Protests in light of May’s involvement on two defense technology companies
Incoming Chancellor Gary May held his first public meeting with the UC Davis community at an event on April 14 titled “Pack the Patio,” which drew protestors from the group Students for a Democratic Society at Davis (SDS) as well as UC Davis students and faculty.
Shortly after the announcement of May as UC President Janet Napolitano’s pick for UC Davis’ chancellor, information came to light regarding May’s board seats. May received $288,280 in 2015 from the Virginia-based defense and technology company Leidos and $37,500 from the defense, technology and medicine lab Charles Stark Draper Laboratory. In light of the recent missile strike in Syria that was ordered by President Donald Trump on April 6, students from SDS showed up at May’s event to protest May’s investments in Leidos and the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory and the possible financial gain he would receive if the United States went to war.
“Gary May is involved in two different board seats, each of them defense companies that get more than 70 percent of their profits from wars so Gary May is directly profiting off these Middle East wars,” said Dexter Hampton, a second-year environmental science and management major.
Students at the protest held signs, handed out pamphlets to bystanders who expressed their disdain for May’s involvement in defense technology-related companies and chanted phrases such as, “No war profiteers are welcome here!”
May responded to the protests with a hope to clarify what he perceived as a misconception and the willingness to listen to what the students were protesting.
“I spoke to some of the student leaders of the protest this morning,” May said. “I just wanted to hear their position and try to sh
are my position. I understand they are very passionate about what t
hey feel, and I appreciate that, I like the fact that the students are conscientious about a cause. We don’t necessarily agree right now, but I’m hopeful that we can find some common ground. That’s what being a student is all about — learning, taking positions, knowing what’s going on in world events and I respect that.”
Aside from the protests, the Pack the Patio event carried on as planned, with free giveaways, a performance from the Band-uh! and a group photo of May with the UC Davis community. May also made himself available for photos with students and various sports teams.
Written by: Lindsay Floyd — firstname.lastname@example.org