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UC San Diego Student Workers Accused of Defacing Walls Using ‘Materials Other Than Chalk’

UC San Diego Student Workers Accused of Defacing Walls Using ‘Materials Other Than Chalk’

The arrests of three University of California–San Diego student workers accused of vandalizing campus property drew a crowd to the San Diego Central Courthouse in protest of potential criminal charges in San Diego on July 10, 2023. (Courtesy of Philip Zhu)

City News Service

City News Service

7/10/2023

Updated: 7/11/2023

SAN DIEGO—The arrests of three University of California–San Diego (UCSD) student workers accused of vandalizing campus property drew a large crowd to the San Diego Central Courthouse Monday in protest of potential criminal charges.
The workers, Jessica Ng, William Schneider, and a third person whose name has not been disclosed, were arrested about a month after the discovery of what UC San Diego police has described as vandalism “that caused permanent damage, necessitating replacement of building materials in excess of $12,000” at the Marine Conservation and Technology Facility at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
The workers are members of the unions representing postdoctoral scholars, academic researchers, graduate student researchers, and academic student employees in the UC system.
The arrests of three University of California–San Diego student workers accused of vandalizing campus property drew a crowd to the San Diego Central Courthouse in protest of potential criminal charges in San Diego on July 10, 2023. (Courtesy of Philip Zhu)

The arrests of three University of California–San Diego student workers accused of vandalizing campus property drew a crowd to the San Diego Central Courthouse in protest of potential criminal charges in San Diego on July 10, 2023. (Courtesy of Philip Zhu)

Union members allege that following a contract reached last year, the university has failed to implement its terms, leaving workers underpaid.
While the three people arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism and conspiracy were slated for an arraignment at the downtown courthouse Monday, the hearings did not go forward.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement that the case has not been submitted to its office for review of potential criminal charges. UC San Diego police said Monday that their investigation remains ongoing.
Ng was among a group of speakers who addressed supporters on the steps of the courthouse and said, “These charges are meant to intimidate and isolate every person who dares to stand up for themselves and their fellow workers.”
Jessica Ng, one of the three University of California–San Diego student workers accused of vandalizing campus property, speaks during a protest against the potential criminal charges in front of the San Diego Central Courthouse in San Diego on July 10, 2023. (Courtesy of Philip Zhu)

Jessica Ng, one of the three University of California–San Diego student workers accused of vandalizing campus property, speaks during a protest against the potential criminal charges in front of the San Diego Central Courthouse in San Diego on July 10, 2023. (Courtesy of Philip Zhu)

UCSD police announced the arrests last week and in its statement said “The vandals used materials other than chalk to deface the walls of the new facility, and those materials seeped into the concrete. The concrete had been specially treated to withstand the marine environment and had to be professionally repaired.”
The statement continued, “UC San Diego supports its community members rights to voice their concerns lawfully. UC San Diego does not tolerate vandalism or other damage to university property.”
Tensions between the union and university were made public in early May during a protest union members held at an alumni awards celebration attended by UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla. The union said dozens of members later received letters indicating they may have violated student conduct procedures in connection with the protest and potentially faced disciplinary actions.
Chalk writings left by demonstrators are seen on the exterior of San Diego Central Courthouse during a protest against the arrests of three University of California–San Diego student workers who allegedly vandalized campus facility with non-chalk markers, in San Diego on July 10, 2023. (Courtesy of Philip Zhu)

Chalk writings left by demonstrators are seen on the exterior of San Diego Central Courthouse during a protest against the arrests of three University of California–San Diego student workers who allegedly vandalized campus facility with non-chalk markers, in San Diego on July 10, 2023. (Courtesy of Philip Zhu)

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