UCSD students and workers coordinating with the UC system-wide COLA movement held a rally today at noon in support of the UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) Wild Cat Strike, leading to a temporary closure of Geisel Library’s doors to the public.
A university librarian told The Triton the doors were shut to ensure the library collection’s safety. UC San Diego administrators gave the order to reopen the doors after about 15 minutes of demonstrators rallying and chanting “let us in” and “if you can pay police, you can pay us.”
Organizers also encouraged demonstrators and students to attend and participate in tomorrow’s one-day picket. The picket is in response to UC administrators’ warning that graduate students on strike at UCSC would be terminated from their teaching positions if withheld grades are not submitted by tomorrow. Around 200 graduate student workers at UCSC are at risk of being terminated.
Muhammad Yousuf, a second-year doctoral student in Ethnic Studies at UCSD, told The Triton that graduate students and undergraduates should unite tomorrow at the picket in solidarity with graduate workers in need of a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).
“We’re not going to be effective teachers and mentors if we have to worry about paying rent and having food,” said Yousuf. “Those basic securities need to be met for the entire public university’s mission to be met.”
Participants in tomorrow’s one-day work stoppage will walk out at 11 a.m., refusing to conduct research or hold office hours and class. Along with tomorrow’s strike, organizers plan to hold a rally tomorrow at 11 a.m., starting at the Silent Tree in front of Geisel Library.
Mo Al Elew is a Senior Staff Writer for The Triton. You can follow him @solomune.
Correction at 5:00 p.m. February 20, 2020: A previous version of this article attributed the strike and tomorrow’s demonstrations to the UC Student Workers union, UAW. While some organizers are part of UAW, this demonstration was not organized in their capacity as UAW members.