UC Berkeley Faculty & Student Walkout

As we all know, yesterday marked a historic point in the history of the UC system in California. Reported to be around the thousands; staff, students and faculty at UC Berkeley participated today in a UC campus wide effort to create awareness about how the cuts have affected our education system. Picket lines started as early as 7 a.m., and a couple of hundred people were seen going around campus holding out signs in protest.

Whatever the expectations were, it was nothing close to what was seen at the noon rally scheduled to be held at Upper Sproul Plaza. People ranging from various backgrounds and institutions showed up to voice their support for the cause. Only close in magnitude to rallies performed at Sproul during the 1960s and the early 90’s, this event turned out to be a complete success in bringing in media attention. Union members, current faculty, community college professors and students voiced their opinions on the highly controversial issue of the budget cuts along with a recently proposed fee increase from the UC Reagents President Mark Yudolf.

Red was definitely the color of the protest. Whether to serve a purpose of aggressiveness, fierceness or something else, it proved to be a trend hard to resist as the energy of the event took off after various speakers talked about the issue.

Libby Te, a fourth year Earth and Planetary Science major voiced her support for the walkout while sporting a pair of aviator shades. She believes it is unfair students “…don’t have a say” in the current changes to the system and fears Berkeley won’t be the same anymore.
“What we stand for is being taken away”

Freshmen and Rhetoric major Tyler Hill was caught supporting the Berkeley red campaign against the cuts. She believes the actions undertaken by the California legislature as well as the UC reagents have created “results which are hindering the students.”
“[It] sets aside the goals of a public university”

This being at Berkeley, we certainly had more unconventional approaches. These students decided to BARE it all, arguing for transparency regarding the handling of the budget problems our state and educational system face. It is hard to draw the line as to where this situation became a leadership rather than a financial crisis, but whether you’re showing off your red band or a body in high need of a tan, it is clear the battle for higher education is not over.

Jonathan Uriarte
BARE Reporter