Below is my response to the city on a hill press letter to the editor found at: https://cityonahillpress.com/article.php?id=860
I read Amelia Timbers’ letter to the city on a hill press. She talked about her disappointment in attendance to “comment sessions” for the LRDP when it was still a draft. As a participant at more than one of the early “comment session” I can say that absolutely nothing good came from those comment sessions. Myself and others expressed concerns over the plans to construct a new college over top of the current trailer park. I articulated very specifically that removing one of the most closely knit communities on the campus would be a terrible idea. I didn’t yell. I didn’t hold a sign. I didn’t climb a tree. I articulated my concerns through proper channels.
Now lets look at the result of my comments. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Nobody running the comment session did squat about my comment. Did it get recorded? Did anyone do anything after I made my comment? No. What is the point of comment sessions if your comments are promptly ignored? Showing up to the comment sessions was a colossal waste of my time and energy. I stopped showing up to “comment sessions” because I lost respect for its ability to provide a productive feedback system.
I tried to articulate my concerns and needs through official channels.
I tried to do this early on. It didn’t work. I am not surprised that students feel frustrated enough to sit in trees.
Now that I have articulated my critique of the official process of the
LRDP I think it is only fair to articulate my critique of the tree sit. Illegal activities associated with the LRDP resistance movement should be condemned strongly by the tree sitters. I am talking about the pulling of fire alarms and graffiti on campus. Those actions will quickly erode support for what should be actions promoting a well articulated critique of the LRDP. http://lrdpresistance.org/, the website that has graffiti advertising its existence around campus, should have a post right on the front stating that illegal actions and misuse of safety equipment are not supported by the tree sitters.
I am an electrical engineering student and I support biomedical research. If the tree sitters played their cards right I think I could support their actions. Here is how: Make the tree sit about the lack of concern for the students input in the LRDP and the inability of the Santa Cruz community to absorb a larger student body due to lack of water resources, increased traffic, and increasing rental rates. If that is the stated goal then there are many people in the sciences that would readily support a tree sit. Instead the tree sitters include arguments about animal testing and the distribution of University funds away from the arts and towards the sciences. By including these arguments in their protest the tree sitters slice off a large portion of potential supporters.