A democratic assembly of UC Santa Cruz students, workers and community members has decided on a strike to shut down the campus on Thursday, March 1. Save for emergency vehicles, residents of campus, and other necessary exceptions, we will block all traffic from entrance onto campus.

We act because the UC Regents who control our university system are continuing to push drastic increases to the cost of higher education and decreases in the number of California students with access to the UC.

On that same day, we will put forward a Tent University, an alternative vision of education to counter that advanced by the UC Regents and similar elites. The Tent University will be an open setting at the base of campus for students, teachers, community members, and any other interested parties to teach seminars or workshops. All interested in teaching can contact organizers about scheduling and space by email (tentucsc@gmail.com) or on the strike website.  The day will, of course, also have food, music, and activities throughout.

These events on our campus are to be part of two statewide days of action, March 1 and 5, across California public education. On Monday, March 5, Santa Cruz students will travel to the state capitol to rally with peers from other University of California and California State University campuses, community colleges, and K-12 schools.

The Teach the Budget campaign has volunteers available to teach ten- to twenty-minute presentations in your lectures or discussion sections about the budget crisis and the drastic de-funding of public education in California. You can access the form to request presenters, and the curriculum itself, on the Teach the Budget website: http://teachthebudget.com/the-2011-curriculum/

We especially invite faculty to join the Tent University and teach lectures, workshops, or exhibitions or hold regularly scheduled lectures at the base of campus.

UCSC students greatly appreciate your support in this struggle. The budget crisis impacts us all, and we hope to encourage a community-wide discussion on these issues and the very real threats they pose to our university and society.

Thank you for your time and your support. Save public education!