Friday, May 22, 2009

Protests at UCSC

There are a lot of protests at UCSC.  I would guess Cal has more, but I'd say that UCSC is at least second in rate of protests.  Many of these are organized by students, which is good, I like it when people take initiative.  Unfortunately they tend to be a bit silly, or at least misguided: When there is a protest every other week, you have to have a really huge protest to get anyone's attention.  Most UCSC protests don't pull the kind of numbers that they really need, by about a power of 100.  200 people at a protest is great, but we have classes bigger than that.  The recent budget issues have prompted a uptick in student protesting, not to mention it's the spring, so the weather is good enough to march around again. Many (several?) of the recent protests have featured a dramatic but counterproductive (in my opinion) tactic: the walkout.  While it may make a statement to your professors, it really doesn't hit the university where it hurts.  The UC system could care less if you are in class or not, you already paid them.  Furthermore, you're missing a class that you are at least hypothetically in to learn something.  Chanting about accessible education while squandering your opportunity is a little two-faced in my book.

I have a solution to this, and I promise it will work: this is a sure thing.

The reverse walkout.

Go to all the classes you can.  Do all the homework. Take all the tests. Do well, learn interesting things.  Be a respectful student. Be a well-rounded student (we need more scientists that can write well, and more writers that understand science).  But don't pay your reg fees.

As so many people have been yelling recently the UC is a corporation.  It needs your money, tax money, and private donations.  It wants your money. The UC system is like the Cookie Monster but it wants cash.  Education isn't necessarily it's primary goal.  But you can vote with your money.  Don't attend a UC.  Or don't pay the UC if you do attend.  Tell other people not to go to the UC if you feel that strongly about it. This would cause a much larger reaction from the UC, which is used to having students protest fee hikes, but is not used to having people actually learn.  And heaven forbid they learn for free.  Think about it guys. I'd love to see people learning and the UC not making money off their desire to gain knowledge. 

(Because we're all here because we want to learn, not because you get a shiny degree at the end with UCSC on it, right guys?)