Protesters occupy Eshleman Hall, press for multiculturalism

Occupation ends after extensive negotiations with student leaders

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UPDATE: As of around 9:40 p.m. Tuesday, the protesters in Eshleman Hall had come down after being promised amnesty from the campus administration for the day’s activities.

An estimated six students began occupying Eshleman Hall Tuesday afternoon as part of an awareness campaign regarding the campus’s multicultural retention center and minority enrollment.

Over 100 students, including Occupy Cal protesters and BAMN affiliates, stood outside the building chanting in support of the campaign.

“Some students have attached themselves to the door by actually drilling to the door,” said UCPD Lt. Eric Tejada.

Protesters in the crowd said there were at least two students inside who had chained themselves to the building by the neck.

On Tuesday evening, campus spokesperson Claire Holmes said the administration does not currently have any plans to remove the protesters. She added that the the campus administration has stayed in contact with ASUC President Connor Landgraf and ASUC External Affairs Vice President Shahryar Abbasi and that the two will be a part of the decision process.

The campus police department has secured the building but has no plans for future actions without direction from the campus administration, Tejada said.

“We’re evaluating the situation,” he said.

At around 5:35 p.m., protesters outside the building read Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Gibor Basri a list of demands including that none of the peaceful protesters receive repercussions for the day’s activities, that the multicultural center be restored to its former structure and that funding be allocated for recruitment and retention centers to assist in increasing minority representation.

The protesters inside were purportedly from Raza Recruitment and Retention Center, a campus group that aims to increase Hispanic enrollment in higher education, and REACH!, which aims to serve Asians and Pacific Islanders on campus.

 ASUC senator Klein Lieu said that students inside were acting of their own volition as individuals of the Cal community, and not as a member of any campus organization.

By around 8 p.m. Tuesday night negotiations to end the occupation of Eshleman Hall had neared a conclusion. Protesters exited the building at around 9:40 p.m.

Administrators agreed to amnesty for the individuals inside the building and to create a transitional review team in which students could discuss the multicultural center’s future with Basri, said Salih Muhammad, a student liaison in the negotiations.

Muhammad said the negotiations had been frustrating because “this could have been finished three years ago.”

Earlier in the evening protesters presented the following demands to administrators:

  • We Demand that the Multicultural Student Development Offices be restored to their former structure by Vice Chancellor Gibor Basri.
  • We demand that the budget allocation of the multicultural student development offices be increased to meet the needs of their work.
  • We demand that none of the protesters in this occupation receive any punishment or repercussions for this activity.
  • We demand an increase in funding for the Recruitment and Retention Center to assist in their mission of increasing the enrollment of underrepresented minorities on campus.

Contact Chloe, Megan and Alex at [email protected].

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  • Class of 81

    Why in my day no self-respecting student — protester OR journalist — referred to it as anything other than Eshleperson.

    • Needed to smile

      I can’t stop laughing

  • guest

    God, when will this ever stop. No one seems to care about anything except URMs, diversity, etc. No one fights for preserving the excellence, the world-class stature, of the University. Pathetic.

  • blackman

    I demand more enrollment for white students in the name of increasing multiculturalism. Whites are a minority on campus and should deserve minority benefits such as affirmative action.

  • Anonymous

    I feel like Berkeley students are always trying to find a reason to protest. They are pointless and the don’t get anything done. The only things that accomplish anything are movements that everyone is passionate about. Even with the Occupy Movement–IT WAS HUGE and VERY MOVING to see everyone unite together. But now, a year later, everyone pretty much forgot about it. Not only are you putting yourself in harms way, but you are wasting your time that you should be using to study so you can get good grades, graduate with an amazing GPA, and get a job where you will actually have enough power and authority to make a change. With that being said, let’s protest against the rain because I hate wet socks.

    • Stan De San Diego

      > I feel like Berkeley students are always
      > trying to find a reason to protest.

      Yep, it’s the raison d’etre for the usual cadre of leftwing malcontents.

  • physicsgrad

    I may chain myself to the building to protest the fact that Cal has a “Vice Chancellor for Equality and Inclusion” who makes $200k / year. How about a Vice Chancellor for actually furthering academics and research which are the only reasons why Berkeley is such a good school. Seriously, the Asian girl is chaining herself to the building? To protest what? Statisically, Asians are the majority! True multiculturalism is about not giving fear NOR FAVOR to any race or class. Don’t demand special privileges for your group and then complain when another group appears to get them as well. If you work hard and actually produce you’ll succeed in life, if you keep making yourself and your peers out to be victims nobody will ever see you as anything else.
    By the way, any time I ever hire anyone, they have to pass a basic test of math and reading skills or they are immediately disqualified. You’d be surprised how many liberal arts grads fail.

