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Fresno State students occupy library

by student
Today after the Fresno State library closed at 5, 11 students refused to leave.
In protest of reduced hours 11 students stayed in the Fresno State library after it closed on Saturday. This was in protest of the fact that finals are next week and the school has done nothing to increase library access to students. Friday night, students were also asked to leave early so that donors could have a "Wizard of Oz" conference, this also was protested by students.
At Saturday's occupation, nearly a dozen campus police and FPD (who are not allowed on campus) came in along with Dr. Coon to threaten the students with a judicial review and delayed graduation. This is absurd since the budget cuts have led to cut classes and overcrowded classes which is already leading to delayed graduation for many students.
After 2 hours the students had their names taken down by the PD and were escorted out of the building. None of the law enforcement were willing to answer any questions, this includes FPD who were asked why they were there when they weren't supposed to be there, they were also asked for names and badge numbers but refused this as well.
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by student
Normally California police have unrestricted/universal jurisdiction; that is, they have power anywhere in the state. What makes you say that they aren't allowed there?
by student
this is what I was told by a legal observer who has been doing work with the ACLU, I don't know the specific code but he was pretty certain there was a major violation with FPD being there.
by Dan
Hate to say this, but the ACLU observer had his facts wrong. While the campus police have primary jurisdiction on campus (and can extend that jurisdiction up to 1 mile from campus--which Fresno State's cops do), the local police also have sort of concurrent jurisdiction. However, it's considered bad form for outside cops to come onto another department's turf without prior notification. If FPD was there, the campus police likely knew beforehand--the chief works VERY closely with other allied agencies, including the Sheriff's Office, FBI, US Marshals, Probation and State Parole.

Historically, Fresno PD has poached traffic citations on campus for years. I've seen many a city patrol car sitting in the parking lots along Barstow between Cedar and Maple eyeing the stop signs for "boulevard stops." And, during the construction of the Kremen College of Education building in the 1990s, Fresno PD chased a burglary suspect onto campus and into the construction area. The campus police became aware of the chase when the midnight shift officer and ride-along noticed FPD cars driving past the fountain by the bookstore.
by P. Petit
There is no possible way the police (University or FPD) knew beforehand. I was there studying at 4:30, and some folks came up to me and other people studying encouraging us to stay after closing. They said the idea came about organically at about 4:00 among some students that planned to have a group study session until midnight for finals and were angry that they were being denied access to their library that they paid for. Therefore the police could not have known, because this action was not planned.
by Dan
To clarify: when I said "beforehand," I meant that campus police was aware of the Fresno PD presence/response before campus police arrived at Madden Library. This would not have been a case of Fresno PD just showing up without the campus PD being aware they were coming/there.
by alumni
Whether the police had jurisdiction on CSU Fresno's campus deviates from the fact that students got together and stood up against the institution that keeps pushing them out. All these students wanted to do was study for their finals...period. And the quietest place on campus to do that is in the library of course. Yeah you have the USU but if you're familiar with that space you know it's not the quietest place to study and it's very distracting.

Thinking about it, students shouldn't have a "good" or "credible" reason to study in the library. It's they're right! and it comes with the package of being a college student and paying tuition. If anything these students should be commended for caring about their studies so much that they wanted to study all day and night on a Saturday while a lot of other people chose to go out of town, be lazy, or 'party'.

The presence of on/off campus PD was totally unnecessary and excessive and the fact that they were 'escorted' to exit through the back was humiliating. Was it really necessary to surround the students with 10 plus armed police officers?? Furthermore, threatening to delay upcoming graduations is a fear tactic to further stress these students out amidst finals.

It's really sad when we get caught up in what's 'legal' or not and don't focus on what's 'right/just' or not. Please let's look at the bigger picture.
by Dan
These days, "wants" seem to be confused with "rights," alumni. Yes, it would be nice if the Madden Library could stay open 24 hours a day during finals, but it doesn't--and, in fact, never has done so. Over the years, Madden was able to have early/late study hours because the old Government Publications Department was in separate space that could be accessed directly from outside. However, the new Madden Library has an open floor plan that requires much of the staff to be present if the doors are unlocked. The hit on the Library's budget of having many (rather than the single staffer back in the day) staff on duty for finals is large.

