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Why occupy the GSC? Some valuable clarifications.
by occupy everything
Tuesday Sep 29th, 2009 7:40 PM
Some valuable clarifications.

Doesn't the Graduate Student Commons already belong to students?

NO. The GSC makes a mockery of the very idea of student commons. What do we really have? We have some study rooms and a lounge with a Wii. Undergrads don't even have access to that. Don't be fooled: we have nothing - no public space, no community space, no organizing space. The GSC is NOT an authentic student space. It is an exclusive clubhouse that appeases graduate students while dividing the student body along the lines of status.
Doesn't the Graduate Student Commons already belong to students?

NO. The GSC makes a mockery of the very idea of student commons. What do we really have? We have some study rooms and a lounge with a Wii. Undergrads don't even have access to that. Don't be fooled: we have nothing - no public space, no community space, no organizing space. The GSC is NOT an authentic student space. It is an exclusive clubhouse that appeases graduate students while dividing the student body along the lines of status.

Elsewhere in the world it's quite common for universities to contain autonomous student spaces that are owned, controlled and used entirely by students. make no mistake: these spaces were never given, they were taken. What power and resources students control was won by struggle. The spaces they own now were won by radical student movements in the 60s and 70s - by occupations. Now, these autonomous zones are critical spaces for community, activism, and the free flow of ideas.

Maybe it's hard to imagine students owning and controlling a space within this university. In fact, the idea of autonomous student space conflicts with every aspect of how the university works. This is the real point - the university system, as it exists today, is incompatible with anything resembling real community, autonomy, democracy.

Many will claim that we are occupying space that belongs to the grad students, but this is just not true. This building is owned by a bank; grad students fees pay for a mortgage that was purchased from the UC. This is what we're talking about. We find ourselves so far down in the pit of privatization that even students space must be bought on the market and financed with a payment plan. Thus, our project of occupying the GSC is inherently related to the larger project of liberating and transforming the university and society.

A student-controlled space at UCSC is unrealistic. But the very fact that it is so unrealistic highlights how very fucked we are. How completely bureaucratized, corporatized, and privatized this university. The impossibility of truly autonomous student space within this university highlights the fundamentally alienating, isolating and ultimately controlling nature of our educational system.

This occupation is a first step; it is not the end. We will not transform the university solely occupying the GSC. However, we have taken one concrete step towards taking back our university. Whether it is held in occupation, evacuated, or transformed into public space, something has begun here at UCSC. It's time for students to question every aspect of the university and the social space that surrounds us. It's time to start discussions about what needs to be done, how it is to be done, and why it is to be done. It's not time to apologize for taking over their clubhouse. It's time to escalate.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Anticapital
Tuesday Sep 29th, 2009 9:53 PM
Or else what are you really changing, other than stomping your feet in jealousy of the graduate students (who have by definition worked a lot harder than you already) and stealing anything you want just because you want it?

Are you from a rich family? You sure act like it.

You're upset because the GRADUATE student commons is, omg surprise, limited to GRADUATES? Who pays that mortgage? It's not you. You don't even pay for your own costs, the taxpayers (whether we like it or not) have to fund that portion of your education that you either cant or wont pay for yourself.

You rent an apartment, yes? Then that is yours so you can decide who goes, who stays, and who can do what. You dont pay for the GSC. Pay the bills if you want to make the rules. Authority is earned, not bequeathed to you like some family fortune to a spoiled prince.
by (a)
Tuesday Sep 29th, 2009 11:00 PM
FYI to the above poster, a large percentage of people involved with the occupation are graduate students.
by another a
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 12:15 AM
stop fronting, you reactionary.
your appeals to capitalist morals are blatant and disgusting.
by Nishan
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 1:34 AM
Wow, I have never seen someone more clueless in my life. What have the ucsc admission standards sunk to?

first of all, having a mortgage doesn't mean the bank owns the house (ask your parents). Does the bank own your car too, if you have payments on it? Whatabout that laptop you bought with a credit card? So your problem is that Grad students weren't rich enough to own an "authentic student space" without taking out a loan? Do only rich millionairs deserve "authentic space" ? What kind of leftist are you?

