Alec Weisman, Alumni (Editor-in-Chief 2008-2011)
Originally posted on The Word From the Wise, Alec’s personal blog.
On April 13, 2011 the Associated Students at the University of California, San Diego voted to endorse a principle of neutrality on political and divisive issues and refrain from passing resolutions.
Yet this promise has faded quickly, with the announcement that the AS Vice-President External Affairs Samer Naji will be introducing a resolution on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 that will explicitly announce the Associated Students support for the Occupy movement.
Although I am generally sympathetic with some of the goals of the Occupy movement, such as their concern that big business is in collusion with government and that bailouts for banks are wrong, yet other claims, such as debt forgiveness for all and “magic” money for every pet project they could imagine are hollow demands and are stupid. In addition, the recent acts of violence in Washington DC, Oakland, and San Diego (among others) has slowly eroded their positive attributes.
In addition, the resolution conflates the recent protests that have been met in some cases with what could be characterized as “excessive force” in the UC System with the Occupy movement at large. The resolution opens with statements claiming: “reckless greed committed by Wall Street firms and Executives,” “corporations prey[ing] on the hopes and aspirations held by millions of people with the simple and selfish aim to maximize profit,” “these corporations are responsible for the eviction of millions of people from their homes due to predatory lending practices.”
Most concerning of all however, this resolution calls upon the “Associated Students [to] provide support for protests and or occupations, should students decide to set up an occupation on campus.” This means that the A.S. will be using your student fees to bring the Occupy movement to UCSD and then proceed to disrupt traffic and interrupt classes and speeches. If members of A.S. want to use their stipends to cover the “Occupy Movement,” then that is their prerogative. But it is a shame that the Associated Students at UCSD continue to try to misrepresent more than 23,000 undergraduates, display their biases in a official capacity, and for revealing their belief that they know whats best for you.
I hope that UCSD students will tell AS to keep itself out of political and controversial matters and let them get back to problems that they have direct influence over, such as improving the parking situation at UCSD, dining dollar inflation, and restoring SunGod.
Below is the Resolution in full.
Resolution to Support the Occupy Movement
Whereas, individuals in the United States and across the world have been severely impacted by the reckless greed committed by Wall Street firms and Executives;
Whereas, these corporations preyed on the hopes and aspirations held by millions of people with the simple and selfish aim to maximize profit1;
Whereas, the profits made by the major businesses and corporations are being used to influence the American political system and the choices it makes, regardless of the impacts to ordinary individuals2
Whereas, these corporations are responsible for the eviction of millions of people from their homes due to predatory lending practices3;
Whereas, University of California, San Diego students, faculty, staff, and workers have been deeply impacted by the 2008 Financial Crisis and following recession that was caused by reckless management of domestic and international financial systems;
Whereas, billions in taxpayer dollars were committed to bailing out selfish and predatory corporations at the cost of neglecting Main Street America and cutting public funding for vital public services4;
Whereas, funding cuts to institutions of higher education, including the University of California, have led to skyrocketing tuition and fees, service cuts, and faculty, staff, and worker layoffs;
Whereas, personal and student debt has and continues to skyrocket5;
Whereas, concerned individuals have committed to peaceful occupation of symbolic centers in protest of the symbiotic relationship between corporate and government institutions, in addition to protesting public service cuts and the continual reduction of their standards of living,
Whereas, the demands made by the various occupations are closely aligned with the demands made by the University of California Student Association, including but not limited to:
The demand for corporate accountability,
The demand for a separation between corporate money and the American political system,
The demand to reform Proposition 13 to raise corporate property tax rates,
The demand to return for public higher education to return to be fully publicly funded and affordable.
And whereas, local police departments, including the University of California Police Department, have resorted to forceful eviction and suppression of peaceful demonstrators, in violation of their First Amendment rights to peacefully assemble6;
Let it therefore be resolved that the Associated Students of the University of California, San Diego endorse the Occupy movement;
Be it further resolved that the Associated Students provide support for protests and or occupations, should students decide to set up an occupation on campus;
Be it further resolved that the University of California, San Diego Chancellor sign a pledge, ensuring students’ rights to free speech and assembly on campus;
And let it finally be resolved that the Associated Students strongly condemns and demands that the University of California, Davis, and the University of California, Berkeley Chancellors and Police Chiefs resign immediately for authorizing the use of force by the University of California Police Department on UC students, faculty, staff, and workers