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An Incomplete History of Activism at UC Santa Cruz - Timeline
The following timeline was included as part of my senior thesis for Feminist Studies, Spring 2007. For a better formatted version, including sources, see the attached PDF.
An Incomplete Timeline of Activism at UC Santa Cruz: 1965 – 2006
1965 – UCSC is founded
– January – In one of his first acts in office, Governor Ronald Reagan fires UC President Clark Kerr for being “too soft” on student protestors, particularly at Berkeley. In his time as UC President, Kerr had reinstated a lot of faculty who had refused to sign the McCarthy-era “loyalty oaths”. He was also the UC President during the time of Berkeley’s Free Speech movement and played a leading role in envisioning UCSC.
- Alan Chadwick community garden opens below what is now Merrill College.
- October - Governor Reagan attends UC Regents meetings at UCSC and is greeted by days of mass protest. From the Sentinel: “Then Gov. Ronald Reagan received a taste of the times when he attended a UC Regents meeting at the Santa Cruz campus in October 1968. For three days, university students, joined by their peers from Cabrillo and other community members, blocked buses, heckled speakers and held rallies to protest a decision to restrict Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver from speaking on university campuses. Protesters also demanded that the new College 7 be named in honor of Malcolm X and that the United Farm Workers-sponsored grape boycott be respected in university dining halls.”
- Students calling themselves the Santa Cruz Black Liberation Front demand that College VII be called Malcolm X College with a focus on domestic and Third World concerns. College VII is now Oakes. From Oakes College’s website: “In 1968, the Santa Cruz Black Liberation Front issued demands for College Seven to be a Black college, not only in focus and emphasis, but in its student, faculty and administrative makeup. They originally planned to name the college after Malcolm X. Herman Blake, the only Black UC Santa Cruz faculty member at that time, met with the Black Liberation Front and proposed instead an ethnic studies college, to include the studies of historically marginalized groups in California: African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Chicanos, Native Americans and European immigrants. In February 1969, the Academic Senate made an unanimous decision approving the development of an ethnic studies college.”
They were undoubtedly inspired by the Third World Liberation Front strike at San Francisco State in 1968 (the largest campus strike in the history of the U.S.). SF State’s strike occurred after CSU ordered the SF State President to suspend controversial teaching assistant George Murray, a grad student in English and Black Panther Minister of Education. Berkeley also had a Third World Strike, beginning early in the Winter quarter of 1969, during which CA Governor Reagan declared a “state of extreme emergency,” banned all rallies and public meetings, and put the campus in control of the Sheriff. Both SF State and Berkeley’s strikes were successful in the establishment of Ethnic Studies and other programs. This was also around the same time as the efforts by Black and Chicano students at UC San Diego to establish a Lumumba-Zapata College “devoted to relevant education for minority youth and to the study of the contemporary social problems of all people,” and similar struggles nation-wide.
1969 - 1st UCSC commencement disrupted by anti-war demonstrations and students give Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton (in prison) an honorary diploma. Years later (1980), Newton graduates with a PhD from the History of Consciousness program. His thesis (later, a book) was entitled, “War Against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America.”
- On May 1, the media announces the invasion of Cambodia. A nationwide student strike is called, started by folks at Yale – where thousands of students and youth had gathered to protest the trial of Black Panthers Ericka Huggins and Bobby Seale in New Haven. After protesters at Kent State, Jackson State and Augusta, GA are killed by police, the strike quickly spreads to hundreds of schools nation-wide. Students shut down UC Berkeley and the Regents, fearing more intense riots, close Berkeley for a four-day weekend. At UCSC, many spring classes are cancelled or ‘reorganized’ to focus on Vietnam War issues.
- Students burn draft cards in Quarry plaza.
- Large numbers of students participate in closing down Highway 1 in front of Fort Ord.
- UCSC ‘desegregates’ (by gender) the dorms, although men and women remained on separate floors, rather than separate buildings.
- Student body President Stephen Goldstein critiques UC President Clark Kerr’s book, Uses of the University, at the commencement ceremony and Kerr refuses to speak after him.
- First gay and lesbian conference at UCSC: “Homosexuality: Exploring an Alternative in Sexual Expression” attracts 120 people.
- Gay Students Union begins to meet in Stevenson’s Jolly Room
- Sociology professor Alan Sable becomes first UCSC prof. to come out as gay to his class – possibly the first professor to do so in the nation. A few years later he was denied tenure (1977).
- First Women’s Studies course offered at Merrill College
- Students and community members protest the bombing of Hanoi by shutting down Highway 17 and Highway 1.
- National voting age lowered from 21 to 18, giving millions of college students the right to vote. In Santa Cruz, this allowed students to have a greater say in local politics.
- Lesbian and Gay Men’s Union (LAGMU) formed at Cabrillo College with many folks from UCSC.
- Over 700 students sign a petition to form a Women’s Studies program
- Over 700 protest the Santa Cruz County draft board’s offices on North Seabright. Note: This may have been part of the May 9-11 actions below.
- Santa Cruz Women Against Rape founded as an “alternative anti-Rape organization in which women support women” due to “[concern] about the level of rape and violence against women in the community and the lack of sympathetic supportive services for women survivors.” They defined themselves as a “Socialist-Feminist group committed to ending sexism, racism and classism” and attempted to operate as a non-hierarchical collective. The group, many of which were lesbian , offers a 24-hr rape-line, free self-defense workshops, and monthly description of male rapists, assaulters and harassers.
May 9 – After Nixon resumes the bombing of Vietnam, approximately 600 UCSC students march to the County Building. They deliver a petition to the County Board of Supervisors (who came out to the steps to meet them) asking that the U.S. cease the bombing and withdraw the troops. Three of the Supervisors sign the petition, and the entire Board agrees to hold a meeting the following evening to consider whether it had the jurisdiction to officially adopt the petition.
May 10 – Protesters block traffic on Highway 17, with police eventually dispersing the crowd. Following the previous days’ promise, the Board of Supervisors meet that night at the Civil Center with over 2,000 people in attendance. Supervisor Henry Mello introduces a resolution disapproving of the war in Vietnam and for sending Board Chairman Phil Harry to Washington D.C. to deliver the message. The Board members take a non-binding vote 3-1 in favor of the resolution, after an angry supervisor storms out. The next week the Board officially endorses the resolution 3-2 and Phil Harry immediately goes to D.C., where he eventually manages to get the Santa Cruz resolution read into the Congressional Record. Unbeknownst to those attending the meeting, police and TAC Squad members were lined up behind the curtain of the stage in case the crowd stormed forward. The audience, however, was very civil, and contributed to Chairman Harry’s travel fare by placing donations in shopping bags passed around the room. Following the meeting, the crowd held a march down Pacific Avenue with torches and candles, flanked by the TAC Squad. At some point, three cops began to beat a protester, eventually leaving him there on the sidewalk. Afterwards, an order was given to clear the streets and the cops went down Pacific Avenue beating on protesters and bystanders. Eight people and one officer were treated for injuries at Dominican Hospital.
May 11 – Large groups of protesters gathered in several locations across Santa Cruz with numerous struggles between cops and the crowds. At the intersection of Highway 1 and River Street, cops forcibly clear the crowd, while at another point, demonstrators march past sun-tanners at the beach.
- Santa Cruz Women’s Health Collective forms (with many students, particularly lesbians), and offers counseling, pregnancy testing, and transportation for women to San Jose for abortions (since no place, at the time, offered them in town). It is now the Women’s Health Center downtown.
- Women’s Studies Bachelor of Arts degree approved, women’s studies collective established by a group of students, many of which had taught Student Directed Seminars.
- Nancy Shaw (Stoller) becomes the first female professor to come out at UCSC. Like her male predecessor, Alan Sable, she was later denied tenure (1982). However, unlike Sable, who had consulted the ACLU and didn’t want to spend up to 6 years fighting for his position , Shaw and her allies initiate a high-profile defense campaign, winning her job back in 1987.
- The Sentinel: “Less than 10 years after the university opened, the 1974 election of Gary Patton to the county Board of Supervisors—a victory made possible in large part by UCSC student support—signaled a momentous shift in city and county politics.”
- Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA) founded. Women members are said to have done much of the work of the organization.
- June – First Pride celebration in Santa Cruz attracts around 200, followed by a parade a few weeks later with a lot of angry on-lookers.
- SC County becomes first in the nation to prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation.
- Gays Over Forty, Gay Counseling Collective established
- Kresge Co-op opens in a teepee in the Porter meadow
- Third World students meet and discuss the need for a Third World and Native American Coalition (TWANAC). The Coalition united students from many different communities to actively organize for their educational rights and other issues that affect them. Almost 20 years later, TWANAC becomes the Ethnic Student Organization Council (ESOC).
