On Monday, we sent out a survey* asking the student body about their perceptions of, and involvement with, the Occupy Movement. Eighty-one of you answered. Here’s what you had to say.
71% of respondents view Occupy Cal favorably. In general, they support the occupiers’ anger with the status quo, particularly the tuition increases. Some expressed their full support. But most expressed a caveat: some wished that the movement had more definition, others called for more coordination, some called for a broader agenda that included more than fighting for higher education. Some of your responses were:
“I would like to see some actual training in civil disobedience and nonviolent methods so that the time people put in has more impact.”
“I worry focusing too much on tuition hikes alienates Occupy Cal from the larger issue of economic disparities.
“I support the underlying theme that public education should be valued, but I have a hard time connecting some of Occupy Cal’s actions to achieving that goal. For instance, I think that so much focus on the Regents may be misguided since they don’t set the budget.”
However, in spite of this general support, only 25% of respondents attended any of the November 9th and 10th events. 42 people who did not attend left comments explaining their rationales. The major trend: people were too busy with work or had class. But several were not convinced that the protests were effective, and thought they were either not focused enough or not “targeted correctly.”
“I am against tuition increases and I think it is important to act to change this. However, the bigger problem is the widening income gap. This is the message of “Occupy”. Tuition increases are a consequence of the failure of the State to regulate corporations and collect revenue from the 1%. So acting to change the symptoms is not the same as acting to change the root of the problem.”
“I’m honestly not convinced that demonstrations are particularly effective, especially when the crisis is at the state level. It’s not like the university is saying, ‘Whoopee! Let’s privatize!'”