Students for a Democratic Society rallies against Napolitano following release of audit

TAYLOR RUNNELLS / AGGIE

Students protest alleged UC corruption

Members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) stood on the Quad handing out pamphlets and conversing with students on May 9 and 11. On the ground next to them were 175 individually assorted paper bags. The bags were marked with dollar signs, each one representing $1 million dollars of the $175 million current UC President Janet Napolitano allegedly stashed in secret reserves before the tuition hike.

The outrage against Napolitano and other UC administrators has been steadily growing, and the recent SDS demonstration was one of many examples of UC students taking a stand against corruption of the UC administration. Parker Spadaro, a first-year political science major and member of SDS, explained that main goal of the protest was to inform as many students as possible.

“We want to raise awareness of how UC officers of the present UC system blatantly waste money by holding it in hidden funds and then demanding tuition raises,” Spadaro said. “They held thousands of dollars for dinners, spent a large amount of money on Napolitano’s apartment and altered audit responses among other things.”

The allegedly corrupt practices of Napolitano and her colleagues were first revealed in a massive statewide audit, which uncovered discrepancies in UC budget reports and exorbitant spending practices of UC officials. Over the past two weeks, many UC students have called for Napolitano’s resignation in hopes of inciting widescale changes to the current UC system.

“We want to roll back tuition costs, redistribute funds to underpaid workers and restructure the UC to be more democratic and accountable to students and workers,” Spadaro said.

The protest was organized by a coalition of UC Davis student groups such as SDS, the Office of Advocacy and Student Representation and the UC Student-Worker Union UAW 2865. This display was only one of many started by student groups all across UC campuses. The student groups have set up an online petition in an attempt to gain exposure for their campaign and express their outrage in a unified manner.

“Tuesday we gave out over 200 pamphlets,” Spadaro said. “Today we have over 400 pamphlets and we’re gonna hand those all out too. We also have other plans and demonstrations in store. Ultimately, we’re trying to use this spreading of knowledge to push for real reform.”
Written by: Eddy Zhu — campus@theaggie.org