A United Coalition Pressured UC Berkeley’s Dean Gilless to Defend the Oxford Tract

Defend the Oxford Tract | 12.21.2017

A diverse coalition of over 80 people from groups across campus and the neighboring Berkeley community convened at the Defend the Oxford Tract Press Conference on December 7th, 2018 in Giannini Hall to pressure Dean Gilless to stand in opposition of the development of the Oxford Tract, a UC Berkeley agricultural research station.

We presented our manifesto and a letter to the Dean with specific asks including to “pledge to maintain support of metropolitan agricultural research and practice on Oxford Tract, SOGA, and Gill Tract farm,” and to “issue a public statement to Chancellor Christ that you support the Oxford Tract Research Station to remain undeveloped.”

Speakers stated: “We are students of the University of California. We have learned to work the soil. We have learned to appreciate the rain. We have learned to work with one another to grow and share food. We have undertaken the role of teachers, to make up for the lack of education in self-care at this university.”

Speakers wish to make sure that it is clear that “We are also here standing in solidarity with those fighting for affordable housing. The development of the Oxford Tract would fail to address the systemic failure in housing availability–at a very high cost to students, placing their basic needs of education, food, and housing in opposition to one another.”

For additional context, you can view the coalition’s formal statement to Dean Gilless here, and the Save the Oxford Tract manifesto here.

Please direct questions and inquiries to Save the Oxford Tract organizers at sogagarden@gmail.com