May – After the dramatic and well-publicized arrest of 250 Stanford students, UCSC’s Coalition Against Institutional Racism (CAIR) organizes 1000+ demonstrators to demand that the UC divest from South Africa, reject the Bakke decision outlawing Affirmative Action, support the Third World Teaching Resource Center and undo an increase in the required SAT score for admittance (which led to a decline in Third World applications and enrollment). They occupy the Central Services (Hahn) building, resulting in 401 arrests. The efforts were associated with Campuses United Against Apartheid (CUAA), who also helped organize actions at Davis (18 arrests), and Berkeley (58 arrests).
- A proposal is written calling for the implementation of a Third World and Native American Studies program at UCSC
- Alan Sable, radical gay professor and adviser to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA) is denied tenure at the end of spring quarter when all the students have left. He later becomes one of the first openly gay counselors in San Francisco.
- Matrix Women’s Newsmagazine begins in Santa Cruz
- Community United to Defeat the Briggs Initiative (CUDBI) forms, initiates anti-Briggs initiative (Prop. 6) campaign to prevent gay teachers from being fired in CA.
- Briggs Initiative defeated. Santa Cruz had the highest percentage of ‘no’ votes in the state.
- November 27 - Gay rights champion, San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, is assassinated. 40,000 hold vigil outside of SF City Hall.
- Lesbian Health Matters!, the first such book in the United States , published by Santa Cruz Women’s Health Collective, including many students.
- May 7 Moratorium – a day of protest against UC weapons labs at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos. The month before, 1500 marched at Berkeley and held a ‘die-in’ as the University administration and selected guests held a luncheon.
- May 21 – UCSC students (and even a prof.) join hundreds in San Francisco in what became known as the ‘White Night Riot’ after SF Supervisor Dan White is convicted of the lesser sentence of ‘voluntary manslaughter’ for killing Harvey Milk.
- November 7 - first issue of the Third World and Native American Students Press Collective (TWANAS) paper comes out. TWANAS, which was an integral media source on campus for decades, was launched to provide news relevant to communities often ignored by other campus and local media.
- People’s Alternative Dwellings (PAD) is founded at Merrill in 1979 as the first official housing coop in UCSC dorms. It goes on to include the Merrill PAD, a 17 member PAD at Porter College, and a couple of downtown PAD houses.
- The first wave of progressives are elected to the Santa Cruz City Council, including UCSC Alum/Lecturer Mike Rotkin and Bruce Van Allen. Two years later (1981), UCSC Alum John Laird and Mardi Wormhoudt’s elections give progressives the majority, which (depending on how you define progressivism), they’ve held ever since.
- “Closet Free Radio” begins at KZSC
- Bettina Aptheker arrives on campus and begins teaching the influential “Intro to Feminism” course.
- November 6 – Former CA Governor Ronald Reagan is elected as President of the United States, in part due to promoting his reputation of heavy-handed treatment of student radicals in CA.
- April – After Ed Castillo, the only instructor teaching Native American studies is dismissed, TWANAS and the Native American Studies Support Group merge and decide to present specific demands to secure permanent faculty positions. Nearly 600 people march to the Chancellor’s office (at McHenry) to present 5 demands to be met in 5 days. The administration doesn’t address the demands, but proposes the formation of yet another committee. The TWANAS Support Coalition organizes another rally in response and 25 people commit to not eating until all demands are met. Third World and Native American faculty meet and unanimously agree to support the hunger strike , which lasted from April 20 to April 25. Eventually, the University agrees in writing to :
a. One tenured track faculty member in both Asian American Studies and Native American Studies,
b. The continuance of a part-time position in Asian American Studies,
c. Additional funding for staff to search for these faculty,
d. To replace Third World and Native American faculty who go on leave with Affirmative Action guidelines,
e. To propose to the Academic Senate that each student take a course substantially focused on Native American and/or domestic Third World studies,
f. Increased financial support for the Third World Teaching Resource Center.
At the same time, students at UC San Diego organize for the university to meet the Third World Student Demands, including the tenure of Dr. Emory Tolbert in the History Department, the diversification of History Dept. faculty, Asian-American, Black and Chicano Studies Departments, to make EOP directly accountable to students, a Student Review Committee to review faculty tenure files, a Third World Student Center Building, financial support for students from low-income backgrounds, and amnesty for students arrested participating in a demonstration for those demands.
- David Thomas begins teaching Sexual Politics: Gay Politics (later Sexual Politics: Queer Politics) at UCSC , one of the first such courses in the nation.
- First request from UCSC staff and faculty for domestic partner benefits
- Publication of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa (a PhD student in Literature UCSC until her untimely death in 2004. She was later granted a posthumous PhD ).
- 250 people crash a Capitola City Council meeting, demanding an end to undercover arrests of gay men in the beach area of Capitola.
- Same-sex Kiss-In at the Capitola Mall in protest of policies/practices banning same-sex handholding and/or kissing. Mardi Wormhoudt and Mark Rotkin participate. There were also kiss-ins on campus. Much of this activity was organized by ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and Queer Nation.
- February – Roughly 170 people are arrested at the gates of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of the two UC-managed nuclear weapons production sites. Many UC students – mostly from Berkeley and Santa Cruz – take part. By 1982, every student government at every UC campus had passed a resolution opposing UC ties to the labs.
- Earth First! begins holding meetings at College 8.
- Community Studies professor and longtime activist (with SNCC, the Boston Women’s Health Collective, etc.) Nancy Shaw (Stoller) is denied tenure. She had previously been highly recommended for promotion by the Community Studies Board, Oakes College, outside reviewers, an ad hoc committee and the Committee on Academic Personnel (CAP), yet in June 1981, Chancellor Robert Sinsheimer ignores the recommendations and starts a new internal review. The committee charged with the new review also recommended her tenure, but Sinsheimer denies Stoller tenure anyways. After a year long-review, the Committee on Privilege and Tenure unanimously rules in March 1983 that Stoller had been victim to Sinsheimer’s political bias, a violation of University policies. Yet in June, UC President David Saxon overrules the Committee on Privilege and Tenure and upholds Sinsheimer’s decision to deny Stoller tenure. After a long legal battle, Stoller wins in 1987 and returns to teach at UCSC.
- Santa Cruz Women’s Self Defense Teaching Collective teaches first lesbian self-defense class.
- the influential anthology, All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Stories, is published. It is edited by Gloria [Akasha] Hull (who taught at UCSC from 1988 to 2000), Patricia Bell Scott, and Barbara Smith.
- June 21 – 1300 people arrested at the gates of Lawrence Livermore lab in a non-violence blockade to “stop the bomb where it starts.”
- August – Nearly 10,000 people protest at Lawrence Livermore again. This time, 1,475 are arrested – one of the largest mass arrests at a political protest in U.S. history.
- First Take Back the Night! is started at UCSC in the context of multiple serial murderers (including the son of a UCSC provost) in town making Santa Cruz the per-capita “murder capitol of the world.”
- In the first major indication of a growing faculty movement in favor of the UC severing ties with its two nuclear labs, UCSC’s Academic Senate passes a resolution (48-2) saying, “We do not believe that it is part of the University’s mission to be involved in the design and development of weapons…nor do we believe that the University or any committee of the Faculty can realistically oversee and control what is done at these institutions.”
- Santa Cruz becomes a “Nuclear Free” county
- 1981 Hunger Strike demands remain unmet. Oakes College ethnic studies courses dissolved.
- UCSC graduate, John Laird, elected mayor of Santa Cruz – the first openly gay mayor in the United States.
- UC Regents amend UC’s non-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation.
- Ms. Magazine article calls UCSC a “feminist utopia”
- “University Council” established as a confederation of the Colleges at UCSC. Operating on a consensus model and having trouble getting things done, it dies after two years.
- June 20 –1,028 people are arrested at a protest of nuclear weapons at Lawrence Livermore. 5 days later, roughly 6,000 people participate in a “Hands Around the Lab” protest there. The actions prompt the Lab Director Roger E. Batzel to recommend that the Department of Energy purchase a new 196-acre “security buffer zone” surrounding the lab property. The DoE complies.
- TWANAS circulates a petition showing overwhelming support for the Ethnic Studies G.E.
- Feminist Studies Focused Research Activity (FRA) established for faculty and grad collaboration at UCSC.
- First “Disorientation Manual” published at UCSC, with “Under Cover Student Conspiracy” on its cover. It would later be brought back by a new generation of activists as the “Disorientation Guide” in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Radical students first introduced the Disorientation program in the UC system at Berkeley in 1969, including 1977 and 1981 issues of “Disorientation.” There are now Disorientation guides at universities nation-wide.
- Fall – Students form the Student Alliance for Fallout Emergency (SAFE) to “personalize the possibility of nuclear exchange”. Inspired by a referendum passed at Brown University the fall before, SAFE puts a resolution on the spring 1985 student ballot for UCSC’s health center to “stockpile suicide pills to be distributed on request to registered students in the event that the UCSC campus is exposed to lethal quantities of nuclear radiation.” The resolution also calls for administrators to provide transportation to ground-zero sites, construct Radiation Monitoring Stations at each college and establish burial sites for members of the UCSC community in preparation for extreme radiation fallout. The resolution lost by 60 votes (less than one percent), but it convinced Chancellor Robert Sinsheimer to fund the students’ distribution of an informational packet on the dangers of nuclear war.
