UC Berkeley faculty, administration endorse March protest events

Students march on campus during the March 2nd protests against educational budget cuts.
March 2 Protest Education Budget Cuts UC Berkeley Sproul/File
Students march on campus during the March 2nd protests against educational budget cuts.

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In the final stretch leading up to the protest events scheduled to begin Thursday, both UC Berkeley administration and faculty have indicated support, with some pledging to participate in rallies in Sacramento and even the four-day “99 Mile March for Education and Social Justice” to the state Capitol.

In a campuswide email sent Tuesday, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau endorsed the upcoming March 5 demonstrations. Campus faculty groups — including the Berkeley Faculty Association and the campus division of the Academic Senate — have also publicized their support, stating that several faculty members will march from Richmond to Vallejo alongside demonstrators.

The ASUC and the campus administration will fund three to four buses Monday morning to travel to the Sacramento demonstrations, according to campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore. Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Harry Le Grande and five deans so far will board the buses along with students and faculty, Gilmore said in an email.

In the aftermath of the controversial Nov. 9 campus protests, Birgeneau was criticized for the changing tenor of his emails in response to clashes between protesters and campus police. In his endorsement of the March protests, Birgeneau called on the campus community “to continue our advocacy efforts in Sacramento to speak out against the state’s disinvestment from public higher education and call for the reinstatement of funding and stabilization of the budget.”

On Wednesday, the Berkeley Faculty Association endorsed the march in a press release, stating that it will “draw attention to the plight of public education in California and to implore Californians to re-invest in it.”

Following an afternoon of on-campus events in solidarity with Occupy Education California, marchers plan to head to Oakland and from there begin the march to the Capitol. About 24 faculty members will join the march on Friday, according to Wendy Brown, co-chair of the association.

“Every effort to awaken California taxpayers and legislators to the dire predicament of public education is important,” Brown said in an email. “Every additional participant in the movement strengthens the chance of getting California to reinvest in its public education system.”

At 7:30 a.m. Thursday, protesters plan to rally outside of California Hall, which houses Birgeneau’s office.

According to a Wednesday column in the Berkeley Daily Planet, protesters plan on “encircling the entire building with crime scene tape” to make visible “mishandling of university resources and repression of campus activism.”

Teach-outs will begin at 8 a.m. on Sproul Plaza, followed by the first of 11 scheduled workshops an hour later. The first workshop will be led by Mark Mason, a campus alumnus and a professor who has taught at a few schools, including CSU Sacramento.

“I cannot adequately articulate how important this movement is to the civility of a nation,” Mason said in an email. “I support the March march … Human rights, dignity, and truth-telling are Occupy in the face of university hypocrisy.”

Gilmore said in an email that all opinions are welcome, even if they are critical.

“This freedom is a cherished value here,” Gilmore said in the email. “Of course, everyone is also expected to follow campus policies and state laws when they engage in protest, and we encourage protesters to respect the rights of people who simply want to go about their day in class or at work.”

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  • Stan De San Diego

    >”Stan De San Diego, Don’t get me started on your achievement ideology. Good for you that
    your a “Successful” engineer. I bet you came from a well off family with all the resources in the world to get you through your education.”

    Well, you bet wrong. Grew up in a middle-class background, attended piss-poor California public schools, ate my share of PB&J and macaroni and cheese as a kid. Stop speculating about stuff you know nothing about.

    >”Educational resources are limited for those who are unfortunate enough to be born into a family riddled with poverty.

