For the past several months, Occupy CU has rallied on campus as an extension of Occupy Wall Street, but their most recent efforts of protesting tuition increases hit closer to home for CU students.
Members gathered in front of the UMC on Thursday to bring attention to the most recent tuition increase proposal of 15.7 percent. A day earlier, an arrest was made just down the street during an Occupy Boulder march.
Traffic was blocked by 40 protestors on University and Broadway Wednesday night, and one man was arrested and given a municipal summons after jumping in front of a moving bus. The man, later confirmed by the Boulder Police Department to be a CU senior, was holding a sign that said, “This is only the beginning”.
Due to Wednesday’s occurrences, a few plain-clothed officers monitored the activity on Thursday, but received no trouble from the small group.
Occupy CU had planned a march to the Regents Building, but due to a poor turnout, they opted instead to hold a midday protest at the UMC.
Michael Parrish, a 21-year-old Spanish and international affairs major, said he was surprised by the lack of supporters who attended.
“Raising tuition is incredibly important, and I think it’s disappointing that only six people are here,” Parrish said.
The “Occupy CU Boulder” Facebook page has almost 400 followers and frequently posts about upcoming events, encouraging fellow students to take part. The group holds meetings to raise campus awareness regarding concerns about the global economy and the state of democracy in the country.
Melissa Sandor, a 21-year-old senior integrative physiology major, said that the group’s mission today was to acknowledge the tuition increase and let students know how directly it affects them.
“Hopefully we can get the word out that tuition is going up, and it’s not fair,” Sandor said. “[Occupy CU] brings people together to discuss things they have a common grievance with.”
Daniel Ellen, a 22-year old senior international affairs major, is worried about paying for the rest of his college education, and what the increase in tuition will do when he is trying to pay off his debt in the future.
“As someone who is concerned about higher education, it’s really the time to take a stand,” he said. “15.7 percent is not a meager number.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Bethany Morris at Bethany.firstname.lastname@example.org.