In an attempt to draw attention to increasing fees and steep budget cuts, advocates for UC will be holding protests throughout California at the various UC campuses, as well as at the State Capitol in Sacramento.
Two separate, non-affiliated rallies will take place Mar. 1 and 4 to address student concerns and bring these concerns to the administration and California’s legislative body.
“Such marches show that students are not just isolated groups of citizens, but are a united force across the state, and we demand to have our concerns heard and acted upon just like any other group in the state,” said ASUCD Director of University Affairs Matthew Blair.
The Mar. 1 rally will be organized and implemented by the University of California Student Association (UCSA), a statewide student organization focused on increasing accessibility of the UC system through advocacy. The Mar. 1 rally will take place on the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento. Students and administration will meet with members of legislation to discuss cuts in state funding and their impacts on the public university.
UCSA members have been working closely with the UC Office of the President (UCOP) in Sacramento to help coordinate the events of Mar. 1. To keep the campus engaged and informed, the UCOP works extensively with the Government and Community Relations division on campus, a unit that serves as a liaison between UC Davis and government at the state, federal and community levels.
“The UC Student Association is working in partnership with student leaders throughout UC and UC leadership [such as Regents, President Yudof and campus chancellors] to join together to make a unified case to state legislators and the Governor for more state funding for UC and public higher education in general,” said assistant Vice Chancellor of Government and Community Relations Marjorie Dickinson in an e-mail interview.
“I will be attending on Mar. 1 to help support Chancellor Katehi and UC Davis students who will be meeting with state legislators.”
At the request of the UCSA, administration will not partake in the initial public rally. However, Yudof, along with several UC regents and chancellors, will join student organizers later in the day to meet with key legislators. This has proven to be a point of contention among some students opposed to the presence of administration.
“I will not be going to Sacramento with the administration on Mar. 1 because I feel that the administration does not support students, so how can they expect us to support them?” said senior Chicana/o studies major Alberto Salcedo.
ASUCD is currently looking into facilitating free transportation to the Capitol for those interested in attending the day’s events. Those who drive themselves to Sacramento will be reimbursed by ASUCD.
“While we may have many differences, and rightfully so, students, faculty, service workers and administrators have much, much more to gain by coming together for the common cause of restoring funding to the University of California than we do by each going our separate ways and refusing to work with each other,” Blair said.
A separate statewide protest organized by employee unions and student activists will take place Mar. 4 on some UC campuses, with an accompanying “Educate the State” rally at the State Capitol from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a more general day of action, which will focus on mobilizing groups from both state and UC campuses, as well as local community colleges and K-12 schools.
Multiple events will take place at UC Davis, hosted by different student organizations including a march downtown, live music from KDVS and informational tables. The event is not intended to be a strike and is in no way affiliated with Mar. 1. Organizers are considering holding a “Day Without a Chancellor” rally while Katehi advocates in Sacramento on Mar. 1.
“Our goal is to have an interactive space to show the different student projects that have been happening on campus without the help of administration,” said graduate student Magali Rabasa at a general assembly meeting to coordinate plans for Mar. 4. “We want a visible, accessible, open event so student can see what’s here, what’s missing and what’s disappearing.”
Another student organization, the California Democracy Act Coalition, will be using Mar. 4 to spread awareness about a recently proposed initiative, requiring that legislative actions on revenue and budget be determined by a majority vote. If approved, the initiative will appear on the November ballot.
“The California Democracy Act Coalition is making Mar. 4 a statewide day of petitioning,” said political director Eric Lee. “We are mobilizing on Mar. 4 to gather signatures for this crucial initiative.”
REBECCA SHRAGGE can be reached at email@example.com.