Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

LOCAL News :: [none]

All quiet on campus

All quiet on campus


October 15, 2002
Sentinel staff writer

SANTA CRUZ - Not everyone walked the picket line at UC Santa Cruz on Monday. But those who reported to work or came to class found the campus much quieter than usual.
8 A.M. At Xpress It copy shop in Quarry Plaza, Katie Taylor is working behind the counter wearing a button to support the strike.
“We’re not allowed to strike, so we’re here,” Taylor said. “I wish them luck.”
She’s a member of another union, AFSCME, which has a no-strike clause. AFSCME members got a raise in their contract, but she said it isn’t enough to cover the increase in the cost of health insurance and prescriptions.
8:25 A.M. At University Center, construction on the new faculty lounge at Colleges Nine and Ten is suspended. Doug Noell, who got up at 4:30 a.m. to drive in from Livermore for Al Cal roofers, is waiting for materials to arrive.
A campus physical plant truck has a placard on the windshield that says “I am working today because I care about my job and am bound by a no-strike clause in my contract.”
8:40 A.M. Business is slow at the College Nine and Ten dining hall. Only 15 students paid for breakfast so far instead of the usual 60.
“I think a lot of people went home,” said Julie Kwak, a junior at the cash counter. “I felt weird coming to campus. All my classes are canceled.”
9:05 A.M. Inside the Engineering Building, Cristy Sagavo, a junior majoring in business economics, sits at a table with a muffin and coffee. She has a mid-term in international economics today. Usually the tables are full.
“I’m the only one here,” said Sagavo, who drove to campus from Salinas. “Once I pass the strike line, it doesn’t affect me.”
Outside, Frank Black, a graduate student in environmental toxicology, said only one of his classes, calculus, was canceled. “If I didn’t have classes taught by professors, I wouldn’t be here, either,”
9:20 A.M. Ramon Beristain, 40, an electrical engineering student from Oakland, is studying on his own. A native of Mexico, he went back to school two years ago to provide a better life for his two daughters, a 2-year-old and a 4-month-old. He said couldn’t afford to miss class.
“If you get behind, you pay the consequences later,” he said.
At the same time, he supports the striking workers.
“I feel terribly bad for them,” he said. “My best teachers are lecturers. They focus more on students and their needs.”
9:30 A.M. It’s quiet at the construction site of the Physical Sciences Building. The beams are in place but concrete decks that were supposed to be poured today will have to wait.
“I lost a week,” said Mark Atkins of Claude Atkins Enterprises of Visalia. “Concrete trucks have other projects.”
9:40 A.M. At the bus stop, retired chemistry professor Stanley Williamson is talking with retired astronomy professor Donald Osterbrock.
Osterbrock says the strike makes it easier to find a spot in the parking garage. He’s on campus to do research.
Williamson, who came to UCSC from UC Berkeley in 1965, is wearing a button supporting the Coalition of University Employees, the union representing the striking clerical workers. He ran a review session for his 8 a.m. class rather than introducing new material. Only half of the 15 students showed up.
“It’s unfortunate these issues drag on and don’t get resolved,” Williamson said. “Once the school year starts, it shouldn’t be interrupted.”
10:15 A.M. The sound of bulldozers fills the air behind the engineering building. Huge mounds of soil surround the area where the new engineering building will be built. This is the only construction site on campus where work did not stop Monday.
George Hurley of DPR said his company supports the issues raised by lecturers and campus workers but couldn’t shut down because of construction deadlines.
“We started two months ago and it’s a 22-month contract,” he said, explaining the Redwood City company will have to pay damages if it doesn’t finish the job in time. “We’ve got to perform.”
10:25 A.M. Outside the Natural Sciences building, Michelle Franklin, a junior transfer student, is studying for a chemistry midterm. It’s a relatively large class with 80-100 students.
Only one of her classes was canceled.
She said she supported the strike, “but my grades are important, too,” she added.
10:35 A.M. Inside the Natural Sciences building, professors are preparing for classes, going over research and checking e-mail.
Astronomy professor Piero Madau doesn’t teach any classes Monday, but the empty bike racks and parking lots tell him the strike has had an impact.
“So far, it’s been very successful,” he said.
10:45 A.M. Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood is taking a visitor around Science Hill.
“Clearly it’s very quiet day on campus,” she said. “Employees are making their point but there are no untoward acts of interference.”
10:50 A.M. Outside the Science and Engineering Library, juniors Bethany Hanson and Ryan O’Connell say only half their classmates came to the morning lecture in plant and animal physiology.
They knew the Metro buses wouldn’t take students around campus, so they drove past the picketers.
“I just honked my horn,” Hanson said.
“They weren’t rude or anything.”
Contact Jondi Gumz at jgumz (at)

New Comments are disabled, please visit


No events for this day.

view calendar week
add an event


Media Centers

Syndication feeds

Account Login

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software