Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

Letter writing campaign: Thank Former AS President for Trying to Influence Our Election

In D1 Referendum 2012 on February 29, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Former AS President and UCSD alumnus Utsav Gupta has sent out a mass email to a UCSD-wide listserv from his personal email address[1]. While the illegitimacy of this act is unclear, it is offensively unscrupulous for anyone to use such a strong tool to try to influence a vote on undergraduate student-fees after graduating.

Gupta would really appreciate it if you checked your email and responded to him with something like the following courteous message:

Dear Utsav Gupta,

Thank you for trying to influence my vote for a referendum whose outcome poses no risk to you, but will cost students an additional $495 a year. It is heartening to know that alumni support a sports team in thought. I would prefer it if they supported sports financially, rather than making struggling undergraduates pay for alumni’s sense of legacy, but I understand how times are hard.

Thanks again.


[your name]

PS: Why don’t you do your job by sending a mass email to the 150 alumni the UC pays you to ask for money, and ask them to support DI instead? [2]

He deserves the flood of community support.

Between February 27 and March 9 UCSD undergraduates will vote on a referendum that will raise the Athletics student fee 134%, to a total of $854 per year, in order to fund a move to D1 in the event that UCSD receives a bid from a D1 conference.

Don’t forget to vote!



Screen cap for the wary:


International Call to Action and Announcement of Virtual Sit-In

In Uncategorized on February 28, 2012 at 11:59 pm


Citizens of the World:

We the people of Public Education Coalition of UC San Diego seek to globally unite, from Chile to Puerto Rico, from Greece to Spain, from Egypt to Iran, from Occupy Wall Street to Occupied Palestine, from UC Riverside to UC Davis to UC Berkeley, with those who share our commitment to the empowerment of workers, students, and the unemployed through the creation of an equitable and compassionate society. Through collective struggle we will reverse the privatization of our universities and reclaim public education as a human right for all people.

Together, university and state officials all over the world have used the tactics of neoliberalization and privatization to systematically dismantle access to public education by underrepresented, underserved and otherwise invisible communities.

March 1st is one day of action in a growing movement, but there are any number of ways to support it.

When you walk out, teach out, march out, or speak out on March 1st you are demonstrating your commitment to the importance of public education in an egalitarian society. You are demanding your role in shared governance of a public institution, and you are defending future generations who will inherit the political, economic, social and educational systems we create for ourselves today.

This is also a call to VIRTUAL ACTION.

As inheritors of the legacies set forth by millions of student protesters across the globe and across generations, we cordially invite the citizens of the world to become actors in a performance of Electronic Civil Disobedience through a virtual sit-in on,, and

By taking part in this gesture of Electronic Civil Disobedience, you will align yourself in the traditions of non-violent direct action and civil disobedience established by peaceful dissenters throughout world history. Proponents of Electronic Civil Disobedience are borrowing tactics of trespass and blockade from earlier social movements and applying them to the virtual sphere. Electronic Civil Disobedience, as a form of mass de-centralized electronic direct action, utilizes virtual blockades and virtual sit-ins. Unlike the participants in a traditional civil disobedience action, an ECD actor can participate in virtual blockades and sit-ins from home, from work, from the university, or from other points of access to the Net. The virtual sit-in will begin on March 1st at 12:00 AM and end on March 5th at 11:59 PM. To participate, follow or send an email to Details will be posted to the blog and sent out via email tomorrow evening about how to participate. In the meantime: take the flyer attached below and print it, email it and spread it far and wide in the virtual sphere.

If not us, who?

If not now, when?

See you on the streets and the virtual networks of the world.

Sean Estelle, Sophia Lawson, Stephanie Nowinski, Shelby Cohantz

Public Education Coalition (,

Print This - Email This - Spread the Word

Open Letter to AVP Athletic Relations

In D1 Referendum 2012 on February 28, 2012 at 5:47 pm

[This letter was sent to Aurora Lopez, AVP Athletic Relations, on February 26th. It is intended to address the entire athletic community.]

Dear Aurora,

I am personally writing to you about March 1st because I have been quite vocal against the DI referendum, and because I am sure that the athletics community feels that March 1st is not for them. I entreat you to support March 1st by encouraging athletes to attend, by forwarding this email to your athletics contacts, and by attending yourself.

I want to emphasize to you, and to the athletic community in general, that March 1st is a day for education first and foremost, and that there are problems with our public education system which directly affect athletes. The loss of state funding has seriously harmed athletics programs at UCSB, UCI, UCR and UCD to name just a few. Increased system-wide mandatory fees harm athletes just as they harm other students, if not more because athletes already have such full schedules.

