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Local protest to protect public education

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Photo courtesy of Josefina Rodriguez

Photo courtesy of Josefina Rodriguez

On October 24, 2009, more than 800 students, workers and teachers came together at UC Berkeley to defend public education. The Mobilizing Conference brought together representatives from over 100 different schools, unions and organizations from all across California. After hours of open collective discussion, they voted to call for a Strike and Day of Action on March 4th 2010, which is tomorrow.

It seems that each year the state has less and less money to give to public education. As a result, cuts are being made and tuition is going up, and the University of California schools are becoming more privatized due to the decreasing funding from government.

“What is especially scary is that many in the UC administration appear willing to go along with privatization, assuming it is inevitable. The attitude seems to be that if we make enough cuts, raise tuition enough, and reduce the number of students, we can still be a great university, though a smaller private one,” said George Lakoff, Distinguished Professor of Linguistics at UC Berkeley, in “Privatization Is The Issue” on keepcaliforniaspromise.org.

Privatization would also result in the enrollment of more out-of-state and international students. The logic: since they pay a higher tuition, this would provide a fix to the lack of funds. However, this tactic to boost revenue defeats the mission of the UC that says we should be “serving the people of California.” More important, a higher tuition would deny poor or struggling middle-class students the chance at a higher education at a UC, even though many of them would be academically qualified.

Although UC schools are targeted with the issue of privatization, state schools and public education throughout the country are also suffering through layoffs, fee hikes and cuts.

March 4th’s Day of Action is not just for UC schools; it is a day for all who believe in public education to unite in a nationwide resistance movement.

Tomorrow’s protest comes at the heel of several UC demonstrations held throughout the past three weeks. These protests were in response to the racial incidents at UC San Diego, the first being the “Compton Cookout,” the hanging of a noose at Geisel Library, then, just two days ago, the pillowcase crafted into a KKK-style hood found on the statue of Theodor Geisel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss.

Because of the current UCSD campus climate, March 4th is not just a day to defend public education. For the Black Student Union and other campus minorities it is a day for answers.

BSU presented the administration with 32 demands for a structural change at UCSD. So far, Chancellor Marye Anne Fox has responded to their demands with limited offers. The students have given Chancellor Fox until tomorrow, March 4th, to complete this negotiation process.

Tomorrow is our National Day of Action for Education, and for many of us, it is also a day to fight the toxicity that has deeply hurt the UCSD campus. If you want to be a part of this movement, click here for the locations and events that will be taking place throughout the day at UCSD  There will also be demonstrations held in downtown San Diego.

March forth on March 4th.

8 Comments

  1. Brian

    March 3, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I’m a student at UCSD and seeing a $500+ increase on my tuition last quarter was a huge double whammy because financial aid seems to be getting more and more scarce. A lot of people choose UC’s because they believe getting a great education at an affordable price is possible. Public universities should note: hiking up tuition will divert prospective applicants – and concurrently enrolled students – to consider an education at other established private schools.

  2. JC

    March 3, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    The UC system has become blind to the problems that we students are facing. The cost of education is expensive as it is and, with already limited financial aid, any further increases could very well deny hard working students their dream of obtaining a higher education. That’s just wrong. Time to make our voices heard march 4th and hope that those in control are not also deaf.

  3. Josefina

    March 4, 2010 at 2:41 am

    I’ll definitely be at the protest! Though this is my last year at UCSD, I still want to show my support and prevent the UC from being privatized.. it’s unfair that tuition is increasing by 33%

  4. Montana

    March 4, 2010 at 11:12 am

    (1) UCSD: A group of dumb white frat guys hold an event called a “Compton Cookout.” This pisses people off as it used Black History Month as a reason to mock black people with racist stereotypes. Also involved is some idiot who tries to use this opportunity for shameless self-promotion, who also happens to be black. To say the least, the guy is basically a wannabe Flavor Flav.

    (2) UCSD: Another dumb white frat guy gets mad that blacks are offended of being relegated to a bigoted stereotype. He tries to hold another racist event.

    (3) UCSD: Meanwhile, a terrible student media publication (which, after viewing their website consists of all white staff, nudity, staff wrestling each other, and well, not much else), pushes their limits calling black students “ungrateful n——” – not just that word, but also that apparently the black students owed them something. They have a reputation of being trashy, and at this point, administration and faculty rush to condemn racism by students of the campus and various protests begin. Funding is also cut from all student media at UCSD, creating an extra bitter controversy.

    (4) UCSD: On Friday of that week, a noose is found in the library. Everything gets worked in a frenzy and – something I’ll address later – a large amount of white commenter’s on the internet begin claiming that is was probably a black student who planted it in order to gain more sympathy. In addition, there are rumors of a threatening note sent to the Guardian and a second noose, there was no second noose, and the threat seems to be just a rumor.

    (5) UCSD: Protests basically happen at all schools in support of the students. There are various sit-ins, and teach-ins, and what have you. School administrators become pushed to be more active in fixing what’s going on.

    I have not seen this noose person, but most of you blame her and conveniently forget wear this all originated.

    Instead of an apology there has been steady escalation and now the noose. So, what exactly will the excuses be for this cowardly act that brings up memories of the confederate KKK of the South in their attempts to keep slavery and the non-whites in fear? Is it that are uneducated, is it that their parents planted these seeds of hate, is it that they are live in fear because our President in the white house is not 100% white. In my opinion this is what the small portions of the republican party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” have brought you. These kids are good at “Follow the Leader” of their dullard leaders, they listen to Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush and Savage and the rest of the Blowhards, they are young and dumb. Are you surprise at what they do when you know what they think? The world is complicated and most republicans (Hamiliton, Lincoln, Roosevelt) believe that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now its about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. Although most republicans are trying to distant themselves from this fringe they have a long way to go.

  5. taxpayer

    March 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    Socialism works until the other people’s money is gone. You are there. If you value education then you will pay for it.

  6. Zoom

    March 9, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Privatization would actually solve a lot of the financial problems of the UC. And, if you look at all the great non-public universities in this country, you can see that education does NOT suffer as a result of a lack of public funding. If anything, the budgets are more stable from year to year, the universities are run more efficiently and fairly, and with financial aid (much of it paid via taxes) and loans the economic and ethnic diversity of many of these campuses are as varied, or often more so, than at the UCs.

    In any case, I’m a little sick of people shouting “our university” and meaning, “everybody but us students should pay for it – but the taxpayer should have no say in how the money is spent, or how the university is run.” You want it to be your university, get a loan and pay for it. Otherwise, the public should have a LOT more say in how their funds are spent.

  7. Johnny

    March 14, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Montana, you’re knowledge is less than adequate. Maybe you should seek a higher education before you ramble about political issues in which you are misinformed, or in plain terms, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Privatization! Less Government!

  8. Ashlie Melching

    February 2, 2011 at 4:17 am

    I am always searching online for tips that can facilitate me. Thanks!

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