Local Student Avoids Rent by Barricading Himself in North America Hall

Written by: Stephen Lightfoot

“This may look clever, but I actually just lost my wallet. If I leave, I’ll never be able to get back in,” said Jackson.
Photo by: Jessica 

In a last-ditch effort to save money, ERC student Arin Jackson barricaded himself in North America Hall late last night. Though initially dismissed as a practical joke by his roommates, they were shocked to find their belongings out in the common room after coming home from a suite dinner. “It’s like he completely moved us out,” one roommate said. “I mean, it’s gonna suck to have to live in the common room for finals week, but he was nice enough to put all of our stuff in boxes. So, you know, small victories.”

In an email manifesto directed to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Jackson explained his logic as campus police attempted to coax him out of his room. “I am fully aware that locking myself in the same room may lead to cabin fever and potential health problems,” Jackson wrote, “but at the same time, have you seen the cost of storage spaces? Of plane tickets? Of APARTMENTS? I just decided that it would be better for everyone, the school included, if I permanently moved in. Besides, it’s not really like I leave my room anyways. It’ll be like it always is.”

Unfortunately for Jackson’s roommates, campus police have been unable to voluntarily remove him. CSOs don’t seem too preoccupied, however. “He’ll have to come out eventually,” commented Sara Horn, a third-year CSO on the scene. “I mean, obviously it’ll take some coaxing, but he’s only a first-year. He’s enrolled for classes next fall. I’m not exactly sure if he thought this through.” Though some students have called for San Diego police to move in so they can “see an arrest first-hand,” police are at a standstill. “Technically, Mr. Jackson hasn’t broken any laws yet,” said Sergeant Marvin. “His rent is paid for the rest of May, and unless the school decides to revoke his contract, we can’t move in. We plan to use a full S.W.A.T. team and biohazard unit when the time comes.”

Though he may seem like an outsider to some, Jackson’s struggle has inspired others to copy his idea with varying degrees of success. Either due to inadequate barricades or lack of provisions, many have given up their copycat attempt at squatting. Additionally, others have shown their solidarity by picketing around HDH’s administrative office, demanding action be taken against rising housing costs with no direct evidence of improvements. “You’d think for a multi-million dollar institution they’d be able to have, I don’t know, decent plumbing?” one protester remarked. “Someone flushed the toilet while one of my suite-mates was showering, the water temperature suddenly shot up, and she essentially melted. I guess I understand that Sixth College needs new tables, but that doesn’t quite seem like the priority we should be focusing on.”

In a second email manifesto, Jackson praised his fellow students for fighting against what he called “The tyranny of HDH,” but he warned that much work would need to be done. “I’m just one person, and eventually they’ll kick me out, but they can’t evict us all. It may seem ridiculous at times, but we must unite! Only together can change occur! Only together can we avoid paying rent like we all should!” Currently, Jackson’s only other plan for protest reportedly includes hundreds of people eating live chickens to protest UC San Diego’s inhumane working conditions for the student employees doing food preparation.

Editor in Chief Emeritus at The MQ

Stephen Lightfoot is Editor in Chief of The MQ.

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