Occupy USC sets advocacy and open dialogue as main goals

The Occupy USC General Assembly said it plans to focus on advocacy and  creating open forum, after the group held its second meeting Friday at Tommy Trojan.

Sit in · The Occupy USC General Assembly began to hammer out goals at its Friday meeting. - Katelynn Whitaker | Daily Trojan

Occupy USC, which began Oct. 25 as an offshoot of the national Occupy Wall Street movement, aims to increase its presence on campus.

“The main thing we wanted to work on as a movement was advocacy and getting people aware of what’s going on,” said Julia Wang, an occupy USC participant movement and sophomore majoring in neuroscience. “We are saying that people with the privilege should be more aware of what their position of power is.”

Occupy USC has no leaders to ensure everyone’s voice is heard, said Max Hoiland, a participant and senior majoring in film studies.

“It’s an attempt to create democracy in a real, genuine form,” Hoiland said. “The whole idea is that everyone does have the choice to participate — there’s no hierarchy.”

Elizabeth Gustafson, a USC alumna and participant, said she decided to join the movement because its broader cause could attract and bring together large groups of people.

“What I like about Occupy USC is that even though it’s focused on [specific issues], there’s a broader interest that appeals to a lot of people,” Gustafson said. “If any activism can take place, it’s at USC. It’s bringing all of the different causes together to build consciousness and awareness.”

The Occupy USC General Assembly action committee is currently focused on putting together a moment of silence for Wednesday in response to the police brutality that occurred at Occupy Oakland on Oct. 24.