- EOP/SAA sponsors a forum for all Third World students. Unity Through Action (UTA) – a collection of Third World organizations - is born.
- UTA/TWANAS petition collects 1500 student signatures supporting the Ethnic Studies G.E. requirement and submits them to the Faculty Senate. After 13 years of struggle, the faculty senate agrees to the new requirement.
- Women’s Center established , in part, a result of the struggle to save professor Nancy Shaw (Stoller)
- Westside Community Health Clinic (later to join up with Planned Parenthood downtown) established.
- First Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Awareness Week at UCSC
- Santa Cruz AIDS Project is founded by UCSC grad John Laird and 5 other gay men (3 of which are men of color). In a sign of solidarity, many of the volunteers are lesbians.
- Student Union Assembly (SUA) founded to place students in a better bargaining position with the administration on campus wide issues and other areas of common concern. Issues included: campus development, the expansion of sports facilities, the proliferation of fraternities, campus wide administrative policies, and racism on campus. College 8 initially refused to join, arguing that colleges should have “total say” over how their SUA representatives were selected, rather than popular elections. Porter initially followed suit in solidarity with C8, boycotting SUA. Fearing a lack of representation, Porter eventually acquiesced. The SUA vs. College 8 problem persisted for several years, however. Initial SUA victories included the official adoption of the banana slug as mascot rather than the ‘Sea Lions.’
- Feminists, led by former Sports Illustrated model Ann Simonton, continue to protest the Miss California pageant, which had been taking place in Santa Cruz since the 1920s. Simonton, in tune with the chant, ''Dress meat, not women,” dons a dress made out of meat while demonstrators spill “the blood of raped women” on the steps of the pageant hall. Simonton was later jailed for 15 days, but the pageant moves to San Diego the next year. A film named Miss… or Myth? is made about the successful protests that received international press and encouraged activists in Japan and Canada to start their own protests. From the Sentinel: “Some local historians consider the departure of the Miss California Pageant a major turning point in Santa Cruz history, when the "Atlantic City of the West" made way for a progressive college town brimming with activists and rabble-rousers.”
- During a meeting at UC Santa Cruz, years of protests pay off as the UC Regents vote to divest from South Africa by the end of the 1980’s. The UC becomes the largest public institution yet to take a stand against apartheid in South Africa. Actions at all the UC campuses, including mock shanty towns, sit-ins, teach-ins and rallies caused such a disruption and bad press for the UC that it sold its $3 billion in stocks held in companies that do business with South Africa. Nelson Mandela would later state that UC divestment was a key part of international pressure to end apartheid.
- What is now the Queer Fashion Show is believed to have been started at Merrill or Crown College by gay and lesbian students. It is first called “The Alternative Fashion Show” and has a strong emphasis on fashion, with little of the high-tech glitter of today. It was renamed to QFS in 1997.
- SC County and the City of Santa Cruz extend domestic partnership benefits to employees.
- Task Force for the Concerns of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Students convenes at UCSC. It is later renamed the Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Concerns Committee (GLBCC). Its creation also a partial result of Nancy Shaw (Stoller)’s tenure fight.
- UCSC’s Women’s Studies awarded committee status; approved for tenure-track faculty requirements.
- The Lavender Reader, a local GLBT paper, is started up in the fall and continues until the fall of 1999 or 2000. In its early years, Michael Perlman, the paper’s publisher, dies of AIDS, along with numerous other UCSC students, activists and alumni, especially during the 80s and 90s. These deaths decimate the community locally and nationally
- Coalition for Learning About and Undermining Homophobia (CLUH) forms out of a GLBCC study of homophobia on campus
- Publication of Between the Lines: A Pacific-Asian Lesbian Anthology, edited by three UCSC students – Alison Kim, Cristy Chung, and A. Kaweah Lemeshewsky. This is believed to be one of the first anthologies about API lesbians.
- In the largest of direct action protests at UC-managed Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 2,000 people are arrested and jailed for 11 days. By this time, however, students were less involved than they had been in the early 80s.
- The GLBT conference “Exposed!” is brought to UCSC. There are approximately 500 attendees from all over the country (a 300-person increase from the previous years’ conference at UC Irvine) and prominent speakers like Annie Sprinkle and the heads of both the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign. 60 Minutes does a show on it, enraging the Christian Coalition and others from the far-right, who push to get UCSC’s public funding cut.
- Lesbians of Color Alliance (LOCA) is formed at UCSC , with some members going on to be extremely active in organizing against 1994’s Proposition 187, a bill to deny public services to undocumented immigrants. The group marched in pride, hung out socially, and organized other activities.
- Lesbian, Bisexual, Questioning (LBQ) and Stonewall Men’s Group organizations are formed at UCSC.
- UCSC Faculty Lesbian and Gay Studies Research Group is formed
- Asian Pacific Islander Lesbian Network Conference at UCSC
- GLBN Community Resource Center moves into the Merrill Recreation room and has its grand opening. It is run by the student organization, GLBN (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Network), which replaced GALA. The space was previously a rec room, the Kosher Co-op, a pottery studio and a dance studio. The Center was run for 7 years by students before Merrill College attempted to take the space back to use for administrative offices in the summer of 1996. As a result, students organized, saved the Center, and got it a little bit of funding through the Student Fee Advisory Council. Deb Abbott was later hired as its director, a position she still holds today.
- Founding of the radical organization Queer Nation.
- Sappho: Lesbian, Bisexual, Questioning and Straight Supportive women organization forms at UCSC.
- The first study on the Educational Climate for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Students is prepared by the GLBCC
- In response to a UC President-commissioned faculty report on the UC’s management of the nuclear weapons labs (the report called for severance), the UC Academic Senate conducts a UC-wide faculty survey on whether the Regents should sever ties with the labs. 64.6% of faculty say yes, with an enormous margin at UCSC (195 to 29). Even with the cold war over and a enormous public pressure for severance, on September 22, 1990 the UC Regents vote 13-3-1 to renew their contract with the labs and keep producing weapons. After this vote, the UC anti-Nuke movement almost completely dissolves.
- Merrill College opens UCSC’s first GLB theme apartment building, later called the Vito Russo House in honor of a UCSC prof. who documented gay activism.
- University of California Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Association (UCGLBA) forms
- Spring – For three days, students organized by the Coalition on Democratic Education (CODE) take over the McHenry library and foyer, with people sleeping outside of the Chancellor’s office. The protest helps ensure that ethnic studies courses are listed in the Schedule of Classes and results in the creation of a position for a Dean of African American Student Life.
- UCSC/Big Creek starts logging at Elfland (a sacred redwood forest on campus) over holiday break. 42 people are arrested in daylong demonstration and woods actions. Native shell site trampled and sacred sites destroyed. Construction of Colleges 9 and 10 begin.
- Students and local activists shut down Highway 1 to protest Operation Desert Storm.
- African American Resource and Cultural Center opens
- Family Benefits Resolution passed by the Academic Senate, extending locally controlled benefits (library cards, recreation cards) to domestic partners.
- Women of Color Film Festival begins at UCSC
- Oakes College founds the Harvey Milk dorm
- After years of organizing, arguing, negotiating, and much more, the City of Santa Cruz passes a watered down version of a civil rights law pushed by queer activists, fat women’s rights groups and others, including provisions on sexual orientation, height, weight, and personal characteristics. Rush Limbaugh and the Christian Right had come out in force against the law, while the national media and all the major papers “picked up this wild thing that was happening in Santa Cruz, this crazy law that would protect people with purple hair and pierced tongues.” They referred to it as “the looks law.” The law initially protected a broad range of personal appearances (piercings, tattoos, haircuts, etc.), but was narrowed down to only include only ‘uncontrollable’ elements of one’s appearance. This was very controversial within the queer community – as some didn’t want their rights separated from others considered more ‘radical,’ while others, like John Laird, considered it a “frivolous debate.”
Around this same time, activists associated with UCSC were also involved in confronting Santa Cruz County Sheriff Al Noren. Noren was involved in the highly-publicized shutting down of all the local massage parlors (like Staircase Massage Parlor on Front St.), which had been around for a while, and busts of gay men having sex at a rest stop (Vista Point) on the way to Watsonville. He would create spectacles by bringing TV crews with him and dragging men out from the bushes. On two weekends, 14 men and one heterosexual couple were arrested.
- Rainbow Theater founded at UCSC by Don Williams to “foster a sense of community and unity between the myriad if cultures that stitch the dynamic fabric of America”. Despite continued attempts to lay off Williams (who also founded the African American Theater Arts Troupe), consistent mobilization has ensured that Rainbow Theater continues to this day.
- November 8 – Proposition 187 is passed by voters in California to deny public services to undocumented immigrants. It was later overturned by a federal court. Students had been active in anti-Prop 187 campaigns, including members of the Lesbian of Color Alliance (LOCA).
- August 6 – 15,000 gather in downtown Santa Cruz to honor the victims of the U.S. atomic bombings in Japan.
