UCSC Students, workers stage successful library occupation


video here

from the New UC

On Friday, November 13th students at UC Santa Cruz conducted a study-in at the Science and Engineering Library. Due to budget cuts, both of the large UCSC libraries have severely reduced hours which detrimentally affects employee pay and students with study needs late at night.

Students attempted to enter the building during normal library hours, but were denied access without handing over student ID to administrators at the door to keep until their later departure. People are not typically required to provide identification when entering the library. Students negotiated with the university administrators to provide any form of identification at the door, but students would be allowed to keep it. Furthermore, students agreed to create a list with names of students to use in case of emergency that would later be given to students to be destroyed. However, after hours of negotiation, the administrator in communication with representatives of the students failed to keep their end of the promise (specifically stating they need a copy of the list after the event).

On Fridays, the new library hours end at 5pm. Students entered the building around 4:40pm into the lobby area of the library (a small area prior to entry, thus keeping the doors open). At approximately 5:20pm, students upset by the broken promise entered the library peacefully without the expressed approval of the administration.

At 7pm, a general assembly was held to discuss the administration locking the library doors. After a discussion among 250 people, the administration caved-in and opened the doors, 40-50 students flooded in to chants of solidarity.

Later in the evening the administration finally agreed to allow students to remain in the library under certain conditions, including a locked door between the hours of 12am-8am. The administration has agreed to the library remaining open until 5:30pm Saturday. In order to partially compensate library staff working overtime, students passed a hat around for donations.

Throughout the evening, students have continued to follow the community rules established in the beginning by the collective of students that organized the direct action. No police have been present by request of students.

A general assembly has been announced to take place at 1pm on Saturday at the library.


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