    • Papa Bear

      That’s funny. The Asians are protesting because they’re too exceptional.

  • DrBerkeley

    MLK jr would spit on these guys. Protesting AND demanding amnesty? Little kids playing at protesting who can’t take the heat of their actions.

  • I_h8_disqus

    What would be so much more helpful is if the protesters put in this kind of effort within the community to help underrepresented minorities focus on school so they could get into the UC by actually qualifying. Pulling from the top won’t solve the issue. You need to get down there and push from the bottom. Always trying to get whites to solve your problems won’t solve them. You need to get blacks and Latinos to work for their own benefit.

  • Northside Nick

    Let’s see here, two helicopters buzzing around for hours in the darkness of night. That’s one for each three protesters. Nice waste of fuel there TV guys!

    • Calipenguin

      The pilots could have offered the protesters free rides and ended the occupation much earlier and saved money on fuel too.

      • Tony M

        They could save even more money if they didn’t bother landing when they drop them off…

  • RandomThought

    I was just talking to a friend sometime last month and realized the N.A. went from 1.7% to just 1%…sorry, just something random that popped into my head :/

    • Guest

      What does N.A. mean?

      • Abbreviator Analyzer

        Native American

  • Calbears

    This is pathetic . Let admissions be ABOUT ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS AND NOT THIS BULLSHIT. I’m Latino myself and think it’s offensive to demand more Latino and black enrollment just on the basis of being more multiculturalism. This is a prestigious university , not the UN.

    • lolli

      I personally disagree with Latinos like you who feel superior to other Latinos. You will hopefully learn one day to be less arrogant. By being less arrogant we will get farther in improving the conditions of our community.

      • Gary

        Sounds like YOU think Latinos are inferior. Can “they” not compete without the extra help? Your words, not mine.

        You all really should stop segregating yourselves on the basis of ethnicity/race/whatever you want to call it.

      • Stan De San Diego

        “I personally disagree with Latinos like you who feel superior to other Latinos.”

        In other words, you resent those who can make it on their own merits and efforts. Typical socialist.

      • Calipenguin

        Calbears is not arrogant, he simply asks fellow Latinos to work on academics instead of demanding admission based on skin color. You care about your community but if you mislead young Latinos into thinking they are entitled to preferential treatment then that hurts your community in the long run because they will believe they are inferior intellectually and cannot compete. Cajoling young students to try harder is not arrogance, it’s altruism. Once they make it, it’s OK for them to wear the school colors and show some pride in their accomplishments.

        • Guest

          I think the idea isn’t that Latinos are demanding admissions based on skin color, rather it is asked to understand to color-blind policies after centuries of oppression for people of color have left Blacks, Latinos, etc disadvantaged. The fact of the matter is that the bootstrap mentality doesn’t necessarily hold true when those tools necessary to lift yourself up from bad communities or poor education systems aren’t there.

          • Calipenguin

            The bootstrap tools are there in every low income community. They are called schools. You get free breakfast and lunch at those schools. UC has watered down its entrance requirements to meet the low standards of those schools. Yet despite all these tools Latinos still claim they are disadvantaged? At least Blacks can claim a legacy of slavery. Latinos were never enslaved. Even if they were, we didn’t do it, the Conquistadors did. Wealthy Spanish families used to own much of California before it joined the United States so they hardly qualify for reparations of any kind. Recent illegal immigrants may have suffered in Mexico, but it’s not our fault and besides they chose to come here on their own free will, so why is that our fault?

          • Cal Alum

            Don’t forget that the Chinese, Indians, Japanese were also oppressed as peoples of color in the early United States, why have these communities done so much better compared to blacks and latinos ? Don’t blame others for your own faults. Prioritize education and learning in your communities instead of drug-dealing and hustling.
            And don’t demand to be admitted to prestigious institutions like Cal just because there are fewer blacks or latinos. Admissions should be based on merit alone ( generous aid should be provided to poor students regardless of their ethnicity).
            If these protestors succeed in influencing policies and admissions are race-dependent (instead of merit), Berkeley will lose it’s credibility as a great institution , something that will have disastrous consequences for the future of this state and nation as well in the long run.
            Please keep Berkeley great.

