After the Tuition Hike Rally held at Tommy Trojan Monday afternoon, students marched to President Nikias' office asking to speak to the president about the reasons for the tuition increase.
Roughly 15 students walked inside Boyard and proceeded to the president's office door. Timothy Bessolo, Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs, stopped the students in the hall and told them to continue their protest outside the building. The students responded that they did not wish to move outside, as they wanted to air their grievances directly with the president or someone in administration.
Nevertheless, Bessolo insisted that the students move outside, telling them they were disrupting "university business." He told them to meet with Vice President for Student Affairs Ainsley Carry during office hours. However, the students rejected this suggestion since they had met with Carry already, to no avail.
A tenure faculty member then joined in on the conversation. She indicated the students deserved a meeting with an administrator since the recent tuition hikes solidified USC's position as one of the most expensive schools in the country.
After talking with the students for approximately 20 minutes, Bessolo allowed them to remain in the hallway in front of President Nikias' office. However, later in the afternoon, DPS officers restricted their access inside Bovard, according to staff reporter Emma Peplow.
After a sit-in at Nikias’ office on tuition, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors of Bovard have been closed off, according to DPS. @annenbergmedia
— Emma Peplow (@Em_Pep) March 8, 2016
The officers said people would be allowed inside the building only if a staff member escorted them inside.
In a video captured by a former USC student, current and prospective students spoke out about tuition hikes and their prior interactions with Carry.
"He's the Vice President of Student Affairs, yeah? He emails us about hover boards that are now banned…why not about tuition? Where does that fall in line with priorities? I don't understand that," said one student.
Reach staff reporter Kelly Reinke here.
Check back for more updates as the story develops.