University of South Florida’s Administration thought they could sneak the 15% tuition increases over the summer without students noticing. Oh we noticed.
Armed with over 1,200 Petition Signatures (1200 is the magic number needed to add a question to a referendum at USF), 50 USF Students, bullhorns and an anger bigger than that of the mascots, we stormed straight to the Provost and demanded a meeting. Did we mention all of this was documented by various news medias? Fox 13 News, 88.5 WMNF News, The Oracle and the local ABC News were there as witnesses. Assembling in front of Cooper at approximately 11am, a group of four USF Police approached our picnic table. Only one of them was dressed in uniform, the other three showed us their badges. “Where are you planning on marching?” “You know if you use your bullhorns, the rally is over?” “Any complaint against your noise will result in an arrest and a charge.” Our peaceful protest did not even require anyone to be arrested, nor did it end in any violence.
Chants such as, “Judy got paid off, we got ripped off! Paid off! Ripped Off!” and “The Students United, Will Never Be Defeated” could be heard. Dani Leppo, a member of SDS says, “After leaving class, I didn’t know where the group had gone. But I listened carefully and knew exactly where to go.” Truth is we were loud. We were firm. And we weren’t about to take admin’s bullshit. We marched on, bullhorns in hand straight to Patel–where the Provost works. Words can’t even describe how good it felt to see Ralph Wilcox in front of us–anxious, sweating.
And with that, we marked the beginning of SDS at the University of South Florida. Tampa Bay SDS is here to stay. We are here to fight against the injustices admininstration wants to impose. Join us, our fight is your fight!