March 1 Student Lobby Day and March 4 Day of Action

To: UCSC Community

From: Chancellor George Blumenthal and Campus Provost David Kliger

On Monday, March 1, students from across the UC system will meet with lawmakers in Sacramento to lobby for increased state funding for the university, more financial aid for students, and renewed support of the Master Plan for education in California. Organized by the UC Student Association, these meetings will bring together students, legislators, several chancellors, and a few UC regents for discussions as elected officials are establishing their budgetary priorities.

We salute the initiative of UC's student leaders, including UCSC students Victor Sanchez, who is chair of the system-wide UC Student Association, and Michelle Romero, a member of the UCSC Student Union Assembly. Chancellor Blumenthal will participate in meetings with Victor, Michelle, and legislative leaders.

Additionally, we anticipate that many UCSC students will participate in the national Day of Action for Public Education on Thursday, March 4. As we have said before, we welcome the involvement of students, faculty, other academic employees, and staff in advocating on behalf of the university. There is a role for each of us in calling attention to the impact of budget cuts at UCSC.

We are concerned, however, about possible disruptions to campus operations on Thursday, and we want to remind participants that their right to freedom of expression must not infringe on the rights of others who may choose not to participate in rallies or demonstrations. Many students will want and need to go to class that day, and all campus employees deserve the opportunity to do their jobs without interference.

While we are hopeful that March 4 activities won't interfere with campus transportation systems and access to the campus, we encourage you to monitor events as they unfold. The Public Affairs Office has created a web site and will post information and updates as warranted. The campus's communication hotline (459-INFO) will also be activated as events warrant, and information will be provided to KZSC Radio (88.1 FM) for broadcast.

The university expects all faculty, staff, academic, and student employees to meet their normal obligations. Academic Personnel and Staff HR will be providing supervisors and managers with additional information regarding March 4.

UC Santa Cruz has a long history of passionate participation in the democratic process. We respect that tradition and reaffirm our commitment to the freedom of expression even as we anticipate potentially disruptive demonstrations on March 4. At the same time, we have an obligation to the entire campus community to preserve access and opportunity, including on March 4.

In closing, we refer you to the campus's Principles of Community and declare our belief that ultimately we all want the same thing: a strong and vital university with sufficient funding to provide affordable, high-quality education to the people of California.