          • Tony M

            [I think the idea isn’t that Latinos are demanding admissions based on
            skin color, rather it is asked to understand to color-blind policies
            after centuries of oppression for people of color

            What do “centuries of oppression” have to do with someone who is 18-19 years old and the potential beneficiary of all sorts of scholarships, grants and special programs not available to white or Asian kids wanting to get into college, who probably have better grades than you do? If you REALLY want to be treated as an equal in the eyes of others, you need to ACT like an equal. Start taking responsibility for your own life and your own predicament instead of blaming others and maybe you will be treated differently.

      • lolli

        I think most are misinterpreting my words. I don’t think Latinos are inferior, nowhere in my three sentences does it say that. If you go to any other Latin American country you will find very intelligent “Latinos”. I would like to emphasize “conditions” though and that is something that needs to be addressed for both Latinos and African-Americans in the US because honestly they form a large percentage of the jail population. I did not mention how we could achieve that equality, although I do think it should be something more active than just being a role model to other Latinos. I am actually hoping to go to professional school after college because I personally like practicality. I agree that we need Latinos to do well in school, of course and I am doing that myself because I think being a role model is a very important component in changing things. But I don’t agree that that’s all we should do.

        • Stan De San Diego

          > “I would like to emphasize “conditions”
          > though and that is something that
          > needs to be addressed for both
          > Latinos and African-Americans in the
          > US because honestly they form a large
          > percentage of the jail population.”

          Maybe they should refrain from criminal behavior. It’s not like these people were just rounded up off the street one day and locked up in jail. BTW, many of those Latinos are illegal aliens, so enforcing our immigration laws would help as well.

          • Guest

            Stan, you do realize cultures don’t make people criminals. Lets please take into account the discrimination and punitiveness of our legal policies. The statement about many Latinos in jail being undocumented is actually not factual. Enforcing already punitive immigration laws have proved not to deter migration patterns as well. Simply a thought.

          • Stan De San Diego

            > Stan, you do realize cultures don’t make people criminals.

            When cultures glamorize the criminal subculture, they certainly lower any inhibitions or peer pressure that keep certain people from committing criminal acts.

            > Lets please take into account the discrimination and
            > punitiveness of our legal policies.

            Once again, nobody is out rounding up minorities and throwing them in jail for the purposes of oppressing them, so that argument is simply ludicrous. People go to jail when they commit criminal acts.

            > The statement about many Latinos in jail
            > being undocumented is actually not factual.

            Oh, bullshit. As of 2010, 21,000 prisoners out of a total of 163,000 in the California state correctional system were foreign nationals, about 1 out of 8 prisoners. 16,000 of them were born in Mexico, but only about 2,000 were here legally (naturalized citizens or legal resident aliens). Guess what that makes the rest of them, you ignorant child? There were also about 1200 Salvadoreans, but only a couple of hundred of THEM came here legally, so there we have at least 15,000 illegal alien Latinos in the state prison system. 20-25% of the 19,000 prisoners in the most populous county in California (Los Angeles) are also illegal aliens, so there are another ~4,000 illegals there. In fact, there are nearly 100,000 incarcerated illegal aliens altogether in the state of California, and guess where most of them are from again?

            > Enforcing already punitive immigration laws
            > have proved not to deter migration patterns
            > as well.

            The fact that we are NOT enforcing immigration laws in our 4 of the state’s most populous cities (LA, SF, San Jose, San Diego) apparently hasn’t sunk through your thick skull. Do you really think all of us are as freaking dumb and clueless as you are? Gimme a break.

        • Guest

          What is your major, lolli?

          • lolli

            Biology major.

          • Guest

            I’m glad to hear! Biology is a marketable major unlike ethnic studies, PACS, gender and women studies, etc.

      • Tony M

        [I personally disagree with Latinos like you who feel superior to other Latinos.]

        As a student of primarily white but partial hispanic ancestry who busted by butt to make good grades and study a subject where I had a future as opposed to wasting my time on trying to live la vida loca, I certainly feel superior to other primarily white but partially hispanic people who weren’t interested in making the effort – and if I were 100% hispanic/latino, I would feel just as superior – and “proud” that I made the effort. You exhibit the classic socialist/collectivist mindset of hating those who are successful through their own efforts because it makes you personally look bad and feel inadequate.

    • janai

      Schools do not solely admit students based on skin colour. However, race and ethnicity should be a deciding factor in admissions due to white privilege. White students tend to reap more benefits from our society than others because whether consciously or subconsciously from others, they receive preferential treatment from society. Most poor neighborhoods are populated with Latinos and black, same with prisons. This isn’t a coincidence. It’s modern day slavery and a vicious cycle perpetuated by racism and stereotypes. No, I agree with you that admissions should mostly be about academic credentials, but affirmative action is also important. With all the racism flying about in our society, people of color deserve to receive more education so they may go back and improve their community.

