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History Department Statement on the Campus Crisis

Statement on Occupy UC Davis

The faculty of the History Department unanimously condemns the recent deployment of riot police and the use of violent crowd control techniques, including pepper spray, against non-violent protestors on our campus.

Instead of treating these protestors as the enemy, we suggest that the administration should embrace the protestors’ opposition to the privatization of the University of California. Privatization, which has resulted in relentless tuition increases and crushing student debt, will exacerbate socio-economic stratification statewide while undercutting the University of California’s core mission: fostering publicly engaged scholarship and producing an educated citizenry.

Furthermore, we reject as inimical to our campus culture proposals that may lead to lower admission standards for out-of-state students and any move to sink additional resources into Division I athletics.

Finally, we believe that the current campus crisis provides an opportunity to restore shared governance to the University, governance that must include all members of our community in decision-making as we face the challenges that lie ahead.

The faculty of the History Department respectfully suggest that the administration, partnered with the rest of the Davis campus and the broader University of California community, should lead in opposing any further privatization of the University rather than surrendering to its inevitability. We call on the administration to join forces with students, faculty, and staff to lobby and demonstrate for restoring public funding to the University of California, while rejecting any further tuition increases as counterproductive to the broader project in which we all engage: using public education as the foundation upon which to build a civil society that can be a model for the rest of the nation.

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