SPECIAL SERIES : May Day 2006 Coverage
Student Center will be Closed on May 1st
Governing board shuts down Student Center
April 26, 2006 11:59 AM
In a unanimous decision by the Student Center governing board, the Student Center will be closed on May 1.
As a result of recent immigration legislation, the governing board, made up of administrators, faculty and students, chose to shut down the Student Center for the day on Monday as an act of solidarity with immigrants.
“(The Student Center) is named after Cesar Chavez, and this is a continuation of his work,” said Amrah Salomon Johnson, governing board chair of finance. “He fought for human rights and Latino rights, many of whom were undocumented.”
May 1, also known as “May Day” and “International Workers Day,” has been a day of protest since 1884 when the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions demanded an eight-hour workday.
Supporters of immigration are asked to refrain from supporting the American economy that day and to participate in the “no work, no school, no sales, and no buying” premise of the cause.
Members of SF State La Raza support the governing board’s decision.
Biochemistry sophomore Gaby Arvizu believes that the closure is a “symbol of solidarity” that supports the many students who are immigrants.
Bay Area supporters can take action on May 1 by joining protestors at 8 am at Montgomery and Market, 11am at Embarcadero, 3 pm at SF Civic Center and 5 pm at the Federal Building.
Thousands, and possibly millions, of students around the country are expected to walk out of their classes on Monday to join workers who are not working and consumers who are not consuming.
La Raza member and anthropology sophomore Diana Rios, 19, plans on attending school on May 1, and hopes to participate in the Embarcadero gathering, admitting that it might be difficult to get there, since Muni is forbidden.
“I don’t want to have to walk there,” Rios said.
Solomon Johnson is not concerned with possible backlash by those who wish to retaliate against the closure of a building with seven food vendors, two convenience stores, a pub, an ATM machine, bookstore, offices and study areas, as such retaliation has nothing to do with the governing board’s mission.
“There are always people opposed to tolerance, acceptance and love of their fellow human beings,” she said.
According to Solomon Johnson, it is the goal of the governing board to give students a chance to pause and think of civil rights in this era.
“The fight for civil rights isn’t something (only) in history books,” she said.
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