- Queers of Color (QOC) becomes an official org at UCSC.
- The Affirmative Action Coalition (AAC) is formed after Governor Pete Wilson and UC Regent Ward Connerly push forth two initiatives: Standing Policies (SP) 1 and 2 that eliminate affirmative action in admissions and hiring at the University of California. Both initiatives would be the catalyst in pushing the anti-affirmative action Proposition 209 that would pass in the fall of 1996 by ballot initiative. The UC Student Association (UCSA) and the Student Union Assembly (SUA) work to inform students about SP 1 and SP 2, the Academic Senate speaks out against the two initiatives, and local unions voice their opposition as well.
- The Ethnic Student Organization Council (ESOC) forms out of the Third World and Native American Studies Coalition (TWANAC), which began in 1976. ESOC plays a key role in campus politics for the next decade, launching the Students First slate, which is consistently elected to represent UCSC undergrads in SUA, as well as the 2003 founding of the Engaging Education center (e2) after numerous post-911 hate incidents.
- January 17 - After extension negotiations with the UC Regents, UCSC’s Affirmative Action Coalition (AAC) mobilizes 500+ people to shut down the campus for seven hours.
- Redwood Empire begins logging at Gamecock Canyon. Activists block Summit Road until an injunction is issued. Resistance continues over the next three years until monkey wrenching finally bankrupts the company, but not before the canyon is trashed.
- Chicano/Latino Resource Center (El Centro) opens.
- Women’s Studies becomes a Department, almost 25 years after being demanded by students. In 2005, the Department changes its name to Feminist Studies.
- The Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Center adds the “T” for transgender to its name
- November 6 - Students protesting the passage of Proposition 209 (passed the day before, eliminating Affirmative Action in CA) encircle the Hahn Student Services Building for 12 hours. The demonstration ends at 8pm with Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood and the students issuing a joint statement, including 7 points (outreach and retention, ethnic studies, the development of an Asian Pacific Islander Resource Center, and a post prop-209 commission) on how the administration will support student efforts to ensure a diverse campus.
- UC expands definition of eligible family members to include adult dependent relatives and same-sex domestic partners of UC employees.
- Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center opens . Its creation had been listed as a priority in a joint ‘Statement of Consensus’ issued by Chancellor MRC Greenwood and student activists following the Prop. 209 protest of November 1996.
- First UCSC Rainbow Graduation Ceremony
- UCSC allows domestic partners to live together in Family Student Housing
- Spring elections: - 89% of voting students (or 32% of all undergrads) vote no to the question, “UCSC is currently planning to build a 6-story (Faculty, Staff and Grad permits only) parking structure on Science Hill and EVERYONE'S parking fees will be increased in order to cover the cost. Should UCSC build this parking structure?” The administration goes ahead with it anyways – building what is now called the “Core West Structure,” located by the Kresge bus stop.
- December 3 – 1000 student protesters successfully halt the introduction of grades
- January – Statewide anti-sweatshop campaign, including Comercio Justo at UCSC, involving ‘fashion shows,’ guerrilla theatre, teach-ins and petitions, ends in success when the UCOP adopts a ‘Code of Conduct.’ The system had many loopholes, however, which is why in 2005, a new sweat-free “Designated Suppliers Program” campaign is launched to ensure that apparel comes from specific labor-friendly factories.
- Ramsey Gulch tree-sit started by Earth First! with help from the Canopy Action Network. Redwood Empire files a lawsuit, then withdraws it, that would bar tree-sitters from the property.
- American Indian (formerly Native American) Resource Center opens.
- May – 1000+ students demonstrate to end the Faculty Senate’s attempt to remove the narrative evaluation system, yet the Senate votes to require mandatory letter grades for the majority of classes – a radical shift in the nature of UCSC.
- The UC-wide LGBT Association votes to include intersex in their agenda
- Spring elections: 73% of voting UCSC students (15% of undergrads) respond yes to the question, “Due to the fact that Sodexho-Marriot Services (Dinning Hall Food Services) is the leading financial investor in private-for-profit prisons, should UCSC discontinue its contract with them?” Additionally, 94% of students say the Student Regent should be elected by the students, rather than the Regents, and 70% of voting students disagree or strongly disagree with the Academic Senate’s decision to require grades for ¾ of classes.
- Spring - A white Stevenson student throws bottles at high school students visiting campus with the Filipino Student Association's outreach program A Step Forward (ASF). The Chancellor issues an apology and the student is expelled.
- December – A Filipino student ends up hospitalized with a concussion after trying to prevent a fight between his friend, a fellow Filipino Student Association (FSA) member and some white students at College 8 who aimed a football at him. Minimal disciplinary action is taken against the perpetrators by the college, the UC police and the UC Judicial System.
January 25 - The Ethnic Student Organization Council (ESOC) organizes a candle-light vigil to “Speak Out Against Violence on Our Campus!!!”, a response to the recent hate crimes and the lack of support they felt from the administration and the campus community in general. Engaging Education (e2) is envisioned by Kimi Mojica, one of the coordinators of ESOC, as “a conscious movement by students @ UCSC towards owning and taking responsibility of our education.”
Spring elections: Leo Grandison and Latrice Jones elected to SUA. 80% of respondents agree with the statement, “In imposing a mandatory grading system, and in consistently denying students a fair and adequate opportunity to advance their academic concerns through direct participation, the Academic Senate is failing in its duty to promote excellence in undergraduate education at UC Santa Cruz.”
September 11 – Attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. Immediately following, the country sees a spike in hate crimes, particularly against people perceived to be Muslim and/or of Middle Eastern descent. At UCSC, white students commit multiple 9/11-related hate crimes, including two men throwing a Palestinian woman in traditional clothing to the ground, individuals shouting anti-Muslim slurs, the repeated posting of white supremacist flyers, a bus driver humiliating an Asian student by asking if his school project was a bomb, and a Jewish student with a traditional beard being called “Habib.” These are just the reported incidents that occurred within a month of 9/11. The number of reported Hate/Bias incidents increased 400% from the 2000-2001 year (10 reported incidents) to the 2001-2002 year (40 reported incidents), including an 833% increase in the reported number Hate/Bias incidents based on race. There are undoubtedly 10 times more incidents that remain unreported. This was the last published Hate/Bias report – as of June 2007, there is currently no system for reporting hate crimes on campus, and the administrative response is almost always abysmal.
When white supremacist flyers were posted at Oakes, a confrontation ensued between the poster (a white woman) and two African Americans. The white student received a slap on the wrist from campus police and protection from administration. Students assert that the University’s disciplinary action was unclear and minimal. In response, ESOC, students, community members, student organizations, colleges (specifically Oakes College), and student government gathered on multiple occasions and dialogued about hate and bias on the UCSC campus. The result was the Hate/Bias Peer Response Team, which was to focus on the issue specifically, and to educate the campus on issues of hate, bias and discrimination.
- October 11 – On the one-month anniversary of 9/11, 1000 people rally at the base of campus to oppose a U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
- African American, Chicano/Latino, Native American, and Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Centers open up in the new Baytree building.
- California voters approve Prop 22 (the Knight Initiative), which bans recognition of same-sex marriages.
- The Filipino Student Association (FSA) organizes a student-initiated course called Pilipino Historical Dialogue (PHD), due to the extreme lack of classes on the Philippines or about Filipino-American experiences. Up to this point, the only course was a class on Philippine history offered once every two years. Except for PHD, this situation hasn’t changed by June 2007, especially with this year’s forcing out of professors Neferti Tadiar and Jonathan Beller.
- February 14 – UCSC workers protest UC Regents visit.
- A coalition of 9 student organizations named Standing United for Peace (SUP) becomes active.
- The UC Regents vote to extend equal retirement benefits both to same-sex domestic partners and opposite-sex domestic partners.
- Spring elections: Matt Jones elected Chair of SUA and Sabina Gonzalez elected Organizing Director – both by landslides. 88% of respondents (25% of undergrads) urge UCSC to commit to the Kyoto Protocol, while 85% of voters agree with the concept of funding the Student Environmental Center’s office, staff and events.
- Summer - Student Organization Advising and Resources (SOAR) and student organizations move from what is now the Academic Resources Center (ARC) to the Student Union in the Quarry Plaza. Activists struggle to maintain the same amount of space for student organization offices – particularly for the Big 5: the African/Black Student Alliance (A/BSA), Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance (APISA), Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana y Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA), Filipino Student Association (FSA) and the Student Alliance of Native American Indians (SANAI). Students also fight to ensure a space to reproduce the hard-fought-for Third World Lounge, yet are unsuccessful.
October 7 – 700-800 UCSC students walk out of class and meet up at McHenry against the possible war in Iraq in coordination with the nationwide Oct. 6-7 days of resistance.
October 14-15 – As part of the largest strike in UC history up to that point, the Coalition of University Employees (CUE) and the American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT - lecturers) stage a 2-day strike at five UCs in response to ‘unfair labor practices’ (deliberate stalling, etc.) by UC administrators. UCSC is shut down by the unions, who receive tremendous support from student and worker allies.