"Don't be fooled: we have nothing - no public space, no community space, no organizing space. "

Oh BULL!!! there must be hundreds of places that people DO constantly hang out and organize on that campus, including many undergrad "club houses." Where did you do your organizing? on Mars?

the commons was in fact created BECAUSE there was no place for grad students on a campus that is 90% undergrads. now you call it a clubhouse and take it over by force without the slightest knowledge or respect for the struggles that go on inside it.

You sound clueless, angry and deeply confused. I hope to god, you are not in charge because you would destroy any real movement with your immaturity and violent sense of self entitlement.
by ...
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 6:30 AM
if the loan isn't paid off yet...if a debt isn't paid off yet...the bank still owns said object that has a mortgage. If you don't pay up, the bank can take it away. Duh.
by .
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 7:00 AM
"first of all, having a mortgage doesn't mean the bank owns the house (ask your parents). Does the bank own your car too, if you have payments on it?"

yes - This was really one of the more uncontroversial statements that they made above.
Have you heard about the foreclosures in the working class parts of the state such as Stockton and Victorville. the Sheriffs keep coming to houses, giving the mortgage nonpayers a few weeks notice, and then evicting them and handing the keys back to the bank, which owns the house.
by Nishan
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 9:42 AM
Wow, I didn't think I could be surprised any further, but I was mistaken!

If you have purchased an item, YOU own it. The bank does NOT own it! YOU own it legally. It is in your name, and the law considers you the owner. You have the right sell it or burn it down, or make modifications to it! You simply have a contract signed to pay X amount to a bank that you borrowed with consequences for default, which does NOT necessarily have to be the confiscation of the property. The ownership is yours. The loan is a separate matter.

Look at the deed for your house or the pink slip for your car. Look at some real-estate listings for heaven's sake! The owner is the person who is responsible for the mortgage. IF, there has been a foreclosure or RE-possession, THEN the ownership might be TRANSFERRED to the lending agency. That's why some foreclosed homes are "bank owned" but vast majority of homes are not.

Seriously, how old are you guys?
by a
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 11:04 AM
its just that EVERYONE lives in it now, to the point where even "anticapitalists" consider it normal
by cp
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 11:22 AM
I think you're being a bit bluntly liberal.

Notice in this AP video where they show deputies with guns drawn, kicking the residents out of the homes, they are still using the term 'homeowner'. The fact that they are being kicked out for not paying for a few months pretty much illustrates the fact that you are renting until the house is completely paid for. It is only a nice gesture on the part of the mortgage loan holder that allows these 'homeowners' to paint the house the color they want (if they aren't in a HOA that restricts that) or do the gardening as like like.

On a more technical note... you are mistaken to think that the title is the only document legally describing ownership. A bank owns a mortgage until it is completely paid, which violates colloquial definition of ownership for the resident. When the last payment for a house is sent in, the bank will send the deed for the 'free and clear' house.
by cp
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 12:15 PM
oops, I meant literal, not liberal.
by Nishan
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 12:31 PM
not the bank!!!


yes, if you owe money to anyone and you can't pay, they will come after your belongings and income. Same as if you didn't pay a car loan or a student loan. Same as if you got sued and lost in court. SAME IF A BUNCH OF IDIOTS TOOK OVER YOUR BUILDING AND YOU COULDN'T PAY YOUR MORTGAGE. Why is this a surprise to you?
by another anarchist
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 1:31 PM
yes, fellow anarchists, on paper a home owner is the person paying the mortgage. the house is collateral. debtors prisons were abolished in this country following a violent insurrection many of us would have participated in, called shay's rebellion. these are not minor points. they are important to understand, especially these days. so do your homework.

the point i would like to make is IT DOESNT FUCKING MATTER ABOUT THE MORTGAGE.
its an auxillary building. read about the history of student "government" at the UC. everything the official student governments do now is basically directed by and administered through uc officials. student autonomy (student run business ventures and peer-peer discipline) was the first thing that was taken over by the administrators when they realized how much power there was in it. so its not really controlled by the students anymore. the occupation of the commons is a perfectly legitimate.
by another anarchist
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 1:50 PM
important to note here too, are the parallels with the way the uc administration coopted and took over student government and the way they are steadily infringing on the autonomy of the faculty (academic senate, etc). the principles of shared governance are being eroded steadily... obviously... its a necessary part of the move toward privatization and corporate models of governance... students become consumers... professors become "employees"... employees become disposable second class labor.

