Students assembled near Tommy Trojan for three hours on Monday in an effort to start an Occupy USC movement to show solidarity for Occupy Wall Street protesters.
USC College Democrats organized the event that had between 15 and 30 protesters at various times.
“[It is] not a partisan movement,” said Ximena Velázquez, president of USC College Democrats. “But within our club we had a lot of people who wanted to participate in a solidarity movement for the Wall Street protesters.”
Alex Bakken, a junior majoring in environmental engineering, said though he disagreed with some of the protesters’ points, he respected their efforts.
“It will stick with a lot of us and we will be more conscious of these things when we go into the working world,” he said. “I’m sure it will have some impact on students’ thinking since a lot of us will be affected by it.”
Though displaying support for Wall Street protesters is still a chief goal of Occupy USC, the emphasis has shifted to focus on issues related specifically to the USC campus, said Kaya Masler, political director for USC College Democrats.
“[Occupy USC is] a place for people to come together and express common concerns and interests … as [they] relate to the USC campus,” Masler said.
After the protest ended at 3 p.m., the Occupy USC General Assembly, which comprised the majority of the protesters, met near Tommy Trojan. At the meeting, students wrote down what they believe Occupy USC is about and their goals for the demonstrations. The assembly will have a second meeting Friday to announce its specific goals.
Organizers plan to continue Occupy USC every weekday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Tommy Trojan. Planners will alternate responsibility when they are in class.
Protest organizers said they hope the campus demonstrations will add momentum to the national Occupy movement.
“What I’m seeing is a way for USC to contribute to something that is growing all over the world,” Masler said.
Throughout the demonstration, the protesters received a range of feedback, including a few impolite reactions.
“We had a few rude spectators, but most people were curious about our movement [and] a few people joined in,” Velazquez said.
Velazquez also said Occupy USC was meant to set an example for other California schools looking to start an Occupy protest.