Unfortunately, for many students the fight is against any increase in fees for which they perceive no benefit. Many of the organizers for March 1st fall within that group, and so the issues of state-wide fees (which affect us all) and campus fees (like DI) have been run together. The reaction against the DI referendum is a product of the current atmosphere of fee escalation. If the regents and UCOP were not facing the possibility of raising fees by 16% annually, the D1 referendum would be far less contentious than it has proven to be.

I believe our athletes deserve to advance to DI. We are the largest school in DII and we already have three sports in DI. That being said, all students have been made to suffer through cut backs, and fee increases, not just athletes. We all deserve a better, more affordable education, and while we will have different priorities I believe we can all agree there are problems within our system which are unacceptable to everyone.

Athletics are an important part of a college experience, and neither I, nor anyone I have spoken to, is against DI in and of itself. It is part of the tragedy of our system that many students feel they cannot support program improvements they would otherwise love to have.

Please show your solidarity.


Kevin Quirolo

March 1st Demands

In Privatization, Reclaim CLICS on February 27, 2012 at 10:53 pm


University of California, San Diego

March 1, 2012


It is with immediate concern that the administration of the University of California, San Diego address issues of upholding the promises of the California Master Plan of Education for an accessible, public, and free University of California. Though the Master Plan does not qualify the meaning of accessibility and equity or address the structural racism of the education system, our expectation is that the University of California be accessible and free regardless of race, socio-economic status, immigration status, or other potential barriers to access.

We, the Public Education Coalition (Faculty, Graduates, Undergraduates, Staff, United Auto Workers, AFSCME Workers, and other workers’ organizations), Reclaim UCSD, the Student Affirmative Action Committee (The Asian Pacific-Islander Student Alliance, Black Student Union, Kaibigang Pilipino, Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ Aztlan, Muslim Student Association, Native American Student Alliance, Queer People of Color, Students with Disabilities Coalition), and numerous allies at the University of California, San Diego have the following concerns, expectations, and demands:

We, the Students, Faculty, Staff and Workers of the University of California, San Diego, demand that the library formerly known as “CLICS” be reopened, owned and run by and for students and librarians (not under the Executive Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs), and refunded by the University through decreases in administrator salaries and student fees and increases in taxes on the wealthy and corporations. In order to pursue these ends, we are committed to uniting with people and movements in all sectors of society, all around the world, from Chile to Puerto Rico, from Greece to Spain, from Egypt to Iran, from Peru to Ireland to the Phillipines, from Occupy Wall Street to Occupied Palestine, from UC Riverside to UC Davis to UC Berkeley, who share our commitment to the empowerment of workers, students, and the unemployed to create an equitable and compassionate society. Our peoples will rise to decolonize UCSD, which is on occupied Kumeyaay land, to decriminalize the border and to smash imperialism and capitalism in our country and throughout the world. Through collective struggle we will reverse the privatization of our University and reclaim public education as a human right for all people. Read the rest of this entry »

Noam Chomsky Discussing Austerity, Privatization, and Solidarity

In California, Privatization on February 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Great talk from Chomsky about the ridiculous notion that the state doesn’t have enough money to pay for public education, healthcare, or other essential services.



For more, read Chomsky’s article “Assaulting Solitarity — Privatizing Education

Statement at ASUCSD Public Input Session 2/22/12

In Privatization on February 22, 2012 at 11:26 pm

I come tonight to express my deep disappointment with ASUCSD.

On Wednesday, February 8th, a Resolution to support March 1st and the Call to Action from the Public Education Coalition was passed by this governing body.

The language in this resolution is quite explicit in its declaration for AS to fully and actively support this call to action.

There have been lots of discussions lately about why AS as a body needs to maintain its neutrality on the position of Division 1 Athletics, while still encouraging students to vote; however, individual members are well within their rights to express personal opinions and stances on this issue.

The way I see it, this resolution supporting March 1st binds AS as a body to actively support and educate the student body and the University Administration about March 1st and help garner support for it.

When I went to UC Riverside for the Regents meeting on January 19th, ASUCR was out there in the streets with us the whole time. They were passing out buttons and shirts that said “AS – Taking A Stand 2012.” They led chants and they were there when the cops showed up. They were exhibiting true leadership throughout the day.

Then I came back to UCSD, and what did I see? I saw student government bringing an election to students that will potentially have them raising fees on themselves in one vote; and including a survey question that hides proposed budget numbers from the greater student population and, in my opinion, delegitimizes students’ efforts to reclaim our university from the poisonous effects of fee hikes and privatization.

That’s not what I want to see from my student government. I want to see students dedicated to the issues that are hitting them the hardest. I want to see this body dedicated to issues that are greater than profit margins and resumé padding. Read the rest of this entry »


In California, Privatization on February 21, 2012 at 2:45 am

[Please share this call to action with your friends, professors, colleagues, TAs, PIs, roommates, and who ever else you think should read it]

Students, instructors and staff you have a stake in the future of the UC. The public nature of the UC is under threat, but on March 1st we are coming together to defend it.

