With the UC Board of Regents expected to implement an 8 percent fee increase on Thursday, teaching assistants held their class sections out on the quad in protest.
Roughly five classes at a time were held outdoors throughout the day, said Sarah Augusto, a graduate student in sociology and organizer of the event. Some classes were dedicated to learning about budget cuts while others continued with normal course material.
A little after noon, students gathered on the Memorial Union patio to discuss the state of public education. Award-winning investigative journalist Pete Byrne addressed a crowd of approximately 75 students, faculty and staff, as did a number of concerned students.
“Business people should not be running our education system. Students should be running our education system,” said Senator-elect Tatiana Moana Bush.
Speakers also focused on current negotiations between United Auto Workers 2865, a union representing over 12,000 Academic Student Employees, and UC. Bargaining deadlines have been extended repeatedly by UC and teaching assistants are still working without a contract, said Jordan Carroll, UAW member and doctoral student in English.
Approximately 15 students marched to Mrak at 1:45 p.m. to present a list of demands to Chancellor Linda Katehi. The list included saying no to the 8 percent fee increase, extending TA contracts permanently to reflect TAs’ demands and having UC Davis officials pressure the UC Regents to appoint a peer-elected student representative per campus to vote on the board. Katehi, however, was not present.
The group returned to the MU and dispersed around 2:30 p.m. Protesters are going to the regents’ meeting at UCSF tomorrow.
For a full story on Tuesday’s action at UC Davis, look in Thursday’s Aggie.
– Janelle Bitker