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Students React Statewide to Prop. 209 Passage

Building Occupations, Demonstrations
Continue Until UC Regent Meeting

University of California Student Association
Sacramento, California

In the wake of the passage of Proposition 209 in 1996, students throughout the state demanded non- compliance of the initiative on college campuses. Click in the campus links to read of campus student activities. UC Santa Cruz | UC Santa Barbara | UC Riverside

  • Beginning at 6 a.m., November 6, 20 students occupied Hahn Students Service Building at UC Santa Cruz, which houses the affirmative action programs on campus. While students waited inside, over 200 students blocked the entrances, demonstrating until campus administrators responded to the coalition's 15 demands. After a 12 hour building occupation, Chancellor Greenwood conceded to several demands, including $10,000 for student-run retention and outreach programs, the creation of a Native American Outreach position, the consideration of expanding ethnic and gender studies programs, and the inclusion of students in the process of implementing Proposition 209.
  • After a 1,000 person march and rally at UC Berkeley on November 6, over 200 students blocked the entrances and occupied Campanile Tower for 15 hours. After camping out both inside and outside of the building overnight, twenty-six students were arrested Wednesday morning.
  • At UC Santa Barbara, over 100 students marched through campus, disrupting classes and blocking Highway 217 for 15 minutes. November 12, 600 students "walked-in" to campus, stormed through the administration building and held a speak-out a Storke Plaza.
  • At UC Irvine, 100 students marched through campus and held a candlelight vigil in front of the Cross Cultural Center, which is one of the many programs potentially threatened by Proposition 209's passage.
  • In San Diego, hundreds of students at San Diego State University surrounded a building on campus, while several hundred high school students marched downtown.
  • At San Francisco State University, five hundred students took over l9th Street and Hollaway on November 6, and marched throughout the streets of San Francisco for two hours. Later that week over 650 students marched from the campus to Homes Savings of America, one of the corporate funders of Proposition 209.
  • On Monday November 11, 20 UC Riverside students were arrested while occupying the Administration Building for over six hours.

The spontaneous demonstrations came about immediately after UC President Atkinson issued a statement to campus chancellors to implement the initiative immediately, stepping up the implementation time line of the July 20 UC Regents decision to end affirmative action in undergraduate admissions. Students throughout the state are demanding non-compliance of Proposition 209, and commitments from college campuses to fund and maintain ethnic and gender- based outreach programs, financial aid, scholarships and ethnic and gender studies.

Published in In Motion Magazine November 15, 1996.