Over spring break, a group of militant ravers stormed the senate chamber and overtook the ASUCR offices. Electronic dance music could be heard emanating from the room and flashing lights could be seen from the windows during the first few days of spring break. The group reportedly staged the coup due to the cancellation of the Heat Music Festival during fall quarter.
Dave Waldo, leader of the occupation, told campus security that the ravers refused to surrender until ASUCR promised to host Heat as the HUB had done in prior years. Despite being informed that the HUB schedules Heat and not ASUCR, the protesters continued their occupation.
On Saturday evening, a group began to gather in front of the HUB before marching to the horseshoe and the ASUCR offices. The only warning of their arrival was the loud bass that shook the walls, followed by the shouts of excited individuals. Colorful lasers could be seen through the windows of the HUB all through the night as loud music played, which caused many noise complaints.
One student in a morphsuit said in a passionate speech that students need to, “fight for our right to party.” The rest of the speech was drowned out by the cheers of other students and ended when the speaker began crowd surfing.
Around 500 ravers came out to support the cause, all dressed in festival attire. Members were clad in matching flower headbands, jeweled bras and shorts. Many of the men could be seen covered in body paint with sayings such as “free kisses” and “hug me” painted on their chests. The group slowly forced out any members left in the ASUCR offices with their loud music, dancing and shouting.
Tensions ran high on the second day of the occupation as protesters began to become annoyed with some of the “kandi” ravers that were overly friendly to the opposition. Some ravers said the anger was not due to a lack of solidarity amongst the group, but rather hunger and the lack of water present. After 20 hours of dancing and protesting, students began to wander off in search of food and water. The group later surrendered after Waldo passed out from dehydration and was carried out on a stretcher.
ASUCR offices were left in disarray following the surrender of the ravers. Glow sticks, beaded bracelets and random articles of clothing were strewn throughout the ASUCR offices. Some students could even be found asleep on the floor and on the couches in the HUB.
Heat remains cancelled but the occupation displayed the sense of disappointment felt by many students at UCR. “I literally only came to UCR because of the concerts and now I have nothing,” said fourth-year Rachel Stein while holding back tears.