[youtube width=”640″ height=”505″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2OTPT5qh2o[/youtube]
To garner awareness for a week of actions against cuts to higher education, the group “Take over UCSC” planned a dance party that took place last Friday, Feb. 26. Organizers classified the event as “a night of mayhem and debauchery” on their Facebook page. The event was to build momentum for the upcoming week of action, which includes lobby day on the first and the march on the capitol on the fourth.
“Take over UCSC” is a student group that is skeptical of the UC budget crisis, and opposes budget cuts.
The dance party began at 9:00 p.m. in Porter quad. Around 60 individuals danced on the raised stage in the quad and various people spilled from the stage out into the quad smoking cigarettes and talking.
At around 10:30 p.m., the dance party began its trek around the campus that went from college to college, attempting to pick up students along the way.
In Porter, an ambulance was called because one student was dangerously intoxicated. Among the traveling dance party were various Campus Security Officers (CSO) who ensured student safety and monitored the presence of any open containers of alcohol.
“We look out for student safety,” said a CSO who preferred to remain anonymous. “We want to make sure no one gets hurt.”
After leaving Porter quad, the procession moved to Kresge classroom 327, and then after about a half hour, to the courtyard of Owl’s Nest Café, across the Kresge Bridge, and slowly up to Colleges Nine and Ten, flooding into the street on McLaughlin Drive. Music was played from a cart that housed a laptop computer and speakers, which three to five individuals picked up and pushed down stairs and up ramps.
In College Ten, a large group, including those pushing the cart blaring music, went into Building R6 for about 10 minutes, going up the stairwell briefly. Next, they headed to Cowell College, and at this time the crowd had swelled to around 250 participants. The group traveled down McLaughlin Drive and spent another half hour behind Cowell Coffee Shop. The dance party then moved to Quarry Plaza, where the other dances had been held, as its final destination.
By the time it reached Quarry Plaza the crowd was back to its original size, with around 60 students dancing in front of Joe’s Pizza and Subs. One student, who was dancing in the quad, described her opinions on the dance party, yelling over a blasting song by French electronic duo Justice.
“It shows that people come together and do something about [the budget cuts] in a fun productive way,” said third-year Erin Souders, a psychology major from Cowell College.