On Thursday, Oct. 27, a group of over 75 protestors showed their opposition to fee hikes with a two and a half mile march through campus.
The protestors, made up of mostly UC Davis undergraduate and graduate students, expressed their feelings about the rising cost of tuition, and explained how these issues fit in to the current Occupy Wall Street movement.
“We’re here to bring awareness to the Occupy movement. And we’re connecting that to the fact that the UC Regents have increased tuition. We’re here to let the rest of the UC Davis community know,” said Fatima Sbeih, senior international relations and psychology double major.
The protesters chanted and held signs, yelling things like “Chop from the top!” and “Whose university? Our university!” Individuals also made speeches about their personal experiences and issues with the current system, and their concerns about the upcoming November regents meeting.
“The short answer is that the regents are discussing an 81 percent fee hike, which will further privatize the UC system … That’s just completely wrong, it’s atrocious and it’s a travesty,” said Eran Zelnik, a UC Davis graduate student. “Things could be so much better if people just decide that they want to change it.”
The protesters walked from the Memorial Union (MU) patio to Olson Hall, which they occupied. The group then walked through Shields Library, yelling and carrying signs throughout the library.
“The library has nothing to do with this. The library has to deal with budget cuts, just like all of the other intuitions on campus. They’re just disrupting people who are trying to get the most out of their education for their dollar worth. I think it’s kind of ridiculous,” said Blair Copple, junior economics and French double major, and employee of the library.
Participants marched through the library while students attempted to study for midterms. Many of the studiers looked annoyed.
“I don’t think it’s going to change anything. This is the tenth protest, it’s not gonna change anything, so I don’t think there’s a point,” said Trang Ngyuen, junior economics and communication double major and library employee.
The protestors then walked to the corner of Russell Boulevard and La Rue Road and walked down Russell Boulevard in the middle of the road. A bike cop and a police officer on a motorcycle followed the protest down Russell Blvd., and a squad car came to stop traffic as the protestors walked in the street.
The group ended its walk in Central Park, where the Occupy Davis movement is camping, and participants listened to more speeches and talked about their personal stories.
The protest lasted for over two hours and fluctuated in size from 75 people to over 100 people throughout the march.
“There is a statewide, nationwide and world wave sweeping and I think we should all try to surf that wave,” Zelnik said. “That wave hopefully will help change the way we think, change the way we talk, change that paradigm that we’re so committed to.”
HANNAH STRUMWASSER can be reached at email@example.com.