Students, mandatory fees set by the regents have more than doubled since 2001 adjusted for inflation.[1] At the same time, UCSD’s average debt at graduation increased 20%.[2] In 2009, 48% of UCSD students graduated with debt at an average of $18,757.[3] Since 1990 expenditure per student has fallen over 19%.[4] At the same time state support per student fell 60% while tuition support more than tripled.[5] The UC shifted from public funding toward personal, private funding. This shift was not and is not inevitable. Students: the ability of many of your qualified colleagues to attend a UC is threatened by this shift,[6] but you can help.

Instructors, between 1995 and 2010, while positions for teaching in the UC system increased 48%, positions in senior management increased 182%.[7] In 2007, a retired UC Berkeley professor estimated the excess growth in senior management to cost the UC $603 million annually.[8] As instructors retire they are not replaced,[9] and some of your colleagues at UCSD were recently recruited to a private institution.[10] The UC is moving from academic to entrepreneur. This movement is not inevitable. Instructors: the priority for the UC to attract, retain and support your colleagues has been misplaced, but you can help.

Staff, starting in 1999 the UC regents began to funnel pension fund money into riskier investments. Since 2004 billions of dollars have been invested through private investment firms which are non-transparent, lightly regulated, highly risky, and which have charged the UC tens of millions of dollars so far.[11] The UC’s pension and investment portfolios lost $23 billion in the 2008 financial crisis, some of which were made against the advice of a former treasurer[12] and in full awareness of the risk.[13] The UC is now asking for workers to pay into the pension system as they cut benefits to absorb its losses.[14] The UC privatized and jeopardized its investments. This was not and is not inevitable Staff: The risks taken by the regents promise to harm you, your families, and your colleagues, but you can help. Read the rest of this entry »

Save the University

In Privatization on February 17, 2012 at 11:06 pm

“Save the University” was a teach-in on September 23rd, 2009 organized by the Solidarity Alliance with speakers from the faculty group, “SAVE.” Wendy Brown’s speech, which addresses the manifestations and effects of privatization, is particularly compelling:


“Privatization of a public university means narrowed access; expanded inequalities; destroyed shared purposes; devalued knowledge and research that is not entrepreneurial or applicable; research that is contoured toward corporate and away from public ends; constricted academic freedom; eroded shared governance and education that is rich, deep, broad and critical, radically eschewed.”

— Wendy Brown, Heller Professor of Political Science

D-1 Pro Statement (Annotated)

In D1 Referendum 2012 on February 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm

[The official publication of this statement is available here]

The Division I and Student Scholarships Referendum does more than just move our athletic community and our student life to the next level. The Division I and Student Scholarships Referendum will raise nearly $8,000,000 per year in scholarships, $3,000,000 of which will go to student grants and aid, not just to athletes.

[If AS wanted to increase scholarships they would not have tagged $14 million dollars of D-I to it. The goodness of D-I is ambiguous and complicated so pairing it with something ‘inherently good,’ like scholarships, improves its chances of passing. While financial aid will be adjusted for the fee increase, much of financial aid is loans which must be paid back. Debt on graduation has increased 20% since 2000, this will not help. [1]]

This Referendum WILL:
+ Increase UCSD’s exposure and visibility.

  • We will play against, and have rivalries with, schools that are more familiar and similar to us Instead of playing against “The Academy of Art,” we’ll be playing against schools like UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, and UC Davis.

[Since the 2008 financial and economic crises UC Irvine has cut five sports entirely, UC Davis has cut four sports entirely, UC Riverside has cut athletic spending by 8.4%, and UC Santa Barbara has cut its sports as well.[2]

Athletics at other schools have not been spared from the general cut in support that has resulted from poor state governance, and system-wide mismanagement. Why would we more than double our support for sports when all divisions and departments of our school have had to cut back?] Read the rest of this entry »

AS Resolution Endorsing March 1st

In Privatization on February 15, 2012 at 11:40 am

[This resolution was passed by AS on Wednesday February 8th]

Resolution to Endorse the March 1, 2012 Day of Action

WHEREAS, The California Master Plan for Higher Education called for a
tuition free University [1]; and

WHEREAS, Tuition has been consistently increased since the creation of
the California Master Plan, with a 68% jump between 2007 and 2011
alone [2]; and

WHEREAS, students now contribute more into the UC than does the state
of California [3]; and

WHEREAS, the University of California, San Diego, has been greatly
impacted by tuition hikes; and

WHEREAS, CLICS Library, the IRPS Library, and the Medical Center
Library in Hillcrest, have all been shut down due to budget cuts; and

WHEREAS, since 2009, UCSD has reduced its workforce by over 5.5% [4]; and

WHEREAS, current workers have had pay and benefits significantly
reduced [5]; and

Read the rest of this entry »