November 12 – the Student Union Assembly (SUA) passes a resolution against war with Iraq.
November 20 – Standing United for Peace organizes 150 students to march around campus and stage a ‘die-in’ in against the looming war in Iraq.
- Fiat Pax, a demilitarization group, posts flyers of professors they believe do work related to the military, causing a controversy on campus.
January – Food service workers, students and AFSCME 3299 come together and start a campaign to cancel the university’s contract with the global corporation (and prison-contractor) Sodexho and bring workers in-house. SUA later passes a resolution in support.
February 14 – 150 students and workers rally to demand that the university cancel its contract with Sodexho and that all Sodexho employees be brought in as full University employees.
February 15 – the Santa Cruz Peace Coalition organizes 5,000-7,000 people (police estimate), including students, to march in a peace march from the County Court House to Mission Plaza Park. Tens of millions around the globe marched against the pending war in Iraq in the largest coordinated protest in the world’s history.
February 19 – the Faculty Senate votes 58-0 (with 2 abstentions) in favor of a resolution authored by Standing United for Peace (SUP) and sponsored by Paul Ortiz, opposing “unilateral U.S. intervention in Iraq.” Prior to the meeting, Prof. Ortiz had collected support from 112 professors.
February 26 – First ever UC Day of Labor Action with all UC campuses and unions. At UCSC, Students for Labor Solidarity (SLS) joins CUE and UPTE for a rally at Baytree.
February 28 – In a victory of SLS and AFSCME, UCSC announces that it will break off its contract with Sodexho, bringing workers in-house.
March 5 – 300 students take part in “Books Not Bombs” demonstration at UCSC in conjunction with actions at schools across the country.
March 20 – UCSC students join upwards of 20,000 people in shutting down the financial district of San Francisco the day after the War in Iraq begins, targeting war profiteers like Bechtel Corp., and the Carlyle Group. More than 2,000 are arrested.
April 7 – SUP initiates a multi-day peace camp and vigil on Porter College’s lawn to talk about the future of student activism on campus.
April 8 – Protest of military recruiters at the Last Chance Job Fair – Stevenson College.
April 9 – Students at Santa Cruz High, Cabrillo College, and UCSC participate in a National Day of Silence to represent marginalized communities in the U.S., ending in an afternoon march from the Diversity Center to the Vets Hall.
Spring campus elections – Students overwhelmingly (69%) pass a referendum (Measure 10) creating the Engaging Education (e2) center to institutionalize student outreach and retention as a way of maintaining diversity at UCSC. The idea was first brought up in the ESOC leadership and e2 classes of winter and Spring 2003 as a response to threatened cuts of student initiated outreach and retention programs. Other approved measures include a campus sustainability programs fee (70%), a student government fee increase (72%), and a theater arts fee (76%). In the opinion section, the vast majority of students show their support for the creation of departments and/or minors in: GLBTI Studies (73%), Ethnic Studies (88%), African American Studies (84%), Filipino/a Studies (77%), Chican@/Latin@ Studies (82%), Native American Studies (85%), and Asian Pacific Island Studies (83%). Approximately 25% of undergrads voted on these items. Finally, 92% of students vote against cutting the Journalism minor or other aspects of the Writing program, and 94% of students vote against increasing parking lot enforcement from 5pm to 8:30pm. The University still has no Ethnic Studies programs, the Journalism minor was cut anyways, and parking enforcement has been increased to 8:30pm regardless of student opposition. In Spring 2006 elections, after an expensive advertising campaign, TAPS convinced students to increase their fees, falsely suggesting that the bus service would go bankrupt unless we each gave them hundreds of dollars each year. After promising otherwise, campus bus service decreased after TAPS got their money.
June 1 – 29th annual PRIDE downtown, debuting the Gender Funk Collective
June – Engaging Education (e2) proposes to the Student Union Governance Board (SUGB) that the Redwood Building (in the Baytree Plaza) be used to house the new e2 center, approved by students in spring elections. In August, the SUGB agrees, and on October 29, 2003 the e2 Center holds its Grand Opening.
July 17 – the UC Regents unanimously pass a Clean Energy and Green Building policy after a yearlong “UC Go Solar!” campaign by students and Greenpeace. Following UC’s lead, students on over 50 campuses were expected to start Clean Energy campaigns.
Summer – The Coalition to Demilitarize the UC forms to end military research within the UC, including the management of Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Labs.
September – All former Sodexho employees are hired by the University, winning better salaries, full time jobs, health care for their families, union representation through AFSCME 3299, and respect.
- Students successfully lobby to get fair-trade certified coffee in the Dining Halls, ensuring that $1.26/lb of coffee goes to the farmers, rather than $0.55/lb offered by the conventional market. In the spring of 2004, coffee is purchased directly from a cooperative in Costa Rica through the Community Agroecology Network (CAN), earning $3.77/lb for the farmer.
- Radical student paper The Project is started by members of the ¡Escrache! Media Collective.
February 11 – Following Friday night info pickets, a 150-strong picket line is organized in front of Safeway on Mission St., in solidarity with 70,000 striking grocery workers in SoCal (members of the United Food and Commercial Workers – UFCW). UCSC grads (members of UAW), AFSCME members, and profs are prominent in the Grocery Workers Solidarity Committee along with the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council (MBCLC).
February 20 – Boycott Safeway rally at Baytree, with speakers from SoCal UFCW, urging TAPS to divert the shopper shuttle to another grocery store.
February 23 – Students organize the first of two Save SOAR (Student Organization Advising and Resources) rallies at Baytree Plaza. 150 students march to McHenry library where three students are in a meeting with Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Francisco Hernandez (who has now moved to Hawaii). Without the consultation of SOAR staff or the hundreds of student organizations (particularly ethnic organizations) it advises, the university had been completely reorganizing SOAR since 1997, cutting the staff from eleven down to six, only two of which were filled, taking away the business center, and changing SOAR’s name, paralyzing student organizations in the process. At McHenry, students presented Hernandez with 4 practical demands to revitalize SOAR. Three of the demands were met soon after the rally, but because the first (that all 6 positions be filled) was not, students decide to rally again on March 11.
February 27 – In conjunction with a National Day of Action in solidarity with struggling farm workers in Immokalee, FL, 300+ students, UFW and UFCW workers rally at the Mission St. Taco Bell, followed by a march to the Taco Bell on Laurel and Pacific.
March 11 – Over 150 students attend the second Save SOAR rally at Baytree Plaza, signing letters of support and listening to testimonials. At the same time, student leaders are meeting in the Redwood Building above with Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Francisco Hernandez to discuss the unmet demand to continue the SOAR Program Manager hiring process. Students say that no commitments were made during the meeting, but Hernandez comes out to the rally afterwards to observe. By April, the pressure pays off and long-time student ally Sayo Fujioka is promoted to be the new Director of SOAR, ending years of instability with that position. The next school year, Adrian Dorris, Lee Maranto and Leon Wann are hired as Program Managers/ advisers for students.
March 19 –A Santa Cruz Superior Court judge rules that a SC City law prohibiting political tabling downtown for more than an hour is unconstitutional.
April 13 – A group of students, along with counselors from the Resource Center for Nonviolence, stage an informational protest outside of a job fair including military recruiters. Two students are threatened with arrest for politely passing out flyers inside the fair.
April 16 – About a dozen students marched through campus in the ‘Santa Cruz March for Women’s Lives,’ organized by UCSC’s chapter of Feminist Majority to support the April 25th March for Women’s Lives in D.C.
May 20 – 300+ students and workers kick off a campaign in support of a better contract for AFSCME workers. They march from the Baytree Plaza to the steps of the Chancellor’s office at McHenry, where 2450 student and 300 worker support cards are turned in. The Radical Cheerleading squad entertains the crowd.
May 21 – the Faculty Senate joins over 300 U.S. cities in unanimously adopting an anti-PATRIOT ACT resolution, authored by Barbara Epstein and the Senate’s Committee on Academic Freedom. The resolution directs the campus (including the police dept.) to refrain from participating in a “Joint Terrorism Task Force” or disclosing information about members of the campus community to local, state or federal law enforcement officials, as well as other protective measures.
Spring elections: 92% of students say meal plans shouldn’t be mandatory for students living on campus, and 72% of students say they don’t want the student population of UCSC to grow, or only a little bit if it happens. The administration makes meal plans mandatory anyways, and continues its efforts to significantly enlarge the campus – over much opposition from students and community members.
May 29-June 1 – 16 UCSC students and 5 community members walk from San Jose to San Francisco to dramatize the need for a U.S. Department of Peace. They deliver a petition with 1000+ signatures at Nancy Pelosi’s office when they reach SF.
June 3 – After UCSC Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood is promoted to UC Provost with a $110,000/yr pay increase (up to $380,000), University Labor United (ULU) a coalition of campus unions, calls on Greenwood to turn down the raise. ULU, student supporters and others protest Greenwood’s departure gala at the Coconut Grove.