so in light of all that, who gives a fuck about the sanctity of the pretend autonomy afforded students via bogus, disempowered (as a matter of strategic principle on the part of the admins), mickey mouse student government. western student movements worth their salt, the ones were proud of, they run roughshod over these officially-sanctioned "student" government bodies... they take it over, disregard it, critique it, disparage it, fully exploit it. you need examples? the anti-apartheid movement at Cal for one. the '68 mayhem in strausbourg for two. etc.
by x-student
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 2:47 PM
the student center is paid for with something called The Student Life Facilities Fee. $90 per year each student. It's been collecting for years and years. Students own that space. It is yours. Know this and act accordingly.
by ....
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 6:53 PM
this really doesn't matter that much at all the student facilities the same thing as the grad student commons?
by gradstudent
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 7:25 PM
you didn't have the BALLS to take over a real building that actually hurts the Admin or even the "capitalist system" in the slightest.
You decided to take out your juvenile anger at a building owned and operated by students.
that's the reality. Delude yourself all you want.
by livewithoutdeadtime
Wednesday Sep 30th, 2009 8:53 PM
we will show you who has balls. we will show you what the people are capable of accomplishing and inspiring. come to the rally at noon, and we will show you what escalation means. just watch.
by Yawn
Friday Oct 2nd, 2009 1:12 PM
...of your balls. No rally. nothing. Except an advocation for stealing. Way to go. That's forward thinking. Well congrats, you join the ranks of the rest of the thieves of this country that is robbing us all blind. You seek to be different but in the end, are not. Take a good long hard look in the mirror and see how well you look in orange jumpers.
by a
Friday Oct 2nd, 2009 2:32 PM
fuck yeah.

what you all may have missed is that ucsc was specifically designed to be occupation proof. but now it's been shown to be possible and the way pointed to more powerful disruptive actions.

and if you agree that this world is robbing us blind, what do you think will get us anything back, begging? this is the essential problem with moral logic (of legalism, pacifism etc) it will only work for everyone if everyone chooses to behave in a decent way. the current rulers never will. so all you are arguing for is that those who would change the world should be meek, humble, polite, and utterly ineffective.

anyway, if you mean what you say about doing something more intense, and youre not just hating on us for the sake of loving on cops and capitalism, you should get involved. we need more bodies in conspiracy to steal back this world.
by Get Real
Friday Oct 2nd, 2009 4:24 PM
"occupation proof"? What a load of crap. Nothing at UCSC is occupation proof. You honestly believe that anything is or was trying to be? What kind of military mumbo-jumbo are you ranting about? And the rest of your tirade is just that.... justification for something that is unjustifiable. What you are advocating for is not a challenge to the redistribution of wealth. It doesn't work that way. Too bad you are too wrapped up in your little petty rebellious world to see that. But no matter. You can create any kind of social world in your head and hope that it works out but in reality, it won't. Stealing is stealing is stealing. Don't delude yourself.
by at you "Anacrchists"
Friday Oct 2nd, 2009 7:04 PM
Your dogma, rhetoric, and justification for this poorly thought out action are humorous. Watching you try to justify your "action" as relevant when you're besieged by numerous credible alternate-opinions from those who would typically support you? Even more so.

by anon
Sunday Oct 4th, 2009 12:25 AM
Wow. Complete disrespect for people doing an action. Hey guys, good job spreading rumors and lies. Good job hating on people for trying to do something different. You are completely irrelevant and you sound like children. People are trying to get information about and/or debate what is going on, not listen to you whine about what happened, or about the technicalities of mortgages, or about how you would have done something better. "Oh the babies weren't bold enough to do something more disruptive" says the person on the fucking internet comment board. If you can talk the talk, do some walking. I haven't heard about other occupations anywhere in California. And otherwise, be respectful. People actually put a lot of time and effort into actions and into writing about or for them. You shitting all over their does not make you sound smart, nor does it help convince anybody of your position. I know that because you're on the internet, you feel like you can be a monster to people who aren't right in front of you, but come on...
by here here
Thursday Oct 8th, 2009 11:31 AM
well said anon...might indymedia at times flex a little muscle, edit comments to those solely making serious comments, showing at least a modicum of respect or intelligence, whether pro or con?? flooding the waves with retarded comments not exactly free speech at its finest, actually encouraging stupidity/malice/etc....