Student protest disrupts Regents meeting

About a dozen students halted a state Board of Regents meeting for a few minutes Wednesday, protesting a policy that bans illegal immigrants from Georgia’s top colleges, plus the use of a coal-fired boiler on the University of Georgia campus.

The ban, which went into place in fall 2011, prohibits illegal immigrants from attending colleges that had to turn away academically qualified students for the past two years. It applies to UGA, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Georgia Health Sciences and Georgia College & State universities.

A few students also held signs demanding UGA shut down the coal-fired boiler on campus. The college plans to replace it but has said it will take time. Students want administrators to commit to a deadline and work with experts and the UGA community to come up with a sustainable alternative, said senior Ian Karra, one of the protesters.

Security forced the students to leave within minutes.

UGA President Michael Adams told the board there’s “never a shortage of free speech” at the college.

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Before the protest, Adams was discussing how the university is expanding medical education and taking other steps to meet state needs.

The regents typically meet in Atlanta, but twice a year the board meets at a state college. UGA hosted the two-day meeting.

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