    K-12 education is free to every child living in the state of California. It’s not “poverty” that cripples kids educationally in this state, it’s the effect of cultural attitudes of people who simply don’t value education. My parents weren’t well off whatsoever, but they stressed the importance of education – not only in going to school, but at home as well: having books, taking us kids to the public library, and showing an interest in our educational progress. My parents didn’t wait for elementary school to teach us how to read and write. Every kid in our family learned basic reading AND writing skills before our first day in Kindergarten. Sure, we weren’t writing the Great American novel, but you can bet that every Xmas, every birthday, Mom sat us down at the kitchen table to write thank you letters after we opened presents, and my parents would double-check to make sure spelling and grammar was correct. Sure, they weren’t literary masterpieces, usually along the line of “Dear Grandma and Grandpa, Thank you for the new airplane. I really like my Boeing 707. It is cool. Love, Stan”. However, after what I have seen in the Daily Cal, my writing skills at that early age were far more developed than what I have seen out of some of the boneheads (who are supposedly college students) posting here. Sure, I took my share of advanced and “gifted” classes as a kid, but I still submit that the most important component of my education as a child was NOT related to per-student spending by the state, but the fact that my parents and family members (aunts, uncles, grandparents) took an active role and interest in our education. Now compare that to someone who comes from a background where the parents have no interest in their children’s education, where there are more TVs in the house than books, and where 17-year old unwed mother dropouts on public relief are considered the rule, not the exception, or worse, being a member of a minority culture where learning in school is considered to be “acting white” and actively discouraged by one’s peers. All the “funding”, “access”, or even $20K/year per student spending won’t overcome obstacles like coming from a culture that holds no regard for education.

    >”Don’t throw your idea around that everyone has an equal opportunity to make something of themselves, it is a false parallel in this so called “Democracy”

    Once again, we don’t live in a “democracy”, nor does any such democracy demand or produce equality of outcome.

    >”Step outside of your fantasy world away from your BMW and useless consumer items”

    I don’t own a BMW, and I’m willing to bet I have far less “useless consumer items” than the typical college student these days. You need to stop tilting at imaginary windmills and lay off the invective.

  • Shame on Tony M

    It’s 7 a.m. right now. At 7:30am, we’re going to encircle California Hall with crime tape to symbolize Birgeneau and his administration’s abusive actions during the November 9 protest. If you’re reading this right now, join us! We’re happy to have you. If you’re reading this after 7:30am, don’t fret. There are teach-ins and workshops, and you can also join us on our 99-mile march to Sacramento for justice, peace, and equality for all.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

      [At 7:30am, we’re going to encircle California Hall with crime tape to
      symbolize Birgeneau and his administration’s abusive actions during the
      November 9 protest.]

      Wow, like THAT’s going to solve the tuition funding issue.

      Silly little left-wing activists, full of symbolism, void of substance.

    • Guest

      So can we encircle YOU with crime tape for your mob violence that day?

  • Shame on Tony M

    With our faculty at our side, we will make change happen. Join the 99% while we march to Sacramento!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

       You’re not part any 99%. I’m willing to bet you have never held a real job in your life.

      • Stan De San Diego

         Well, if you call trolling a full-time job…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

    The usual suspects marching around with their same old tired slogans. Once again, where is the money coming from, and where is it going? The state of California is quickly approaching bankruptcy, yet that hasn’t stopped the same oh-so-concerned students from supporting High Speed Rail, tuition funding for illegal aliens to go to college, the ongoing maintenance of a professional welfare class on the public dole, and the rest of the feel good liberal ideas that are only in competition with the same taxpayer dollars used to fund their education. Raising taxes won’t work, as it will only provide more incentive for those targeted to move or declare their primary residence out of state so they won’t be subject to California state income taxes. Somewhere along the line, the people of this state are going to have to learn some basic fiscal concepts such as budgeting and priorities. Otherwise, welcome to the third world…

    • Shame on Tony M

      Why must you write such hurtful words? Everything you have written is wrong.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

        My words are “hurtful” – poor baby. Maybe it’s time for you to change your diaper.

      • Guest

        How on EARTH was that hurtful?!  All the man is really doing is disagreeing.  

      • Special Ed Jones

         If hearing criticism is too much for you too handle, do yourself a favor and don’t ever plan on getting married. LOL!

      • Stan De San Diego

         Can you elaborate with specific arguments why you think the person you are responding to is “wrong” on everything, or are you merely whining?

  • Wawaweewa

    “In the aftermath of the controversial Nov. 9 campus protests, Birgeneau
    was criticized for the changing tenor of his emails in response to
    clashes between protesters and campus police. In his endorsement of the
    March protests, Birgeneau called on the campus community “to continue
    our advocacy efforts in Sacramento to speak out against the state’s
    disinvestment from public higher education and call for the
    reinstatement of funding and stabilization of the budget.”