September 24 – After 10 years of broadcasting to the community, Free Radio Santa Cruz is raided at 8 am for operating without a license by armed US Marshals and FCC agents. The station goes back up in little time.
November 10 – Hundreds rally in the Baytree area in support of AFSCME workers while they bargain with UC representatives in the conference rooms above.
January 20 – Students Against War established as students sit-down and strategize at the end of an antiwar rally of about 100 on a now paved-over lawn in front of McHenry library. They decide to hold their first meeting the next day.
February 14 – “Where’s the Love” protest by labor unions and supporters at UCSC draws several hundred students and workers at Kerr Hall, where the Budget Office was occupied by student activists singing “solidarity forever” for a few hours.
March 11 – Comercio Justo rally at Taco Bell in support of farm workers in Immokalee, FL turned into celebration as Taco Bell agrees to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)’s demands.
April 5 – Students Against War organizes 300 students, kicking military recruiters off a campus job fair. The Border Patrol also left, thinking the protest was about them. MSNBC later reported that the protest was listed as a ‘credible threat’ by the Pentagon in a secret database.
April 14 – AFSCME 3299 service-workers go on strike statewide, and clericals associated the Coalition of University Employees (CUE) strikes in solidarity. The Student and Worker Coalition for Justice (SWCJ), which had been building a campaign for months, gets teachers hold class on the picket line. 1000+ students shut down both entrances to campus in solidarity. The UCSC campus is dead, with major disruptions at other UCs as well. Two weeks later, AFSCME wins a new, better contract.
April 15 – Anti-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) rally attracts 50-100 students in the Baytree Plaza in solidarity with Central American workers who fear the destruction of their livelihoods by the multinational corporations that come along with “free trade.”
April 18 – Tent University begins. UC police use ‘pain compliance’ methods to separate students who have locked arms, eventually resulting in the arrest of 19 for camping at the base of campus in violation of the “free speech zone” rules. A rally is held the next day to demand the charges be dropped and TUSC continues with various daytime events throughout the week.
April 20 – SAW joins the Watsonville Brown Berets in protesting military recruiters at a Watsonville High job fair. A UCSC student driving by is given a citation from Watsonville police for honking her horn in support of the protest.
April 20 - Action in Defense of Education (AIDE) statewide day of action. UCSC students organize a variety of schools to march from campus to the County building for increased funding for education.
April 22 - SAW organizes its first (of three) weekly weapons inspections tours of UCSC to highlight UC’s involvement in weapons development.
April 29 – The District Attorney drops all criminal charges against the Tent U. arrestees, as requested by Chancellor Denton and Police Chief Aluffi, who had been pressured by a letter of over 200 faculty. A video on the police actions, “To Protect and Serve” was viewed more than 60,000 times, leading to local and national condemnation of the University’s response to the protest. Many of the students, however, still received various forms of administrative discipline like community service and academic probation.
May 19 – Annual Take Back the Night! march against violence attracts a few hundred people.
Spring elections: After a highly visible campaign by students activists associated with e2, various ethnic organizations and allies, Measure 15, the “Community and Resource Empowerment” (C.A.R.E.) effort passes (66%), allowing the Ethnic Resource Centers, the Women’s Center and the GLBTI Resource Center to continue to provide programs for students, after numerous cuts by the administration. Students also pass new fees to support sustainability programs (which now receive over $250,000/yr.), student media, and paid student participation in administrative committees. The administration continues their tactic of bullying students into paying for basic university programs - a sizeable new fee wins by 29 votes (of over 4000) to expand the problem-ridden Health Center. Attempts by OPERS staff and many student athletes to charge large new fees to build outdoor and indoor stadiums, and provide increased funding for sports teams fails by large margins . Flyers posted by the group “Athletes Against Unreasonable Fees” helped challenge the notion that supporting athletes meant students had to charge themselves hundreds more per year. Much of the debate centered around the nature of UCSC and how many want it to stay a small alternative school with successful teams like Tennis, Soccer, Ultimate, and Women’s Rugby rather than a large school crazed over sports rather than academics and activism. OPERS, in their wantingness to make UCSC a school with a larger sports reputation, had continuously put athletics-related fee increases on the ballet for many years. Most of them have been defeated. In Spring 2006 elections, a couple measures were finally passed after consistent campaigning by athletes and a significantly reduced fee increase request. Another athletics-related fee increase has been proposed for the 2007 spring elections.
May 25 - SAW organizes four-dozen students to disrupt a UC Regents meeting at UCSF in opposition to UC’s bid with Bechtel Corp. to develop nuclear weapons at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The Department of Energy later grants the UC the contract.
May 27 – UCSC researchers, members of the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) union, stage a one-day strike statewide. The Student and Worker Coalition for Justice (SWCJ) joins UPTE members at the base of campus picket line.
June – Rally to save the African American Theater Arts Troop (AATAT), specifically Don Williams, their adviser, and the African American Theater History class at Theatre Arts. The action results in the saving of both Williams’ position and the class.
June 13 – 16,500 UC clerical workers (CUE) go out on strike for three days across the state to demand higher wages.
June 28 – With students off for summer break, Mike Rotkin and the SC City Council ignores the pleas of the Student Union Assembly (SUA) and others and passes what has come to be known as the “No Party Ordinance.” Since students are the primary party-goers in town, it is understood that they are the explicit targets of the ordinance, which charges exorbitant fees for hosting a party, with no real process for appeal.
September 24 – March in San Francisco (and cities nationwide) against the war in Iraq and other causes. A few UCSC students are arrested – one of which is charged with ‘jaywalking,’ but more likely being associated with the black bloc. Another student is held for two nights , then released without charges after supporters call the S.F. District Attorney.
September 27 – Metro bus drivers (United Transportation Union Local 23) initiate a strike (that lasts 38 days) after the Transit Board, in an unprecedented move, rejects a deal previously negotiated between the union and the state.
October 3 – SWCJ organizes 50+ students and workers to visit city councilmember, Transit Board member, and UCSC prof. Mike Rotkin’s office, questioning him about his lack of support for Metro bus drivers, forcing them to go on strike. Rotkin admits the board made a bad decision.
October 6 – A dozen students rally and march to the chancellor’s office demanding the UC insure that their apparel is not manufactured in sweatshops. After a protracted campaign by Comercio Justo and the SWCJ, the UC becomes the largest institution to sign on to the majority of the sweat-free demands.
October 6 – The College Republicans, under the name “Students for Sustainable Labor” organize an anti-worker rally at the Metro Center downtown. Only a handful of students show up to support them and are quickly outnumbered my members of SWCJ, MEChA, and UTU 23 who reiterated that the best way to end the bus strike is to support the workers.
October 7 – SWCJ organizes hundreds of students and workers in a march from campus to the Metro Center downtown, demanding an end to the bus strike by granting the union’s demands. Once downtown, the crowd marched to the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s offices where they spoke out against the Sentinel’s poor coverage of the strike.
October 18 – SAW organizes a Queer Kiss-In, involving two-dozen students, in front of military recruiters’ tables at the fall job fair. Another 200 rally outside. The queer press spreads the story. A few months later, students at the University of Nevada, Reno follow suit, while students at Cal State University Long Beach post photos of the Kiss-In around their school when recruiters visit.
October 20 – As part of a national day of awareness, the Filipino Student Association (FSA) holds a vigil at Baytree Plaza in honor of Filipino Veteranos from WWII – urging Congress to grant benefits denied for more than a half-century.
November 2 – In remembrance of Rosa Parks, the African/Black Student Alliance (A/BSA) organizes a candlelight vigil.
November 3 – After 38 days on strike, Metro bus drivers (with the strong support of SWCJ, and MEChA, as well as the local labor movement) win a new contract and go back to work.
November 4 – Denice D. Denton is sworn in as Chancellor of UCSC – the first openly gay chancellor in UC history. SWCJ and Comercio Justo pass out fake programs for the event, urging Denton to support the Sweat-Free UC campaign.
November 15 – While Chancellor Denton refuses to take a stand on the issue, the Sweat-Free UC campaign posts clothing with anti-sweatshop messages around campus.
November 16-17 – Hundreds of students from all over the UC converge on UC Berkeley to protest the UC Regents’ increase of student fees and top-administrative salaries as well as the need for affirmative action.
November 30 – On a UC wide Nuclear Day of Action, SAW organizes a ‘marriage ceremony’ in Baytree Plaza between the ‘UC’ and ‘Bechtel Corp.’, resulting in their baby: the bomb. The marriage was officiated by ‘the U.S. Department of Energy.’ Dozens look on and sign a 6 foot tall paper-mache nuclear bomb.
December 13 – MSNBC releases a document showing that the Pentagon has been spying on more than 1500 ‘suspicious incidents,’ many of which were antiwar or counter-recruitment protests. On the list, SAW’s April 5, 2005 counter-recruitment action, spied on by the Army’s 902nd Military Intelligence Group, is listed as both “credible” and a “threat,” the only college-based event to receive both designations. SAW releases a press release the next day, initiating what has come to be known as the Pentagon Spying Scandal.
