On Nov. 17 at UC San Francisco, the UC Board of Regents met to discuss a myriad of issues which included yet another fee increase for us, the students. As the regents met, the campus police met with protesters on the street. It is not surprising that these protesters, who were largely comprised of students, were particularly perturbed; they and we rightfully should be.
When these regents went to school, the UC was far closer to being free or perhaps even was free, and now they have trouble conceiving how such a thing was ever possible as they continue to raise student fees. This next fee increase is not a solution, it is a calling. It is yet another push from the bully at school that should inspire students to fight back.
[media-credit id=20135 align=”alignleft” width=”126″][/media-credit]At the meeting Wednesday, protesters filled the streets and rallied against the impending financial abuse that was soon to be enacted against the students. We just endured a 32 percent fee hike last year and as the Nexus has stated, this new increase (which is expected to pass) will be the tenth raise in fees in the last eight years.
When does it stop? The truth is, it will continue until we decide otherwise. If the UC system still cares about its students and not only research, one would think they would still care to listen. I think that we must make it impossible not to listen; a small protest every now and then is annoying but it will not make a difference.
The protest needs to begin with our most accessible social forum, the Daily Nexus. This is our paper and it is our source of empowerment. It is the power of the press. I have recently come to find the importance of the Opinion section in the Nexus. Through reading the recent articles about American foreign policy, Israel, I.V. tenant rights, Proposition 19, Islamic extremism and the featured religious pieces, it is clearly evident that the UCSB student body has something to say. This voice, however, should not be on the back page.
We are not the New York Times or the Washington Post, so let’s not pretend to be.
The presence of the word “fuck” or “bullshit” surrounded by fancy journalistic politically-correct jargon is a joke. It’s as if we are quoting someone other than ourselves. This is our voice, the student populations’ voice, and if you have not noticed, this is generally how we like to speak. We don’t give a fuck about being proper, because we are not — we are real. This passion, which too often is confused with swear words, needs to be the nexus of our newspaper. To be specific, I am not advocating the use of expletives; rather, I am supporting the passion for which they represent. Our opinion is not back-page importance, we are not writing book reviews, rather we are speaking to the student body about (mostly) relevant and important issues, and the Nexus is our microphone.
The Nexus has no faculty oversight, it is entirely ours. I want a Nexus that when there is a vote regarding our fees, it gives us the date, time and location in a big box that is not hidden by the crowd of less meaningful words around it, so we can be there to support the protest. The staff editorial Wednesday, urging students to call their regents by giving their numbers, is the type of journalism that is necessary for the Nexus to be a medium for social and economic reforms. I do not care that Storke Tower got its groove back (11/15 Article “Storke Tower Gets Its Groove Back”) because they finally got the computer to change the time. To me that is not first page news; I want see Elliott Bazzano’s piece on Islam (“Who Is Your God — Islam,” published Nov. 15, 2010) that is calling for love and compassion on the front page. Then, the next day, I want to see the response that totally disagrees with everything he has to say.
It is important to stay informed, but what is also important is to hear the voice of the student body. We need our amplifier to be turned on, rather than playing a recorded public service announcement of the news. The Nexus needs to be an organizer of activism at UCSB, uniting the student body — even if it’s against each other. They should support the causes of the College Republicans and Campus Democrats equally, because it is important that the Nexus fulfills its duty as the voice of the entire student body and all their causes.
I’ll take the publishing of this article as a testament to the Daily Nexus, for all I have said, I know they are on our side. A little fucking encouragement, however, is always helpful.