Phone: (510) 556-4402
Berkeley, Calif. November 23, 2014 –
We, The Open UC, are a movement. After the 28% tuition hikes passed, we created the Wheeler Commons, but the context for our movement has existed long before this. We are demanding no tuition hikes, more transparency of the UC budget for students, and the dropping of charges against UC Berkeley student Jeff Noven, arrested at the UCSF Regents Meeting protest. However, the ideology of our movement goes much deeper. We are asking for the state to reinvest in schools and are ultimately standing for an accessible system of public education here in the U.S. and worldwide.
People everywhere are and always have been oppressed. Education is the best way to free people from the manipulative and exploitative practices of oppressors. Knowledge is power. But education is an institution, and often during our time in college we are forced to follow certain rules and abide by certain agendas in order to get our degree, which in today’s world has become a large receipt and a prerequisite for success. With higher tuition, students will have to face more debt coming out of school, an extremely oppressive burden.
Education is a universal human right. These tuition hikes, as well as concerted efforts by the UC’s to privatize their schools, have attempted to transform education from a right into a privilege. That is what is at stake here. Financial burden from public education, which should be free, is perpetually placed on students instead of the state. This must end.
We love our school, but we need it to be affordable. It is our hope that someday everyone in the world will have the opportunity to attend a school like Cal without having to make enormous sacrifices. But this is a long-term goal. Right now, we have a tangible and important issue of education here in California.
The UC system employs some of the greatest minds, produces some of the best students, and has been the foundation for the flourishing of the state. Reinvestment in the University of California is the greatest investment for the future of the state. An educated public is paramount to a successful and effective government. A school is not public if it is not accessible. Let’s make our representatives accountable for representing our interests, and re-fund the public university system for the future of California, the U.S., and the world.
We stand in solidarity with students everywhere calling for affordable public education.