More than 100 students, faculty and staff at the University of California, Davis, rallied Saturday to stop a plan to open a new campus.
The plan to convert the existing campus into a medical school in the San Joaquin Valley, the first such expansion since the 1960s, is opposed by many students, professors and staff who want the university to remain open as it prepares to close its two main campuses, UC Davis Medical Center and UC San Francisco.
The plan also is opposed in large part by the LCCC, which has said it wants the campus to become a center of medical innovation.
“The university is in the middle of a major restructuring,” said LCCP President James DeAngelis, who was joined at the rally by more than 200 other people.
“We’re asking you to remain committed to our mission to grow our research, and to continue to educate the next generation of doctors and health care leaders.
We’re asking the university and the community to be a part of the process.”
The university announced in May that it would begin moving out of the current campus building at 5200 E. San Diego St. after spending more than $1 billion on renovations.
It is currently a temporary campus that will be converted into a center for medical research.
UC Davis is the first medical school to do so since the 1950s.
“This is the last time we’re going to see a new building, this is the only time we will have to do that,” said DeAngelissi.
“This is a moment for us to take the next step.
This is the time to come together and do this.”
At Saturday’s rally, students, academics and staff from a wide range of professions joined together to ask the university not to move forward with the project, and expressed concern about the financial consequences of the move.
“We’re all here to show that the students and faculty who care about our university have the will to fight for it,” said UC Davis graduate student Ashley Siegel.
“I don’t care if it’s a $50 million or a $100 million project.
We just want it done right.”
The rally also was held at the new campus in the Sacramento Valley, where the LPCC is located, and was organized by a coalition of community organizations including UC Davis Community Action Network, the UC Davis Student Association, the San Diego College Democrats, the Davis Community Center, the California Nurses Association, and UC Davis College Republicans.
A small group of students, the campus’ student government, and the LCCC held a rally in support of the students at UC Davis, and they have been pushing the university for more than two years to keep the campus open.
“I’ve worked here since I was a child and I’ve seen firsthand the progress the university has made and the incredible impact it’s had on the community,” said graduate student Emma Kastor, who attended the rally.
The LCC and the university have been in talks about the plan to relocate to the new medical school since last year.
The LCC was in favor of the project in June but the university, which is planning to relocate in 2019, said the Lccc would not have a seat at the table if the campus was not on the same plan.
UC San Franciscans and the San Francisco Bay Area Medical Society also have expressed concerns about the move to the area.
“Our community wants to be involved in this, but we need to have a voice,” said Kasto.
The group also is calling on the university’s board of trustees to vote against the plan.
“The trustees have been very responsive,” said Siegel, who added that she hopes the board will vote against moving forward with a move to move the campus from the old campus, which currently is home to the school’s faculty, staff and students.
The students, some of whom are already in the process of starting their own medical school, said they want to be sure that they don’t have to leave the campus once the new one is completed.
“My dream is to become an emergency physician in this community,” DeAngelides said.
“So if I can help save this university from being destroyed, then so be it.”