      • Guest

        Did you regurgitate this bullshit from your ethnic studies professor?

      • I_h8_disqus

        I agree that racism and stereotypes fuel the current situation. However, it is the racism and stereotypes from blacks and Latinos. Within California, too many blacks and Latinos have created cultures and communities that segregate themselves from the rest of the population and that promote the stereotypes that shun education and promote crime and poverty. Affirmative action won’t help. It reaches too few, and it distracts from efforts that could reach the youth and communities. Instead of wasting your efforts for affirmative action, you should use that energy to get more funding for elementary schools in poor communities.

        • Critter

          I agree with I_h8_disqus that affirmative action won’y help. Sure there is a “trend” or whatever sociology term it is, that whites get more benefits due to their superiority in the past. Affirmative action does not “even the playing field” for other minorities, however. Affirmative action allows for that sense of doubt or that discrepancy to exists between merit and just getting in because of race. I think we all need to go back to the core of what we really want. We want equality, plain and simple. Equality in the sense that all races, whether white, black, latino, etc. gets admitted based on merit. I see the arguments about how environment and stereotypes make blacks and latinos less willing to work hard in school, but that can change over time if we just remove the idea that race is a factor. How is it fair for a rich African American or Latino student who lives in a good neighborhood to get admissions priority over the poor white student who lives in a not so great neighborhood? It just isn’t. But cases vary from person to person. I don’t think it’s valid to say that being underrepresented in Cal is because of inequality or racism. Cal is pretty diverse. The majority of minorities live in poorer neighborhoods and thus have less access to quality education and in turn are less motivated to compete academically. This has been shown. Now keep in mind how expensive Cal is…its really expensive! Wouldn’t creating a system based on socioeconomic status be more fair? It will naturally increase the amount of minorities since the tendency for minorities to be in low socioeconomic situations is higher than whites. AND if wouldn’t cause the discrepancy of “did they get in because they are [ insert minority here]”. It would be based on merit. Two people with the same merit, chose the one that is more socioeconomically disadvantaged. This means that if its the black person that is more socioeconomically disadvantaged than the white person, then chose the black person. Similarly, if its the white person who is more socioeconomically disadvantaged than the black person, chose the poor white person! Overtime, this will eliminate the problem of teaching our next generation that it is okay to rely on aid to get farther in life. It will eliminate the “hmmm we have two lawyers one is Latino, one and White, it is an emergency who do I chose. I will go with the white lawyer because I am not sure if the Latino really got into Law school from merit” You see my concern?

          • Calipenguin

            You’ve got great ideas, and the highly paid college administrators already tried your ideas. However, they found much to their surprise that there are many low income Asian students out there, and they always have better academic scores than Blacks and Latinos from the same low-API high schools. Giving preference to low income applicants only increased the percentage of Asian Cal students. This didn’t sit well with Black and Latino pressure groups, which is why all ten UC regents said they wish they could pick students based on skin color once more.

      • Stan De San Diego

        > “White students tend to reap more
        > benefits from our society than others”

        Of course you will benefit more from our society if you applied yourself, took a useful major, and made it on your own merits vs. being some AA/diversity admit taking fluff courses because you can’t hack a more rigorous degree program. You make that sound like some type of injustice when it’s really not.

      • Calipenguin

        The vicious cycle is perpetuated by racism and stereotypes… among the minorities themselves. Black and Latino culture in America drags aspiring scholars back into poverty. Smart students are accused of “acting white” and get beat up. Young teens are pressured to join street gangs not to defend against racist whites, but to kill rival Norteños or Sureños. 24-inch rims are more important than TI-89 calculators. Yes some white landlords will refuse to rent to minorities, but that just means the minorities should clean up their neighborhoods first instead of running away from their own kind. It’s unfair to penalize hard working white and Asian students because of the color of their skin.

  • Cal Poly SLO Student

    Hey all you jerks at a UC: Try visiting Cal Poly SLO for once, then you’ll appreciate how much diversity already exists within your campus. It’s so DRY and SALTINE out here all I see is white people everywhere.

    • haha

      get lost , Cal Poly is where the rejects of the UC system go to.
      Have fun hauling trash in the future (or flipping burgers at McDonalds )

      • Stan De San Diego

        Your comment was unwarranted and unnecessary.

