The All-Alumni Reunion Luncheon held in the College 9/10 multipurpose room at UC Santa Cruz on April 26th was interrupted when students marched in demanding fair contracts for UCSC’s underpaid service workers. The luncheon was part of the annual UCSC Reunion Weekend where alumni were invited back to campus to “learn how innovation is going global, sip wine, tour new facilities on campus, explore the “unnatural” history of UCSC, and more…” The brief interruption was widely supported by alumni who clapped, smiled, listened, and took souvenir photos as students passed out flyers, chanted and spoke on stage to inform alumni about the contract campaign for UC service workers.
On April 24th and 25th, Centolia Maldonado Vasquez and Bernardo Ramirez Bautista, Oaxaca-based members of the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations, gave presentations in Greenfield and at UC Santa Cruz on indigenous Mexican migration to the U.S. and its impact in the communities of origin, the current political situation in Oaxaca, the role of women in the movement for social justice in Oaxaca, and current challenges of indigenous governing community institutions in Oaxaca.
Audio recordings of the presentations by Centolia and Bernardo are available for download at the link below. Each recording is approximately 40 minutes (81 minutes total) and the language is Spanish.
The tradition of students un-welcoming the military to UC Santa Cruz and disrupting their attempts to recruit is alive and well, as demonstrated during the “Career” Fair on April 22nd. Students Against War rallied in the Baytree Plaza and marched to the “Career” Fair held in the multipurpose rooms for Colleges 9/10. Campus police, administrators, faculty, other staff and students collected backpacks and identification cards from the students who entered the “Career” Fair. Colorful helium balloons arched over steel barricades at the entrance to the “Career” Fair featured signs that boldly proclaimed “Part-time Jobs!!!” Indeed, the future is very bleak for the generations growing up during Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr. and whoever comes next.
Thousands of students from around the Monterey and San Francisco Bay Areas participated in a “Four Twenty” celebration in Porter Meadow at UC Santa Cruz on April 20th, 2008. Four Twenty (420) is a time of day when people, often a group of friends, smoke cannabis together or eat foods cooked with it. For that reason, April 20th has evolved into a counterculture holiday where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis. Porter Meadow at UCSC has traditionally been the largest 420 gathering place around, and this year was said to be even larger than 2007. Despite the severe measures initiated by the UCSC administration to curtail the unorganized convergence, folks showed they were determined to experience Four Twenty as one large group of people in the Porter Meadow.
On April 11th, hundreds of prospective and current UC Santa Cruz students demonstrated their solidarity with UC workers by demanding that UC settles a fair contract for service and patient care workers. According to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3299, the labor union representing the workers, a fair contract means moving away from poverty wages, secure healthcare and pension benefits for families, and a $15 minimum wage just to survive.