UC Student Association Backs Faculty Walkout

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A resolution supporting a planned Sept. 24 walkout by UC faculty was unanimously approved Sunday by the UC Student Association Board of Directors at its monthly meeting held at UCLA.

The resolution has not yet been publicly released, pending further revisions. However, association officials said the move will be supplemented in the next 10 days by student government efforts throughout the 10-campus system to increase student participation in the walkout.

"The faculty made a choice to make a bold statement," said Dani Haber, ASUC external affairs vice president and secretary of finance for the association. "The main goal of the resolution is to show (students) are in solidarity with UC workers."

Faculty members systemwide have already expressed interest in conducting teach-ins on the day of the walkout to inform students about the potential effects of the budget cuts.

Though Sept. 24 is an instructional day, organizers said the timing of the event would aid efforts to publicize the full impact of $813 million in state budget cuts to the UC system, which include lay-offs, employee furloughs and pay cuts for approximately 180,000 employees.

At UC Berkeley, student government efforts to increase student involvement in the walkout include a planned town hall meeting Wednesday and a resolution coming before the ASUC Senate this week that would support the walkout. In addition, ASUC CalSERVE Senator Eunice Kwon said a petition urging a freeze on student fees, as well as other measures, is also circulating.

Organizers have also turned to the Internet to rally student support. A Facebook group supporting the walkout had more than 6,900 members Monday night.

The UC Board of Regents approved the cuts July 15, in addition to controversial measures such as mandated furlough days for faculty and staff, higher student fees and increased pay and benefits for 28 executive positions within the system.

Haber said such measures indicate a direction for the university that is counter to its traditional mission.

"This is about the increased privatization of our university (while) student fees would be the largest they've ever been," Haber said. "That's not a public school model and that's not what we've prided ourselves on being for so many years."

Additional efforts to support faculty are being made through measures such as a letter-writing campaign that is currently being prepared, according to Kwon.

"The walkout isn't just about the professors dealing with the budget cuts; students are losing resources," Kwon said. "It's an opportunity for students to take a stand against the soaring student fees amidst the deterioration of student resources on our campus."


Contact Denise Poon at [email protected]

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