        • Guest

          I agree with you that haha’s comment was hateful and nasty.

          But aren’t you the one who always posts hateful and bigoted comments on the Daily Cal about protestors, occupiers, and gays and lesbians? Your comments are also unwarranted and unnecessary.

          Aren’t you being hypocritical?

          • Stan De San Diego

            > But aren’t you the one who always posts
            > hateful and bigoted comments on the
            > Daily Cal about protestors, occupiers,
            > and gays and lesbians?

            Merely the fact that my comments make you feel uncomfortable does not make them “hateful and bigoted”. Grow a pair.

      • Critter

        Excuse you. Do you think arrogance will get you respect in the real world? But I will admit, “Hey all you jerks at a UC” was also unnecessary! And “a UC”, really? You don’t know shit about what attending a UC is like. And now I am going to apologize for that astringent comment. I’m sorry. I have friends in Cal Poly SLO and I am sure that every college student thinks that their university/ college is the best in the world.

      • CAL POLY SUCKs


        • Stan De San Diego

          STFU, child. I don’t rip on people for where they go to school, and I suggest you don’t either when you get out in the real world and (try to) get a real job unless you want to permanently brand yourself as an unemployable asshole.

      • Tony M

        Show a little respect, dimwit. The Cal Poly student at least had something constructive to add to the discussion, something you don’t.

  • jaded Cal student

    These kids just need to go study for their finals. If they get good grades, they are more likely to get jobs. Then they can help Blacks and Latinas rise from the lowest socioeconomic levels. As a result, more students from these communities will get higher SAT scores, and UC Berkeley (and other highly selective institutions) will be more likely to accept them.

    • the truth

      Seriously , this whole brouhaha about admitting more blacks and latinos for the sake of multiculturalism is garbage. If you are good academically, you belong here, else you do not.

      • “Good Academically” is an extremely subjective thing, my friend. I can’t wait for you to bring that sense of entitlement into the professional world where noone gives a shit about your GPA and the kids who’ve had to scrap to survive will have you fired. ;)

        Frankly, when you talk about affirmative action somewhere like Cal, you’re talking about changing the chances for the average applicant by less than standard deviation, in order to create not only a better learning environment, but better world for everyone.

        As long as we have vast inequality, those of us who are more fortunate will have to shoulder a lot of the costs. I think if you’re a white kid and you’re pretty sure you can’t get a good job without a degree, you don’t belong in this institution which I pay to support, but never had an opportunity to attend.

        What a bunch of spoiled brats in these comments.

        • Calipenguin

          If you don’t think GPA matters in the professional world, then why don’t you encourage Black and Latino students to just skip the fancy college programs and get right to work? Oh, that’s right, no one will hire them yet. They still need a college degree in the professional world, and a good brand like U.C. Berkeley carries with it implicit guarantees that only the best students were admitted. Maybe your little startup company would hire kids with low GPAs, but at some point embarrassing mistakes will be made because under-educated kids lack theoretical knowledge and effective writing skills.
          You support affirmative action because it bumps up the chances of the minority applicants by less than the standard deviation. That’s huge. A single standard deviation from the mean includes 68% of the population, while two standard deviations includes 95% of the population. What’s more important though is that at Cal you would be thrusting moderately intelligent minority students into classes full of white and Asian students who are three standard deviations above the mean academically. Many of these students had over 4.3 GPAs and a 5 on the AP Calculus BC exam. And these are just the music majors. Imagine what competition in the College of Engineering is like. You would not be creating a better world for everyone, you would create resentful dropouts with tens of thousands of dollars in debt and millions of dollars in wasted Cal Grants. Stop looking at Cal like an entitlement and treat it like the NBA or NFL.

        • Stan De San Diego

          > “As long as we have vast inequality”

          We have “inequality” because some people are brighter, harder working, and more motivated than others. Instead of providing some incentive and encouragement for those on the lower end to do better, you and your ilk insist on punishing those who are more successful, which is NOT a recipe to help anyone other than the professional protesters and poverty pimps.

        • I_h8_disqus

          I don’t think you have worked in the professional world. A person who is “good academically”, is a person who is smart and hard working. That is why the professional world will look at your transcripts and degree to see that you are a person who will work hard. Cal grads don’t get jobs from entitlement.

  • Calipenguin

    “there were at least two students inside who had chained themselves to the building by the neck.”

    Can we just leave them there? Then let Nadia Cho try some of her BDSM experiments on those chained students.

    • dede

      haha your comment made me laugh