UCSD Students Occupy Peterson Lecture Hall

UCSD Students Occupy Peterson Lecture Hall

Video production by Alwin Szeto.

Students organized and joined other UC campuses in a solidarity march across campus on Nov. 24 to contest the recent tuition hike that will raise tuition by 5 percent every year for the next five years, as well as the eviction of the Che Cafe. The protest also marked the beginning of the Occupy Peterson movement which saw several dozen students stage an overnight sit-in in Peterson Lecture Hall.

ASUCSD MOVES Director Kyle Heiskala said he hopes the protest will prevent tuition costs from further raises.

“I think it is essential that we show that we care about higher education; we value it as our generation, and if the older generations valued it as much as we do, they would find ways to ensure the University wouldn’t continue increasing costs for students,” Heiskala said. “This is like, super essential to do that. Otherwise, if we don’t make a fuss, then what’s to stop them from coming next year and saying ‘We said we’re gonna raise it 5 percent but actually it’s gonna be more.’?”

The protest began at the Silent Tree and continued from there through Price Center and onto the Administration Complex, where students entered a meeting and asked members to introduce themselves after they chanted and marched around the complex. Dr. Robert Continetti introduced himself as the Vice Chair of the Academic Senate after which the meeting adjourned and those present left the building. Continetti told the protesters that it was not an Academic Senate meeting.

Protesters then marched through the Old Student Center and near the Solis and Peterson lecture halls. They marched through two lecture rooms in Peterson Hall where they stood holding up signs that included phrases such as “Do UC Us?,” “Save the Che,” and “Won’t Go Down Without A Fight.”

UCSD junior and Che Cafe Member Kiernan Mann said the tuition hike reflects the University’s lack of transparency.

“I think the common thread between the administration trying to push out the Che and the tuition increase is the lack of transparency. People think it’s weird that the Regents want to turn down the money from the state and raise tuition,” Mann said. “I don’t think that’s weird at all because they have to report what they do with money from the state and don’t have to report what they have to do with money from the students.”

A.S. Co-Operative Representative Lauren Lewark said the protests are about the University ignoring what students want.

“They’ve ignored everything we said and they’re not even thinking about how this [the tuition increase] affects students,” Lewark said. “Just like how they’re not thinking about what it means to close a student-run space like the Che Cafe.”

The march concluded with protesters beginning the “Occupy Peterson” movement where the plan is to remain in the foyer of Peterson Hall for a tentative amount of time. The “Occupy” action is another one of the actions that will be held by campuses across the UC system.

 

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