Student Services reopens in Hahn Building after overnight protest

Ann Draper helps a student
Working from makeshift quarters in the Stevenson Event Center Tuesday, UCSC Financial Aid Director Ann Draper helps a student.
A student reads a list of demands to an assembled group of about 50 at Quarry Plaza.
Paper signs direct students to areas inside the Stevenson Event Center where alternative service tables were set up.

Offices in the Hahn Student Services Building at UC Santa Cruz are expected to be open for business Wednesday morning after approximately two dozen people who had spent the night decided to leave shortly before noon Tuesday.

In a message to the campus, Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Alison Galloway wrote that she is "very encouraged that this protest resolved peacefully and that the building and its contents appear undamaged. I want to recognize the willingness of all parties to work together throughout the protest to achieve this outcome."

The decision to leave the building "as an exercise in student sovereignty" was reached during a general assembly of those inside and announced during a rally at Quarry Plaza Tuesday shortly before 1 p.m.

Approximately 100 student services staff were prevented from occupying their offices Monday after protestors blocked entrances to Hahn. Alternative workspaces were set up in the Stevenson Event Center for Financial Aid, Admissions, Registrar, the Disability Resource Center, and Student Housing.

Students needing services were able to work with staff who sat at folding tables, using laptop computers. The Financial Aid office appeared to be the busiest. Tuesday afternoon, Financial Aid Director Ann Draper and her staff helped students needing assistance with aid.

The Financial Aid office within Hahn appeared to be the only office where protestors spent the night after gaining entry sometime Monday afternoon. It was targeted because, according to an announcement at Tuesday's rally, it is where students "are shackled to a lifetime of debt to finance an ever-increasing salary of administrative officers."

Galloway and UCSC Police Chief Nader Oweis listened as one student announced the group's decision to vacate Hahn and another read a list of four demands.

Galloway and Oweis had been in continual contact with the protestors throughout Monday and again Tuesday morning. "We're keeping lines of communications open," Galloway said. "We know the general assembly process takes a long time so patience is absolutely critical."

General assemblies, in which participants seek to reach consensus for future actions, were held in Hahn Monday evening and again Tuesday morning.

Another general assembly is planned for Monday, December 5 at 7 p.m. to discuss negotiations over issues, which include disbanding UCPD, rolling back tuition increases, budget cuts, and staff layoffs to 2009 levels, campus refusal to implement additional budget cuts instituted by the state, regents, or UCOP.