I find it interesting that students are now complaining about "lack" of library hours, when many claimed they would never use Madden; that they do everything on line.
by alumni

You definitely have a good point but yet continue to miss the big picture. These students wanted to study, yet because of the cuts (like you mentioned) the university does not provide a space for these students to study so they took a stance in response. It is a 'right' to study wherever one sees fit and for however long and if staffing is a problem, why not incorporate a volunteer system in which the students take ownership of their campus and facilities like the library...especially during finals. Obviously, it has been made apparent time and time again that it is not the 'students' campus but of the administration and what they say goes and obviously this administration does not trust its students.

Oh! And it is hard to argue that the reason why the library is not open 24/7 because of the cuts when the President of the University has a 'penthouse' at the top of the library and earning an income that can probably help pay for the tuition of low income students and students of color who continue to be victims of the privatization of our public institutions plus pay for staff to keep the library open, at least for finals. Also, your point of students not even using the library is irrelevant and cliche. A library is a space to use when needed no matter how many people need or use it and if no one is using it, as you claim, why not get rid of it?? Of course not! That would be ridiculous. The library is like a's a space to go to when you feel like and when it's needed.

You will probably nit pick at my post and come back with a critical reply which is great! That's what this is for but please keep in mind to not blame the 'victims' of this oppressive system...rather applaud and support these students for their efforts and risking everything...even GRADUATION to stand up and say ENOUGH! We might not all agree on the means or tactics but we must all agree on that our system is fucked up right now and something needs to be done and these students did something.

All right, I'm stepping back. This will be my last comment on this post...i invite others to continue the dialogue :)

by P. Petit
Your concerns are somewhat valid, dan, but we have discussed this on campus, even with the dean of the library. There is a section of the library (second floor south wing) that can and should be open 24 hours. It requires NO STAFF (we dont need babysitters, we are adults). However, the only thing holding back this 24 hour access is the fact that the fire marshall says it is a fire hazard to have the separating door come down between the two wings..... But lets be real, it is most certainly our right to study in our library. We pay $2,300+ per 16 weeks of school. We bought that library. We are entitled to access. And who is the admin to keep us out? They were not elected.... As long as they keep attempting to keep us out, we will continue to resist their unjustified authority.
by Dan
Where on the second floor in the south tower? The old entrance to the tower has been, I believe, removed by the renovation work. As far as a fire door, I was in that wing recently and did not notice a door that could block access between the old and new sections of Madden Library on either the first or second floors. I am aware there are fire doors to the stairways on the southerly side of the new building. In any event, what the State Fire Marshal says overrules what the dean of library services might really want to do.
by P. Petit
The whole south wing, second floor. There is a fire door between the two wings, but the fire marshall says it cannot go up and down every night. He says it has to either stay permanently up, or permanently down (in case of a fire of course). And the entrance to the south wing still exists, it just has been closed because of the construction outside of the door (which again, along with the two other construction sites on campus, our admin should not be doing, seeing how they are cutting classes, turning away students, and firing teachers, but continue to build, using our student fees for collateral for construction bonds... priorities?). But the thing with the fire marshal is that nobody has followed up with him. He and the dean met once. They should continually be meeting to figure out a way to keep it open, but the bureaucracy at CSUF allows all admin to "pass the buck". If you ask the dean, he'll say he did what he could, and now we need to ask the Provost (as he did this last friday when there were protests outside the library because they kicked all students out of the library at 5pm and opened it back up for donors at 6pm for a "wizard of oz conference"). Check out for more info.
by Dan
Let's get honest here. Students weren't "kicked out" of Madden on Friday. The library normally closes at 5 pm that day. So, users had to leave at the usual time. One question though: are you people homophobic? The major sponsors of the Oz conference you rail against was the LGBT community (as well as the university).
by Petit
Who are "you people"? I can speak for myself and a few others protesting, that we are most certainly not homophobic. Actually, there were members of the LGBTQ community out there with us... However, i wonder where you get the info that the OZ conference was sponsored by the LGBTQ community. Just to clarify, we were not unhappy with the Oz conference itself, we were unhappy because we were told that the library was closed to students, but open to the DONORS who were having an OZ conference. We see this as backward priorities on the part of the admin (them valuing donors over students).
by Dan
Where did I get my info about the Oz conference being sponsored by the LGBT community (among others)?: from the local queer media, and from the conference announcements. The conference sponsors included: Community Link, Central California Alliance, Gay Central Valley and Bulldog Pride. See page 7 of the April News Link (our local LGBT newspaper) for the advertisement announcing the conference. Do your research before posting nonsense -- it tends to lessen the credibility of anything else you (the editorial you) have to say.
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