- After a long hiatus, students begin publishing the Third World and Native American Student (TWANAS) newspaper again
- Winter – A group of students, staff and faculty form the Asian American/Pacific Islander Professor Coalition (AA/PIPC) to get a tenured AA/PI Professor hired within American Studies after the only professor teaching Asian American studies – Judy Yung – retires and her position is not filled. The group also forms the Asian American Pacific Islander Perspectives class (AA/PIP) to facilitate discussions around AA/PI identity formation in the U.S. until the University fulfills its responsibility to teach these subjects. With student efforts and faculty organizing through the Coalition for Asian American/Pacific Islander Studies (CAAPIS), an Asian American Studies minor seems likely.
January 10 – UCSC students who had been spied on by the Pentagon join local Santa Cruzans urging the SC City Council to demand an independent investigation into the SC Police’s infiltration of a local group planning Do-It-Yourself new years’ eve festivities. The Council takes little action.
January 19 – In the first rally of their new Wage Parity campaign, AFSCME workers and SWCJ supporters demand custodians receive higher wages, in accordance with the salaries of similar workers at nearby institutions.
January 25 – SAW meets with Chancellor Denton and other administrators to demand answers in response to the Pentagon Spying Scandal. The students give Denton and others a 34 pg. document detailing suspected incidents of covert surveillance, intimidation and first amendment violations that students had experienced on campus in the past year. SAW asks for an internal investigation into local involvement in spying and other activities. Denton meets with local congress members and CA Senator Feinstein, resulting in UCSC’s removal from the Pentagon’s list, yet concerns over local involvement in spying have yet to be addressed.
January 31 – After a hate crime on December 3, 2005, where Jewish Star of David signs are drawn with a “prohibited” symbol outside of three Stevenson dorms, the college responds by organizing a showing of the film Crash at the Event Center. Of 120 attendees, the majority were students of color, many talking about their own experiences with hate crimes and expressing concern about the lack of white students and administrators at the event. Others wondered why Crash was shown, seeing the film wasn’t about anti-Semitism and used stereotypes. After the event - on February 15 - Stevenson House 1 is tagged with swastikas and a students picture defaced. Administrators respond by putting apology notices on doors.
February 1 – The ACLU files a Freedom of Information Act request on behalf of SAW and others to obtain information from the Pentagon on the details and extent to which they spied on antiwar organizations and events. After suing the government for expediated processing (and winning), SAW and the ACLU release over 500 pages of Pentagon documents related to the spying scandal.
February 7 – A Task Force of the Academic Senate releases a 25 pg. report on Tent University, including an anonymous spy testimony from someone the administration sent to a direct action workshop prior to the start of Tent U. This was in stark contrast to their claims in the wake of the Pentagon Spying Scandal when administrators said they were not involved in spying on their students.
February 25 – The Filipino Student Association (FSA) and the Gabriela Network organize a candlelight vigil at Baytree Plaza after Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the disputed President of the Philippines, declares a “state of emergency.” The declaration, a response to a rumored attempt of a military coup, effectively instates martial law for all 7,100 islands of the Philippines, banning all rallies, and allowing warantless arrests and property seizures.
March 1 – Sweat-Free UC activists hold statewide ‘clothing optional’ actions. At UCSC, a rally was held at the base of campus, saying, “I’d rather wear nothing than clothes made in sweatshops.”
March 7 – 200+ AFSCME, MEChA, SWCJ and supporters march to the Chancellor’s house demanding Denton support workers’ struggles.
March 8 – Save Our Languages (SOL) organizes 100+ students in a rally outside the Academic Senate meeting, demanding the University fully fund the language program.
March 9 – UCSC Sweat-Free activists join students from all over the UC in a sit-in at UC President Dynes’ office demanding the UC sign onto the Designated Suppliers Program. After being denied a meeting with Dynes for 6 months, the meeting is granted.
March 15 – SWCJ members join hundreds of striking city workers (SEIU 415) in a rally at the County government building.
March 17 – Students Informing Now (S.I.N.), MEChA and the Watsonville Brown Berets organize more than 500 people in an immigrant rights march (against HR 4437) from the County Building, through Beach Flats and downtown.
March 18 – Mass antiwar march in San Francisco. SAW takes a bus up.
March 25 – 2,500-3000 people march with Gold Star Families for Peace member Fernando Suarez del Solar and Iraq war resister Pablo Paredes against the war and for immigrant rights on the Watsonville leg of their 241-mile peregrenación from Tijuana to San Francisco. UCSC students, including S.I.N., MEChA and SAW join them in one of the largest marches in Watsonville’s history.
April 6-8 – Student initiated outreach organizations A Step Forward (ASF – part of the Filipino Student Association), Destination Higher Education (DHE – part of the African/Black Student Alliance), and Oportunidades Rumbo a la Educacion (ORALE – part of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/Chicano de Aztlan), all housed in the Engaging Education Center (e2) bring approximately 280 high school students to UCSC during the annual outreach weekend. Students are given a tour of the school, encouraged to have pride in themselves and continue their education, and are given academic preparation workshops along with info sessions on financial aid and the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP), and a big dinner with everyone all together. These programs have been absolutely vital to having any semblance of diversity at UCSC.
April 11 – SAW organizes 200 students to march from McHenry to College 8, kicking military recruiters out of a campus job fair through a sit-in and other tactics. This is the second straight year SAW has kicked recruiters off.
April 12 – Popular Far-Right blogger Michelle Malkin lists the name, cell phones and emails for three SAW members, resulting in dozens of racist/sexist death threats against these students, as well as Chancellor Denton. MSNBC host Keith Olbermann refers to Malkin as “the worst person in the world today,” and a left-wing backlash results in death threats against Malkin, which, ironically, she condemns. SAW is requested to appear on The O’Reilly Factor for the second time and turns them down. Mason Cohn, City on a Hill Press’s editor, goes on the show.
April 24 – Faculty Against War (FAW) organizes a day-long teach-in in the Quarry Amphitheater entitled, “The War on Terror: A Credible Threat,” including former diplomat Joseph Wilson (husband of Valerie Plame, the outed CIA operative) and two dozen other notable speakers. The event included the reading of a joint statement with SAW and FAW arguing that it is the ‘”War on Terror,” with all of its local and global ramifications, that we need to be concerned about, not just the war in Iraq. 1000+ attended throughout the day.
May 1 – May Day’s “Day Without an Immigrant” sees upwards of ten million immigrants and their allies strike and rally across the country against HR4437 and for immigrant rights. A coalition of organizations including S.I.N., MEChA, SAW, SWCJ and others organize thousands of students and workers to march from campus to the clock tower downtown, where they meet up with thousands more who marched from Beach Flats. United, an estimated 5,000 people then march to San Lorenzo Park for a rally, in the largest protest in Santa Cruz since a pre-war antiwar march in 2003.
May 5 – the UC Sweat-Free campaign is victorious as UC President Dynes agrees to sign on to the Designated Suppliers Program (DSP).
Spring elections: Students vote (69%) to buy renewable energy certificates ($3 per student per quarter) to offset campus use of electricity, OPERS finally manages to get students to increase their fees a small amount for a few intramural and recreation programs (but not athletic teams). For SUA officers, Flori Lima (Student’s First) manages to beat Joe Dotson by 20 votes (of 2600).
May 17 – AFSCME workers and friends fight UC administrative attempt to cut their pension plans at a UC Regents meeting at UCSF.
May 18 – SAW and anti-nuke/demilitarization activists from around the state disrupt a UC Regents meeting at UCSF for the second year in a row. One UCSC student is escorted out of the building for going over his 30-second comment limit.
May 18 – The Annual Take Back the Night! event builds solidarity against gender-based violence by holding a rally, marching through campus, listening to slam poetry, and sharing testimonials.
May 23 – AFSCME and SWCJ organize a protest at Chancellor Denton’s ‘Brown Bag’ event with campus workers, urging Denton to support worker justice with over 1700 petitions. In a separate, but connected action, students associated with the C.A.R.E. campaign pressure the Chancellor to release money owed to Student Initiated Outreach (S.I.O.) programs, as well as give the $57,000 dollars back that top administrators in Student Affairs stole from SOAR’s bank account.
June 3 – Reclaim The Streets (RTS) organized in downtown Santa Cruz with a lot of UCSC folks to assert the notion of the streets as communal spaces, not just for cars.
June 6 – A coalition of students under the name ‘the Diversity Coalition’, organizes a series of rallies (at the Humanities Dept. offices, then outside the Redwood Lounge, where e2 and the Chancellor and meeting) demanding UCSC address institutional racism and sexism, especially in the forms of lack of support for student initiated outreach and retention, the struggles of low-paid UCSC custodians, and the forcing out of professors focusing on racial and ethnic studies. At the end, Denton’s car is unable to move out of a parking lot for a short period of time because protesters filled the small road. This later erupted into a big controversy due to media sensationalization before and especially after Denton’s death.
