University of California Policy Change Position Paper
working draft
revised May 10th, 2007

click here to download a PDF of this document

Introductory note: The below represents a first draft attempt by the Coalition to outline major areas of concern and positive visions for the future of the University. We are posting this on our web site so that everyone in the Coalition as well as prospective members, friends, and concerned students, faculty, administrators, and citizens might provide input prior to the adoption of a formal version of this document. Click here to send us comments about this document.

1) Reform UC education to more substantively support peace, sustainability, diversity, and indigenous knowledge. End the hegemony of Western educational traditions that silence and marginalize other kinds of knowledge that could contribute to the creation of a better world.

specific changes:
• Increase funding and tenured faculty for Peace and Conflict Studies, Ethnic Studies, Conservation Resource Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies.
• Create a College of Sustainability.
• Create an Indigenous Peoples and Third World Studies College.
• Save Prof. Darren Zook and restore his classes that are threatened with cuts.
• Introduce alternative economic classes that explore issues such as sustainability, fair trade, Gandhian economics, and the economic and living approaches of the World Social Forum.

2) Demilitarize the University.

specific changes:
• Sever UC's ties with the nuclear weapons laboratories.
• Declare an immediate moratorium on the approval of military-related projects and contracts, and cancel current projects and research grants that have direct military applications.
• Ban military recruiter access to students on campus grounds, and introduce alternatives to military service at career fairs, such as third-party nonviolent intervention organizations.
• End UCPD harassment of homeless communities and peaceful protestors, and instead focus on creating a safe campus climate by stopping violence and rape against women and provide detailed reporting of such incidents.
• Fully disarm the UCPD, and as a first step, allow their weapons to be kept only locked up inside the station. Ban pain compliance techniques. Relocate the UCPD headquarters off campus.

3) Create and adopt a set of ethical guidelines that govern all aspects of the University’s scientific research as well as relationships with and investments in corporations and regimes; said guidelines to consider issues of social and environmental justice, and to be drafted by a broadly representative body of students, staff, faculty, community members, alumni, and respected human rights and environmental justice activists from around the world. Divest from any corporation or regime that does not meet these guidelines and cancel existing research that does not meet said guidelines.

specific changes:
• Don't sign the pending agreement with British Petroleum.
• Terminate UC’s contract(s) with Coca-Cola. 
• Suspend research on animals in UC laboratories.
• Provide full and accessible disclosure on the sources of all research funding on campus.

4) Uphold social justice in all aspects of the University’s functioning and relations with workers, students, and faculty, both at home and abroad.

specific changes:
• Release equity money owed to custodial workers.
• Make UC education more broadly affordable by significantly reducing student fees and ultimately returning to the Master Plan for free education.
• Restore and increase funding for retention and retainment of underrepresented minorities.
• Implement the Designated Suppliers Program for apparel.
• Pay student workers equitable wages.
• Lower prices of text books.
• Introduce full fee remission for undergraduate teaching assistants and readers.

5) Be an environmental steward and sustainability leader in all aspects of the University’s functioning.

specific changes:
• Build the Student Athlete High Performance Center somewhere else.
• Save the Gill Tract.
• Implement composting in the Dining Commons.
• Develop new land-use guidelines based upon the importance of land and environmental features to community members and potential impacts on important wildlife habitats.
• Make UC’s mission to both preserve the environment and be a leader in mitigating and eliminating its operational impact on global warming, toxic waste, radioactive contamination, pollution, habitat loss, and similar environmental issues.
• Focus on wind, solar, and tidal as the three primary sustainable energy sources that UC researches, or others that are zero-emission, sustainable, and environmentally friendly (not including nuclear). Devote academic resources to the research and development of potential public transit infrastructure, energy conservation, and if necessary, electric cars powered by the previously-mentioned energy sources.
• Make Geroge Monbiot’s proposed 90% reduction of greenhouse gasses by 2030 the guiding principle of UC’s work on global warming, with conservation and renewable, sustainable, non-impactful energy sources the method.
• Install solar panels on all UC buildings where possible.

6) Democratize the University’s decision-making bodies, structures, and governance, including a substantial decision-making role for students, faculty, staff, and the community members of affected cities and areas where UCs are located.

specific changes:
• Restructure the UC Regents so that they are directly elected by UC students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members of affected cities and areas where UCs are located.
• Develop six task forces whose job it is to advise the Regents on significant decisions and introduce proposals to the regents. The task forces to include: Environmental Stewardship, Peace & Social Justice, Ethical Research, Ethical Economics & Investments, Community Involvement, and Ethical Education. Members of these task forces to be elected by UC students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members of affected cities and areas where UCs are located.
• Create a land use governance council that provides students, faculty, and community members a democratic decision-making role in how UC uses its land.
• Support a permanently accessible Free Box at People's Park.
• Remove UC personnel and police from People’s Park.
• Reorganize all capital projects so that decisions happen only while students are both in school and not during final exams.
• Re-negotiate the Downtown Plan to more broadly represent the demands and needs of community members.
• Remove unnecessary restrictions on free speech such that it is not limited to certain times and places. Retain and consult with an ACLU attorney to determine whether or not any given activity constitutes Constitutionally-protected free speech, and if the attorney decides that the activity does constitute free speech, do not interfere in any way.