Marshall students plan D.O.C. lecture walk-out

    Students at Thurgood Marshall College plan to stage a protest during their Dimensions of Culture classes Feb. 15, according to a Web site created anonymously in response to what students call unfair housing treatment at Marshall.

    The Web site,, claims Marshall college’s Residential Life Office is taking part in a “”conspiracy to terminate housing contracts,”” among other things.

    The UCSD Cause site troubled the Marshall Dean’s Office, resulting in a meeting between Marshall Dean of Student Affairs Ashanti Houston-Hands and Marshall freshman Danny Leibowitz, who was one of the organizers of the movement.

    “”They really wanted to meet with us and find a compromise,”” Leibowitz said.

    Leibowitz said that since his meeting Monday with Houston-Hands, the students will be “”toning down the protest and making it more of an information session,”” so that students can be aware of their rights.

    Leibowitz emphasized that his meeting with Houston-Hands was the original goal of organizing the protest, along with attracting the attention of Marshall students and making them aware of their rights as students in Marshall.

    “”We used the protest as a way to get through the Residential Life Office and go the next step up the ladder,”” he said. “”Mostly, the conspiracy was just a way for us to get people’s attention. We’re not trying to destroy the school. We’re trying to make it nicer.””

    The meeting was viewed as a successful negotiation by both Leibowitz and Houston-Hands.

    “”We came to an understanding and are going to work on getting some new rules drafted, and some new consequences,”” Leibowitz said.

    Houston-Hands said that it is important that the two met because it allowed them to talk about “”how we can go about voicing some of the concerns that students have.””

    Marshall Resident Dean Yolanda Trevino dismisses the Web site’s claims.

    “”There is a lot of misinformation,”” Trevino said. “”There is also a lot of incomplete information.””

    The site also claims resident safety officers and Marshall staff took unfair disciplinary actions against students.

    Trevino said that discipline is taken on a case-by-case basis and everyone is looked at individually. Among other things, this would mean that the disciplinarian would consider the severity of the offense and any prior offenses that a student had when deciding on punishment.

    The Web site also states that “”a TMC staff member has admitted that there have been more housing contracts terminated in the first two weeks of winter quarter 2002 than all of the 2000-2001 school year.””

    Trevino acknowledges that a high number of students have had their housing contracts terminated, but denies any conspiracy plot.

    “”There have been a lot of housing contracts terminated this quarter,”” Trevino said. “”There just happened to be more violations. That is it.””

    The site also accuses the college of not printing or posting the consequences for breaking specific rules in enough places. However, Houston-Hands said the rules and regulations are printed in the TMC handbook, along with a list of possible sanctions for violations.

    Another complaint voiced on the Web site is that students are being asked to vacate their dorm rooms within two weeks of their housing contract being terminated.

    The site claims that this violates a California law that requires evictees to have 30 days to find another living situation. The site cites specific clauses in California Civil Code 1946 saying, “”… As to tenancies from month to month either of the parties may terminate the same by giving at least 30 days’ written notice thereof.””

    However, the code goes on to say that if the two parties reach an agreement at the time of the contract, such as the UCSD housing contract, then the owner of the property — UCSD in this case — can legally evict the tenant with a minimum of seven days warning.

    The protest is scheduled for Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Marshall Field, according to the Web site.

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