Last week, on Feb. 2 and 3, students from across the University of California (UC) system skipped class in protest of the reopening policies of the administration. UC campus administrations have been forcing students back to in-person classes with little flexibility and few Covid protections. At UC Berkeley, the University has mandated fully in-person classes for students with no hybrid option, even as dozens of new cases on campus are reported every day. The UC Berkeley administration has also removed daily testing hours at the university gym and weekly testing requirements1. UC Los Angeles2 refused to continue hybrid options for students past the in-person reopening on Jan. 31. UC Irvine and Davis administrators similarly mandated returns to in-person classes with no remote options for students who are at risk of Covid or quarantining.
Across the UC system, students organized against these dangerous and unsafe learning conditions. Petitions started by students at UC Berkeley3, UCLA4, and UC Davis5 asking administrators to mandate remote learning options received thousands of signatures. Students at UCLA organized a sit-in outside the chancellor’s office and students at UC Berkeley, Davis, and Irvine all skipped class in protest.
These walkouts are just the latest in a wave of student and teacher activism to secure safe working and learning conditions. Across the country, students and teachers are organizing themselves to fight for their health!