Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Student's Perception of the Occupation

For those of you who are aware, just this past Wednesday around dawn, a group of San Francisco State University students rushed the Business Building and occupied it for nearly twenty-four hours till being forcibly evicted at about 4 AM after police broke a window to get in. Numerous arrests were made the story has begun circulating across the news-channels, bringing attention to the current situation of California education.

This was not a good thing.

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All across California - and other, surprising parts of the country - students have been rebelling in solidarity to their shared situation of being deprived an affordable, quality education. I, myself have been struggling through this recent semester after losing much of my financial aid, difficulty registering for classes, furlough days, faculty reductions, staff reductions, facility closures, and, most importantly... fee hikes.

So, justifiably, my fellow students have gone positively apeshit. The cries of academic babies rings across like a hammerfall -- to the sounds of old-school Hip-Hop blasting out of a boombox inside an old grocery-cart.

Yes, the protests are very grassroot. Almost completely ghetto-status legit.

But the sad fact of it is that the "Save The CSU" movement is basically an epic failure that's almost a win. The daily protests, the sit-ins, and even this most recent act of rebellion are ineffectual at best -- and detrimental at worst.

Taking over the Business Building at the end of the semester was a bad idea. Maybe well-intentioned, but not well thought out. Finals are coming. Students need to go to class. Professors have to lecture and grade. School as usual needs to continue for the moment, because right now is a bad time to get in trouble when the semester is almost over.

I heard as a rumor -- from sources which shall remain ambiguous -- that the students arrested during the breaking of the occupation will be expelled. And isn't that just fucked-up? Someone remarked to me that punishments tend to come at the end of sessions because it's easier to avoid repercussions from those actions that way. Which is certainly true, and easy to see.

What would've been smarter, more effective, and likely less unpopular, would have been to invade the administration building -- or better yet, the office of college president Robert A. Corrigan. At least then they could inconvenience someone who deserves it.

But so it goes! As a long-time student, I can honestly say I've never credited my peers with much foresight or intelligence. Really, most college kids are bunch of idiots, and even they would agree with me on that. I mean, take a look at the blog they created [Occupy SF] particularly their list of demands! It's almost insane in its ignorance, and basically shows why my peers failed to change anything.

Still, the struggle goes on. If the CSU system is to continue without losing all credibility, nor the students completely forgoing a public college education, then administrators have to sacrifice themselves to help maintain quality, and my fellow students will have to start looking around without a veil of naivete over their eyes.

As the saying goes, "it's a long way to the top, if you want to rock and roll."

2 footnotes:

Melanie's Randomness said...

Okay so the kids protesting for Better & More education are being expelled??? Well thats an oxyMORON..emphasis on the moron. I remember protesting the fee hike at Rutgers university about 3 years ago. Buses of students went to Trenton, NJ to speak our claims and yeah it didn't help. I had to leave Rutgers university cuz of the price increase. I wish protests were more effective.

Zek J Evets said...

@melanie: yeah... it's really difficult to protest the education system in the middle of getting an education. but people try - and inevitably fuck it up, haha.

still, i'm hopeful things will be better next year. especially for those students.