Walkouts Vary Across UC CampusesAll Other UC Campuses Saw Lower Participation Because of Lack of Publicity, First Day of Classes
The events of the September 24 walkout at UC BerkeleyA comprehensive video detailing the events of the September 24 walkout at UC Berkeley. Students, faculty, and staff were protesting the number of budget cuts that are hitting the University of California.
Walkout rally turns into a marchThursday, after the walkout rally in Sproul, students, faculty, stuff, union members and community members marched through the UC Berkeley campus and through downtown Berkeley.
Walkout Rally at Sproul PlazaStudents, faculty, union representatives and community members met Thursday at noon in Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley to rally against cuts to the UC budget.
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Friday, September 25, 2009
Category: News > University > Higher Education
Although an estimated 5,000 students, faculty and staff gathered on UC Berkeley's Upper Sproul Plaza yesterday, participation in the UC systemwide faculty walkout was much lower across the other nine campuses.
The walkout was held on the first day of instruction for eight of the campuses, which may have led to a lower turnout than was hoped for by organizers. But overall, many characterized the systemwide walkout as a success.
Ilgiz Khisamov, a fifth-year senior at UC Irvine, said in an e-mail that the unity shown at the rally on his campus was "amazing, albeit rare."
"Having 500 to 600 people in attendance and vocalizing their disapproval with state government and UC administration is simply amazing," he said.
But due to the lack of publicity associated with the beginning of the quarter, many campuses were not able to draw crowds as large as those at UC Berkeley.
UCLA freshman Nicole Houman said students only had been on campus for five days, which might have affected the final turnout of about 500 people.
"I think because of that, people are less likely to go protest," she said. "We haven't experienced enough of (the) problems that the UC budget crisis has created."
At UC Santa Cruz, about 200 people rallied, according to Jim Burns, a UC Santa Cruz spokesperson.
Limited publicizing of the event also may have caused a low turnout on some campuses.
"There was no promotion whatsoever at UCSD," said bio-chemistry major Faiza Morado. "But I was in one of my history classes, and a group of people came in and persuaded people to walk out."
Hundreds demonstrated at UC Davis, where senior Johnathen Duran said efforts at gaining publicity for the walkout were successful.
"We had a lot of people willing to be a part of the cause," he said in an e-mail. "Everyone marched to the administration building and yelled the whole time."
The walkout attracted approximately 20 students at UC Merced, 75 at UC San Francisco, 200 at UC Riverside, 100 at UC Santa Barbara and 350 at UC San Diego.
But the lack of publicity did not prevent at UC Santa Cruz from taking over the second floor of the graduate student building near the center of campus, said Jim Burns, a UC Santa Cruz police department spokesperson.
"We call upon the UC system, the students, faculty and staff to continue the walkout and continue the strike," said Christopher Barkan, a UC Santa Cruz graduate student and spokesperson for Occupy California, the student group occupying the building. "We call the people of California to escalate and occupy in order to bring an end to these cuts. No more cuts."
At UC Berkeley, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said the anger shown in protest was a sign of renewed campus unity beneficial to the system.
"Students should be upset, and they should be expressing their opinion on the fee increases," he said.
Birgeneau said students should look to next year's statewide elections in order to elicit change, a view also expressed by Lawrence Pitts, interim UC provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.
"We understand there's some anger ... spread across our campuses," Pitts said in a statement. "Our hope is that it will be directed more precisely toward Sacramento, where the heart of the problem lies in shifting political priorities and a dysfunctional system of governance."
But campus officials at UCLA were not as receptive to the protests according to George Baker, associate professor of art history.
"The administration refused to meet with the student representatives," he said in an e-mail. "I was told that they were handed the chancellor's business card at the front door and barred from entering one of the university's buildings."
Get published online by sending your photos and stories from Thursday's protest to [email protected].
Contact Javier Panzar, Kelly Strickland and Jolene Xie at [email protected]
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