Stanford, Cal students join in solidarity before big game

Usually, the Big Game sparks cross-bay pranking and inflames the intense rivalry between the two premier West Coast universities.

But this year, students from UC Berkeley and Stanford are burying the axe in light of the Occupy Cal movement, which has overtaken Sproul Plaza and relegated traditional Big Game week customs to the back of students’ minds.

Student leaders from the two schools are working together to organize a Big Game Solidarity March and Rally before the annual football game Saturday night. Students from both schools will come together to support the Occupy Cal movement and to condemn the police’s use of force against student protesters, according to the event’s Facebook page.

“When it comes to student fees rising and people being beaten by police, there really are no rivalries,” said Michael Tubbs, president of Stanford’s NAACP and one of the organizers of the event. “We may go to Stanford, but what happens at Berkeley affects us too.”

While the Occupy movement is actually a real problem that exists in society, the competition between Cal and Stanford is just a rivalry, said UC Berkeley freshman Jason Rudberg.

“The game is all fun and games, but as far as the march happening, this is a big issue,” said Shawn Dye, political action chair of Stanford’s NAACP, who initiated the event. “We can put aside our rivalry for a little while and contemplate what we can do as students to counter the issues going on at Cal and at Occupy movements.”

This year’s rivalry with Stanford has not been as intense or hostile as in past years, but it is still part of Cal tradition, said UC Berkeley senior Leslie Chen.

“In terms of intellectual agreement on the Occupy movement, I think it speaks volumes that these two schools who have such a long-term rivalry can come together on this issue,” Chen said.

Yet UC Berkeley senior Allie Cohen said she thinks the change in attitude on campus is a symptom of people not caring about football and is not necessarily related to Occupy Cal.

Students will march beginning at 2:30 p.m. toward the football stadium and settle on the red zone — where most Stanford students enter the stadium — to sit for a rally, according to the Facebook event page, which was created by Dye and ASUC President Vishalli Loomba.

“I’d like to talk to Berkeley students who were involved with the beating and police so students can hear their stories,” he said. “It will be an open mic for both Berkeley and Stanford students to come and talk about how they feel about everything.”

Tubbs said he aims to get 400 to 500 students to attend and hopes the event will provide a springboard for future collaborative effort between UC Berkeley and Stanford students — especially when it comes to social justice issues.

“I still want to beat Cal on the field, but I’m hoping it will add some perspective,” Tubbs said. “This is a big game, but there’s a bigger game going on every day … Our common humanity is more important.”

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  • Waccoone

    Fuck this and fuck the occupy Cal people.

    Get back to what really matters – BIG GAME and kicking stanfurd’s ASS!!

  • justice

    I’m a low-income student at Stanford. I’ve been afforded some of the very same educational opportunities to my parallels at Berkeley, another prestigious institution for higher learning. Don’t throw that 1% shade over here please. Thank you.

    • Lmnarron

      I’m a poor Cal student and both of my grandparents are Stanford alumni and they are not part of the 1%.  Even if they were, I know they are capable of showing love and support to others in a time of crisis–just as you are.  Please stand strong with Cal as so many of your fellow students are doing.    

  • Jack B

    At Stanfurd, insincerity knows no bounds. They ARE the 1%

    • Justice

      I’m a low-income student at Stanford. I’ve been afforded some of the very same educational opportunities to my parallels at Berkeley, another prestigious institution for higher learning. Don’t throw that 1% shade over here please. Thank you.

    • Acata

      No, we aren’t.  At least I’m not.  And my parents aren’t.   And the odds that I ever will be are next to nil, because social mobility is at an all time low in this country.

    • Guest

      You’re flat out wrong. I’m one of the principle organizers at Stanford, and like Shawn and Tubbs (the two organizers mentioned in the article), I’m low income. 

      The 1% I’m closest to is the bottom 1%…

      • Paul Smith

        then get a job you moron 

        • Guest

          Statistics (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/12/for-each-u-s-job-opening-4-6-unemployed/) show there are about four unemployed people in the United States for every job available. “Just get a job” doesn’t work.  

          Your access to a steady income and/or the luxury of having money in the bank is more indicative of your privileges than any work you have done.  I’m not saying you don’t work hard; you just don’t work harder than people who make minimum wage. And however much you may try to fool yourself, having an education doesn’t mean your job is more “skilled”.Try again.

    • CAL Alum – Stanford parent

      Some significant number may well be in the top 15% or maybe even the top 10%, but I think you have lost touch with just how enormous a gulf separates the 1% from the rest. I don’t see kids in limos at Stanford.  I went to CAL and have a child at Stanford and I will never ever be close to that 1% level.

  • HerosWinning

    Attention Politicians, you can learn something from this Incredible example of Sportsmanship; Hats off to Standford and Cal students for coming together for the ‘greater good of the majority’.
    And thank you to their parents and teachers for teaching them that the real game of life is practicing good conduct, observing the  rules of fair play,  respecting others and being gracious even when things are not going your way.

  • Tig Cohen

    Sounds great! Organizers of this should consider going to the General Assembly meeting at Occupy Cal (on sproul plaza at 6pm) to make an announcement about this, so that more students know. Or put fliers up or something

  • This is awesome! I’m thrilled to see this rivalry put on hold to unite around the most pressing issues of our society; the crisis of our democracy, gross income inequality and corporate greed. I am not a huge sports fan, nor a fan of the oversized intercollegiate sports industry, but when I see students from Stanford acknowledging the collective connection we share in society it really touches my heart. The Occupy and 99% movement is bigger than any commercialized rivalry.

    • Chiuwilliam

      The irony is that many parents of Stanford students are part of the 1%

      • EarlBear

        There’s nothing wrong with being one of the 1%.  You can be in the 1% and support and empathize with the 99%.   The problem, well one of the many problems of income and tax inequality and this terrible economy, is people almost have to be in the 1% to afford the tuition at a public university too.  That Stanford students recognize it is awesome.

        • [The problem, well one of the many problems of income and tax inequality]

          The bigger problem is the TAX inequality.40% of the people on the lower end of the spectrum pay close to nothing in terms of state or federal taxes, and want more and more freebies financed by those who do. If anyone needs to have their taxes raised, perhaps it should be the people on the very bottom, who have no skin in the game…

          • Guest

            Nickel and diming the poor won’t raise very much money, because as Mr. Reich brought up in his speech, the richest 400 people in america have more money than all that lower said 40% COMBINED. So why don’t we tax them too and raise some REAL money?

          • Johnmly

            These are talking points and false.  The “tax inequality” is called a progressive tax structure which has served the US well until Bush’s tax cuts created most of the deficit and produced zero jobs, thus confirming “trickle-down” is propaganda.  The big problem is lack of demand, which results from lack of good paying jobs.   

            The lower end pay all kinds of taxes  – sales taxes at 10%, payroll taxes, excise taxes,  gas taxes, local taxes and fees that continually increase, along with increasing health care, food, utility and other expenses, that take a substantially larger percentage of their pay than those taxes on the 1% (hence, “regressive” taxes).   

    • Chiuwilliam

      Stanford also charges much higher tuition than Cal