Committee matters had previously been scheduled for Wednesday.
For a process that has dragged on longer than many regents — and UCLA, Pac-12 and Big Ten officials — anticipated, it was fitting that Wednesday’s meeting had to overcome its own unexpected hurdles.
The meeting was delayed by two hours by protesters representing striking academics, who interrupted it twice by chanting, sat on the floor and refused to leave until police handcuffed them and led them outside. As of Wednesday, a month had passed since the strike began, affecting some 48,000 workers in the sprawling university system.
A total of 14 demonstrators were arrested on Wednesday for trespassing.
Several hundred protesters, including a man who played the accordion, picketed, chanted and marched around the Luskin Center, which was surrounded by a makeshift chain link fence and fortified by police and campus security personnel.
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