The beginnings of an Occupy movement brew at CSUSB

By Eric Brown |Managing Editor|

While #occupywallstreet has taken off to infect entire cities, campuses and people across the world, San Bernardino has been relatively slow to follow suit in its demonstrations until recently. With demonstrations taking place on the city beginning Nov. 17, the movement seems poised to take it on campus  at CSUSB next.

A meeting was held Tuesday Nov. 22  outside the Blue Coyote Pub in the SMSU with an average attendance of 30 plus attendees throughout the meeting.

The meeting was a collaboration of concerned and interested students, mostly on behalf of CSUSB’s Students for Quality Education (SQE), although it is important to note that not all students present were members of SQE. In attendance were CSUSB undergraduate, graduate students and alumni as well as members of the Occupy Riverside, UCR, San Bernardino, LA and Redlands movements.

The meeting had a loosely defined initial goal and that was to create a body that could facilitate a movement on campus and set an agenda or objectives for the movement to take.

Largely orchestrated and facilitated by CSUSB’s SQE, prominent attendees of the meeting were Occupy Riverside’s Ben Wood, who served to educate the group on how to establish a general assembly so that the movement could move forward. Furthermore, CSUSB alumni Troy Mondregon, self described “pest who won’t go away” was present in his quest for students and higher education and helped to communicate the meeting.

Many at the meeting introduced themselves and their concerns for the campus and movement, with a general consensus culminating in the attendees calling CSUSB students blind to or unwilling to confront the issues that face them and higher education, as opposed to students of other schools who have taken action; such as locally UCR, and more famously UC Davis and UC Berkeley.

While there were varying opinions among those in attendance on how best to proceed further, Wood was essential in explaining the concept of “Solidarity.”

Solidarity being those bonds of familiarity and sense of a common goal which ties the present group together as well as one movement to another, so that they might all share on another’s support and success.

The fledgling movement stands in accordance with its sister revolutionaries in that it is to be non-violent and best represent a true democracy.

Member meetings are run by a facilitator or facilitating body that volunteers or is cycled through, so as to keep things fresh and fair. These facilitators then instead of conducting tedious votes, read the group for consensus on issues as they discuss an agenda and uses an adapted method of hand signals and rules of order to govern general assembly meetings.

What will become of the ideas put forth by the organizers and students of this meeting is yet to be seen, but #occupycsusb might well be joining the ranks of the Occupy movement, mainly due to the grievances of tuition hikes, cut programs/classes and decisions of the CSU according to the students who spoke at the meeting.

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