Press Release from Wheeler Hall

Phone: (510) 556-4402

Email: theopenuc@gmail.com

Berkeley, Calif. November 21, 2014 –

We the students at the University of California, Berkeley and members of the UC Berkeley community joined together on Wednesday, November 19th in Wheeler Hall in protest. We oppose the UC Regents’ intention to increase UC Berkeley tuition by 27.6% over five years, despite opposition from student and faculty groups statewide. This would increase UC Berkeley yearly tuition to $15,560 for in-state students and nearly $45,000 for out-of-state students by 2020, excluding living costs. Through a facilitated democratic process we voted Wednesday night to ratify the following demands:

  1. No tuition hikes,
  2. Full transparency of UC Budget under California Assembly Bill 94, and
  3. Drop all charges against Jeff Noven, arrested at the November 19th Regent’s meeting under false charges.

While this movement began with the language of an occupation, we who have organized this space in symbolic reclamation of higher education, call it Wheeler Commons. With an awareness of our presence on Ohlone territory and with the belief that this university should be open and belong to everyone, we are not disrupting classes. We stand for the Open University: affordable, accessible, public education. Accordingly, we intend for our demonstration of solidarity to elicit a sincere dialogue between the members of the UC Community, Regents, and the state.

In recognition of media attention our movement has attracted since its inception, and with a desire to maintain dialogue and transparency, the General Assembly that convened in Wheeler Hall at 3:00pm on Thursday, November 20th authorized the creation of an open and democratic Communication Assembly to streamline external communication.

At this moment, Wheeler Hall is bustling with activity: students are engaging in discussions, sharing stories, tackling specific parts of the campaign through working groups, holding assemblies to mobilize, making visual and performance art, eating, cleaning, doing homework, and so on. A walkout is scheduled for Monday, November 24th at noon, coordinated with other UC’s. We are enthusiastic about working with press teams and can be reached by phone or email and can arrange interviews upon request.

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