    And when is the Police Review Board meeting to publicly discuss the events of Nov 9? 

    You guessed it, March 5!  When no one who cares will be around! (Though 6:45 p.m., room 60, Barrows Hall, if you will be around).   

    Want to let Associate Vice Chancellor for University Communications,
    Claire Holmes, know that she should reschedule this meeting?  E-mail her at:  [email protected] (She sent out the e-mail announcing the date and location of the meeting).

    Now, who is this Claire Holmes character, and how much do we pay her to schedule of interest to the public at times that conflict with, well, the public interest? 

    “Holmes comes to Berkeley after a 10-year career at Kaiser Foundation
    Health Plan. Most recently she held the position there of vice president
    for national media, public relations, and stakeholder management. In
    that post she supported the CEO and executive leadership with external
    communications, led a team managing corporate and media communications,
    and advised on crisis management…As associate vice chancellor, Holmes will earn an annual base salary of $230,000.”

    Crisis management, eh?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

      [And when is the Police Review Board meeting to publicly discuss the events of Nov 9? ]

      Word up, my child: Nobody but the hippies who got pwned and the usual suspects give a flying f*ck about what happened last November 9th. Your 15 seconds of attention has come and gone. Move on, and get over it.

      • Shame on Tony M

        I don’t know what hippies you are talking about. We students care, and if that makes us hippies in your eyes, so be it.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

           Real students are busy studying, because they know where the real prize lies. The ones playing silly Occupy games aren’t the ones who are going to pull any weight in the real world when they get older.

          • guest

            Tony,

            You are obviously blind to the power of collective action. substantial change is never the result of moral suasion or rational argument, but it’s rather propelled by organized interests dedicated to social movement over an extended period of time. How about you get out of your mothers basement and actually understand how this country advances  politically and socially. Just look at history Tony, our founding fathers were all about collective action, in fact the actions of our founding fathers would be classified as organized crime under our current laws. Get real 

          • Stan De San Diego

            “You are obviously blind to the power of collective action.”

            Like most leftists, you place great faith in “collective action” because you are too insecure to stand on your own merits and achievements to make it through life. You have a strong emotional need for marches and demonstrations, because you require the constant, ongoing approval and endorsement of others to validate your own beliefs. That’s a sign that you lack the confidence in your own capability and self-worth as an individual. 

            Those of us who are educated, knowledgeable, and demonstrably proficient in our dedicated careers and endeavors can communicate as individuals and stand on our own achievements. As a successful engineer and a known expert in my particular field, my accomplishments speak for themselves. I don’t need to go out, march, hold hands with other demonstrators, nor does my particular “cause” require signing up professional agitators, drifters, inebriates, malcontents, and other detritus to seek physical confrontation with symbols of authority – if I have an issue with authority figures, I will address those people directly as a grown adult. Now tell us what what you’re really accomplishing by this constant demand for attention. Is it “change”, “social justice”, or whatever terms is in vogue to describe your ill-explained and nebulous goals? Or is the public show merely to try to validate your own significance in the world, because deep down inside, you’re painfully aware that nobody else really notices you?

          • guest

            Stan De San Diego,

            Don’t get me started on your achievement ideology. Good for you that your a “Successful” engineer. I bet you came from a well off family with all the resources in the world to get you through your education. Educational resources are limited for those who are unfortunate enough to be born into a family riddled with poverty. You are a privileged individual with access to economic and educational resources. Don’t throw your idea around that everyone has an equal opportunity to make something of themselves, it is a false parallel in this so called “Democracy”. Step outside of your fantasy world away from your BMW and useless consumer items and realize the neat little world you live in is false. Get real Stan  

        • Guest

          Can I be excluded from the “students” you’re talking about?  Thanks. 

    • Not Paying Tuition

      The FUNNY thing is that about 40% of students in the UC system pay no tuition at all! That’s right. And these “protestors” look like they’re probably part of that 40%.

      If you don’t want tuition to raise, then demand that your classmates start paying their fair share… Why does this debate sound familiar?