ATLANTA — About 40 students disrupted Tuesday’s meeting of the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents.
“You are not serving our best interests,” they chanted in unison. “We will stop your functioning.”
They said it might not be immediate but one day, they would halt the University System from its daily operations.
They began by coughing and then stood together. They repeated that several times until the coughing grew loud enough for regents Chairman Ben Tarbutton to stop the meeting and offered the group to appoint a spokesman to address the regents for five minutes.
Instead, the students delivered their message in a two-minute, call-and-response method. They said they were students from nearby Georgia State University and other schools and they were upset about rising tuition and fees. They also blamed the regents for limits the General Assembly put on the HOPE Scholarship last year.
The protesters also complained that blacks were being restricted, leading to the segregation of colleges.
Last, they shouted that the regents deserved a pay cut.
Because the regents aren’t paid, Tarbutton quipped, “Y’all can cut my pay all you want.”
The students finished and walked out of the room, several of them whistling while others waved and shouted goodbye to several regents by their first names.
They marched across the front of the Capitol on the way to the meeting, chanting and drumming on the way. They carried two banners, one about confronting the “regent scum” and the other linking them to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
State troopers were in the room, but they never interacted with the students. Another dozen troopers waited on the sidewalk.