See Katie’s article on the first portion of the survey here.
When asked what changes they would like to make to the Occupy Cal movement in order to engender their involvement, GSPP responses tended to be pretty consistent. A large majority of respondents wanted the movement to focus more on the root cause of the controversial tuition hikes: the state’s inability to raise additional revenue for government programs, including public education. As one person put it,
“I would more clearly define an action plan for reaching their goals. Right now the link between protesting the Board of Regents and lowering tuition is not clear. The loss of funds is due to budget cuts at a state level, the Board of Regents is just reacting to this. New, more productive solutions need to be presented if I am to get involved.”
By and large, the students who took the survey wanted to see less focus on protesting the Board of Regents and more focus on developing a concrete plan for achieving the goal of increased funding for public education. As policy students who are familiar with state politics, many targeted the specific cause of the state’s fiscal situation: Prop 13, which has made it all but impossible for California to increase tax revenues.
“They need to understand the regents did not create this issue and nor did the banks. This is a funding issue that was created by voters who have passed large programs and large tax cuts that have resulted in large deficits. Prop 13 needs to be reformed and repealed,” said one respondent.
Reading over the collected responses, the words “concrete”, “goals”, “plan”, and “focus” came up over and over again. The overall indication was that GSPP students want the movement to become more informed about the underlying issues, to become as knowledgeable as it is passionate. There is potential here for GSPP to become more involved in this movement by educating people on what the real problems are, how they can be addressed, and how the energy of the movement can be focused to pursue these goals.