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SMC To Hold Emergency Meeting To Consider Delaying Tuition Hike

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SANTA MONICA (CBS) — The Santa Monica College Board of Trustees will hold an emergency meeting Friday morning to consider delaying a tuition hike to make up for cuts in state funding.

A Tuesday board meeting on the topic led to turmoil when protesting students tried to move from an overflow room into the trustees’ meeting room, prompting campus police to fire pepper spray into the crowd.

About 30 people were exposed to the pepper spray, including a roughly 3-year-old child. Santa Monica fire Capt. Judah Mitchell said three people were taken to hospitals.

Friday’s board meeting, scheduled for 10:30 a.m., will be held in a much larger venue — the college’s Theatre Arts Main Stage.

The board has been discussing a summer-session pilot program under which students would pay higher tuition to cover the costs of some classes that would otherwise not be held due to state funding cuts.

SMC President Chui Tsang said the pilot program, approved in March, would offer about 50 extra “self-funded” classes this summer at the college’s “actual cost” of $180 per credit unit, compared to state-subsidized classes that cost $46 per credit unit for California residents.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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