Cal Poly students have taken the Occupy SLO movement to campus.
Currently in its introductory phase, Occupy Cal Poly lacks membership and organization according to its leaders, but they hope to see consistent growth in the coming weeks.
English junior and Occupy Cal Poly member Eric Liewald said Occupy Cal Poly is going to make its presence felt on campus, beginning with action every day this week on Dexter Lawn.
“On Monday, (we) set up a booth on Dexter Lawn,” Liewald said. “It’s going to be an information center where people can come, and we can teach them about what is going on with Occupy Cal Poly, what is going on with Occupy Wall Street and how they can get involved here in Occupy San Luis Obispo.”
Liewald said Occupy Cal Poly does not have a specific agenda, but the purpose of the group is to raise student awareness about the Occupy Wall Street movement.
“The only thing that unites this group together is that we think our government is broken, and we want corporate influence out of politics,” Liewald said.
Though not specifically as a part of Occupy Cal Poly, student “occupiers” have already demonstrated on campus by posting signs and writing messages, such as “Teachers are 99%” and “The 1% make billions while we can’t even buy books” on the ground in chalk.
Crop science junior Nicolia Mehrling said she participated in the campus activism.
“There has been chalking,” Mehrling said. “I put up a lot of little posters, and they all got taken down.”
Mehrling said she currently spends much of her time at the Occupy San Luis Obispo headquarters and campground in front of the San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Monterey Street. Though she contributes to Occupy San Luis Obispo and participates in campus activism, she does not consider herself a member of Occupy Cal Poly.
Still, Mehrling supports Occupy Cal Poly for its unofficial stance against the power and influence on academics of the Cal Poly Corporation. She said she plans to participate in Occupy Cal Poly workshops on Dexter Lawn.
“(Today) they are having a teach-in at Cal Poly on Dexter Lawn, where they are going to have workshops about the Occupy movement and why it’s here,” Mehrling said.
Though Occupy Cal Poly plans on delivering events to campus this week, the group does not possess a roster or an event schedule. The only public information about the group is posted on the Occupy Cal Poly Facebook page.
Member of both Occupy San Luis Obispo and the recently developed Occupy Cuesta College Patrick Robles said there is a reason why Occupy Cal Poly appears disorganized.
“They are directing their efforts to Occupy San Luis Obispo right now,” Robles said. “It’s not that they are neglecting Occupy Cal Poly. It’s that their efforts are being directed here to Occupy San Luis Obispo.”
Another participant in Occupy San Luis Obispo, Boston documentarian Andrew Deame, said message — not organization — is what’s wrong with the current crop of Cal Poly occupiers.
“Cal Poly means well, as a lot of the world does, and they have definite understanding that something is wrong, and they want it fixed,” Deame said. “As for instituting that, they’ve reverted in a sense to what we have now with the same good intention and little practical difference, and that’s where tyranny lies.”
Deame, who is currently traveling the country chronicling the Occupy movement, said “occupiers” nationwide are being duped into promoting the actions and policies of the very government they are protesting. Cal Poly occupiers are no different, Deame said.
“Freedom be the envelope of morality,” he said.