We all know our school is known for its activism, rather than its fashion forwardness. While Berkeley brings to mind Birkenstocks, tye-dye and daisy chains, it is also historically tied to free speech, progressive movements and an educated, opinionated and active student body.
Indeed, many of us are aware of the UC systems dangerous position. There have been massive budget cuts and our institution is still reeling from the effects. Professors are being "furloughed", classes and entire departments are being cut and restructured, student fees are to increase 32% within the next two semesters, UC employees are being fired by the thousands and in general there seems to be a sense of crisis in the air. It seems that we are being asked to pay more and will essentially be recieving less in return.
While ultimately the long-term solutions to these problems must come from the state government, we as students must organize now. The quality, access and affordability of our education is being threatened and we ought to be a part of the solution. As The Daily Cal puts it, "There is a budget crisis, but there is also a crisis of priorities." Unless we insist on an alternative solution, one will not come about.
Most importantly, BARE urges you to educate yourselves on this issue. While the red solidarity arm bands students have been wearing do add a vibrant pop of color to an early fall ensemble, nothing is hotter this season, or looks better on everyone than a knowlede of this crisis.
so, what can YOU do to educate yourselves?
--> attend the teach-in on Wednesday September 23 from 7-9 in Wheeler Auditorium
--> visit http://berkeleycuts.org/ and www.ucstudentwalkout.com for videos, links, and information regarding how students, GSIs, professors, staff and even UC parents are taking action on the issue.
and PLEASE consider:
- Walking Out as a gesture of solidarity with all UC faculty as well as your fellow students
- honoring/joining the picket lines on campus
- attending the rally on sproul at Noon
- attending the general assembly for students at 6 pm on Sproul following the days activities
on Thursday September 24th
Ultimately it is wrong to let this great university lose its vibrance and diversity because certain people are denied access and we can't allow cuts to be dolled out in this way because the system of governance- as UCB professor Ananya Roy puts it- "consults us, but does not hear us."
Although you may rock gladiator sandals over Birkenstocks, the fighting spirit that made us famous back in the 1960s is still alive in lots of us. In a time of crisis, it's not only imperative- but fierce too- to voice your opinions.