Coming to and from the Main Stacks the past few days, you may have noticed a group of students camped out in front of California Hall and an accompanying police force of at least a dozen.

As much as we support the right for students to fight for what they believe in, finals seems like the worst time for a hunger strike. Oreos and Cheetos are the only thing keeping us sane after not seeing sunlight for over eight hours.

The group, dubbed the “Hungry for Justice Coalition,” had a rally Monday at 3:30 p.m. in front of California Hall, after police tried to end the strike, resulting in the seizure of protesters’ sleeping bags and tarps. We attended the rally and heard that apparently the group not only won’t eat, but has recently given up water too, claiming they have only 48 hours to live.

The group then trekked over to Birgeneau’s house, where more than 100 demonstrators chanted “Whose house? Our house,” and threatened that they wouldn’t leave until they could speak to Birgeneau personally.

But the strike, it seems, is finally over. The final agreement is as follows: five representatives of the coalition get to meet with Birgeneau on Wednesday in agreement for breaking their fast by 7 p. m. Monday night. Honestly, we’re gonna miss them, it was comforting knowing we wouldn’t be alone when we walk home from the stacks at 4 a. m.

Image Source: Evan Walbridge, Daily Cal
Protesters Blockade Birgeneau’s Home [Daily Cal]

Maggie said:
May 12, 2010 at 11:20 am

These people are fucking stupid & disruptive. They need to grow up and find a more productive way to use their time instead of bothering other students.

Really? said:
May 15, 2010 at 8:18 pm

@Maggie: “These people”? La Raza Center and MeCha?

Transparency said:
Jun 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm

UCB Chancellor Birgeneau Loss of Credibility, Trust
The UCB budget gap has grown to $150 million, and still the Chancellor is spending money that isn’t there on expensive outside consultants. His reasons range from the need for impartiality to requiring the “innovative thinking, expertise, and new knowledge” the consultants would bring.

Does this mean that the faculty and management of a world-class research and teaching institution lack the knowledge, impartiality, innovation, and professionalism to come up with solutions? Have they been fudging their research for years? The consultants will glean their recommendations from interviewing faculty and the UCB management that hired them; yet solutions could be found internally if the Chancellor were doing the job HE was hired to do. Consultant fees would be far better spent on meeting the needs of students.

There can be only one conclusion as to why creative solutions have not been forthcoming from the professionals within UCB: Chancellor Birgeneau has lost credibility and the trust of the faculty as well as of the Academic Senate leadership that represents them. Even if the faculty agrees with the consultants’ recommendations – disagreeing might put their jobs in jeopardy – the underlying problem of lost credibility and trust will remain.

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