Today was “March Forth,” the Day of Action against the education crisis in the U.S. It began as an effort in California inspired by the state’s education cuts, furloughs, and fee hikes. However, it spread across the nation, with actions taken in 42 states. I should begin this post by clearly stating that I support the protests and the actions taken today.
However, I did not participate in the protests… at least not with a physical presence. One of my professors canceled his class today, while the class for which I the Teaching Assistant met off campus. My discussion section met right near the bay, outside on a thankfully rain-free and sunny morning. Having section with the sun shining down on us and the bay behind us provided a nice escape from the campus protests. The lecturer held our lecture in a downtown community center and because it was just so beautiful, I decided to ride my bike. Other than respecting the protest (I’m purposefully choosing not to use the word strike, despite the organizers’ titling it as such), we also held these sessions off campustitling due to the UCSC protests’ tendency to block the campus’ two entrances.
I again stress that I wholeheartedly agree with the protest’s grievances and goals. However, I am unsure that not attending classes demonstrates to the leaders that students care about their education. Maybe that’s the cynic in me. But I have to think that perhaps marching on a non-class day might have more aptly reflected their commitment to this very serious cause. Right or wrong, I hope that today’s efforts garner public support and eventually serious change.