June 7 – The Journalism Now Committee organizes a rally outside the Chancellor’s office at McHenry demanding that the acclaimed journalism program (cut a few years ago) be brought back.
June 24 – Chancellor Denice Denton commits suicide in San Francisco. The day before, she had been discharged from a UCSF facility where she was being treated for depression. The press has a field day, while David Kliger is quietly promoted the interim Chancellor.
October 18 – In response to a UC Regents visit, AFSCME and SWCJ march to the base of campus and rally in support of Wage Parity/living wages for low-paid custodians. A few hours later, a large coalition of activists from a variety of struggles, organize a march of a few hundred students, resulting in the disruption of a UC Regents meeting on campus. In the process, a dozen students get pepper-sprayed by UC police for the first time in UCSC’s history, and three students are arrested. The next day, the new Chancellor, George Blumenthal, expresses no concern about the pepper spraying and condemns the protest. After six months, the university tries to make an example out of one of the arrestees - a black woman activist named Alette Kendrick – by suspending her for 3 years. A large struggle to “Defend Alette, Protect Free Speech and Fight Racism” ensues.
October 23 – UCSC administrators spend tens of thousands of dollars bussing in dozens of police from UCLA in anticipation of a protest at a Graduate and Professional School fair. No protest was planned and the fair was a disaster.
November 7 – Labor activists, including many from UCSC, mourn the failure of Measure G – a bill that would have raised the minimum wage in Santa Cruz to $9.25/hr , as well as the defeat of UCSC grad and Watsonville Brown Beret Mireya Gomez who ran for the Watsonville City Council. The local election was also marked by a visible anti-Mike Rotkin campaign, the first activist effort in recent years to challenge Rotkin’s so-called “socialist-feminism.” The campaign questioned Rotkin’s stances on numerous issues over the years (such as opposition to a minimum wage hike, support of anti-homeless laws, refusing to limit police power, etc.).
Gaps and Blind Spots
- United Farm Workers / farm worker solidarity / Prop 14
- Santa Cruz Women Against Rape history (see: Moller, Catherine Harper. The Silence is Broken. My Experiences with Santa Cruz Women Against Rape. Women’s Studies thesis #44 – 1984)
- Transition from TWANAS to the Ethnic Student Organization Council (ESOC)
- Specific Anti-Vietnam war/peace movement activity, including the possible blowing up of a Kiosk (mentioned in Out In the Redwoods), and counter-recruitment actions on campus in the 70s. (see: McGranahan, Carole. Women’s Involvement in the Peace Movement – 1980s (Militarism is a Feminist Issue) – Women’s Studies thesis #31 – 1983)
- Anti-Nuke movement/ resolutions against the labs (see: Wadsworth, Nancy Dawn. Women’s Roles in the Nuclear Disarmament Discourses. Women’s Studies thesis #166 – 1991)
- Founding dates for various organizations – especially orgs of color to mark the origins of specific communities on campus. Including outreach and retention orgs.
- Possible right-wing arson of gay bar at 26 Front St. (1976? 1977? 1978?)
- Late 70’s gay/lesbian takeover of heterosexist bar (see: Out in the Redwoods, 89)
- Miss/Myth California history and relation to the University
- Wildcat strike by Metro bus drivers in 1998
- Pre-SAW counter-recruitment activities at UCSC around 2001/2002/2003
- Much of the material from the FMST theses, including the origins of the Women’s Studies Department. (see: Keach, Catherine. History/Restrospective of Women’s Studies at UCSC – Women’s Studies thesis #189 [9 volumes] – 1991)
- History of SUA / origin of the Student’s First slate
- Opposition to U.S. involvement in the war in El Salvador (1980s) (see: 1981 Berkeley Disorientation guide)
- Opposition to U.S. involvement in Nicaragua (80’s)
- Opposition to the Philippine Mayors Training Seminar at UC Berkeley in August of 1981 – training Marcos’ mayors. (See 1981 Berkeley Disorientation guide)
- 1973 Roe v. Wade decision – celebration?
- Counter-protests of Pro-Lifers outside Planned Parenthood
- UC Regents claims student governments no longer represent the students, yank their funding, and set up a new student association. Happens at UC Berkeley and UC San Diego, and elsewhere in the sixties and early seventies. (see: 1981 Berkeley Disorientation guide).
- UC wide ant-Nuclear movement, UC Nuclear Weapons Lab Conversation Project (early 60s, Berkeley)
- Anti-Nuclear work around Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in CA, Abalone Alliance (see: 1981 Berkeley Disorientation guide),
- Co-Op movement (81 Disorientation – Berkeley), and the history of Slug Books
- Disabled rights movement, including the “504 sit-in” at the Old Federal Building in San Francisco that lasted for 40 days in the late 70s. (see: 1981 Berkeley Disorientation guide)
- History of CALPIRG at UCSC, including efforts to remove toxic materials from Santa Cruz (see: 1984 UCSC Disorientation).
- Efforts to get Swahili taught in the Language Program. (see/: Spring 2007 TWANAS – pg. 31)
- History of the Latin American and Latino Studies, Environmental Studies, Community Studies and American Studies departments
- Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) teach-in after 9/11
- Origins of the campus unions, especially the T.A. union (United Auto Workers) and the clerical union (the Coalition of University Employees)
- Specific on-the-job UCSC worker organizing, that may not have been particularly public – like marching into the bosses’ office to make demands.
- Origins of Women’s Ensemble Theater (see: England, Jordan. Women’s Ensemble Theatre: The Formation of a Coalition – Women’s Studies thesis #430 – 2002).
- UCSC’s response to sexual violence (see: Rees. Elizabeth Mary. Healing the Voices: UCSC’s Response to Sexual Violence – Women’s Studies thesis #437 – 2003)
- A/PI lesbian organizing at UCSC. (see: Kim, Allison. Pacific Asian Lesbians – From Identity to Community. Women’s Studies thesis #130 – 1989)
- Many of the internal experiences in organizations on campus. (see: Elger, Brandy, Meek, Susan, and Van Gigch, Monique. Sick of Saul Alinsky? Try “Women as Organizers” The Seminar with a Feminist Approach to Organizing – Women’s Studies thesis #21 – 1980. AND Lee, Tania. “Engaging Education:” The Politics of Education – Towards a Feminist Praxis – Women’s Studies thesis #448 – 2004)
- The origins of Defensa de Mujeres and its connection to UCSC. (see: Salcedo, Luz. The Birth of Defensa de Mujeres – 1987-1991 – Women’s Studies thesis #417 – 1997)
- Lawsuit by Chicanas in the late 90’s against the University for failing to respond appropriately to sexual harassment. (see: Aleman, Tracy A. The Impact and Implications of Sexual Harassment on Women of Color – Women’s Studies thesis #374 – 1996)
- The thousands of UCSC students who have been involved with activism outside of UCSC and Santa Cruz, including, but not limited to, the Community Studies field study students.
- Solidarity for a United Food and Commercial Workers strike at Safeway around 1995.
- Feminists Annie Sprinkle, Nikki Craft, Ann Simonton and Susie Bright’s connections to UCSC.
- Fat pride / activism
- The 1982 Watsonville cannery workers strike and UCSC solidarity, including the fundraising of $800-1000 by Bettina Aptheker’s Intro to Feminism class.
- The movement against the first Gulf War, including specific dates of protests.
- The banning of the Filipino Student Association from a Cowell College night because it was the anniversary of Pearl Harbor (!!).
- Specifics of the protest against Ronald Reagan and the UC Regents at UCSC in 1968.
- Origins of Rape Prevention Education (see: Gillian Greensite)
- Specifics of the movement for the Banana Slug to be our mascot, rather than the Sea Lion
- Earth First’s connection to UCSC
- The origins of the Student Environmental Center and the history of UCSC’s environmental movement
- Specific details of the anti-Draft movement at UCSC during the 60s, including details on draft cards burned in the Quarry plaza.
- Specifics on the struggle to retain Don Williams’ position as head of Rainbow Theater and the African American Theater Arts Troope (AATAT)
- Much more!
The image is the front page of SC-IMC on November 7, 2001.
Santa Cruz IMC began organizing in 2001 as a collaboration between UCSC students and community members. SC-IMC's open-publishing newswire was first used for independent media in May, 2001.
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great work! something to add to the timeline:
1988: During World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week, activists hold a rally outside Thimann labs. Toward the end of the rally, several activists climbed a construction crane (nat sci 2 was being constructed at the time) and unfurled a banner that said "liberate lab animals" while other activists went inside Thimann to do a sit-in outside the vivisectors offices. The construction of nat sci 2 was stopped for 2 days because of the crane occupation.
I have not looked thoroughly at your UCSC timeline, but did look at the early years.
One important event you are missing is the occupation of Central Services in 1969.
As I recall, it took place around the time of the People's Park events in Berkeley,
and the resulting UC-wide student strike. The occupation lasted for more than a day,
the building was at times surrounded by sympathetic students, and ended with a
negotiated solution. I am sure there were articles in the Santa Cruz Senile about
these events, so they could be verified that way.