The Davis Apartheid is a phrase used by a few to denote what they feel is: "the fact that this town is half college students and yet college students do not get any representation on the City Council and the police specifically try to infringe on the social lives of college students." The movement encourages people to "Boycott Davis due to the town's intolerance of University students. The intolerance is portrayed in the city's attitude toward expanding housing for students and its no-party policy while not providing an outlet for students to do anything on the weekend." One theory is that if students do not spend money in Davis, and maybe even go as far as to tell friends that still attend high school in their home town to not apply to UC Davis because of the town's attitude toward students, then the city would inevitably feel an economic burden and realize its dependency on the student population and therefore begin to respect them as citizens of the community.

  • If you feel that Davis city government is not representing your interests (and you live in Davis proper), one of the most important things you can do about it is register to vote (and actually vote) in Davis. City government officials have no reason to give substantial consideration to the interests of students as a class unless students comprise a substantial portion of their voting consituency. Even if you don't think increased civic participation on the part of students will have immediate effects, do your part for future generations of students. That cop who addressed you with such unprovoked contempt may consider behaving differently to students in the future if students as a class begin to hold some influence with the city's political leadership, and the only way that will happen is if large numbers of students start voting in Davis elections.
  • For one possible solution see Stay In Davis.
  • Bring up the idea of the Davis Apartheid at these meetings
  • Imbalances in representation can be solved by proportional representation. For nonpartisan elections, choice voting is ideal. See the Aggie letter to the editor on this subject. (Look at the letter towards the bottom.)


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2004-12-20 12:20:28   And just how much attempt have students made to become involved with town politics, committees, activities, etc? Is it the community's responsibility to represent the students' interests, or is it the students' responsibility? - BevSykes

2004-12-20 13:15:02   Aggie editorial. Summary: Ex officio student council member is unnecessary. If students really wanted to be represented, they'd register to vote and run for office. Students could consistantly dominate the city government if they were so inclined. - ArlenAbraham

2004-12-20 14:08:17   Overall, I think Davis is a well run city. However, I feel the residents have a certain grudge against the university and its students (while loving it at the same time). Many permanent residents are unsensitive to the needs of additional student housing, university growth, and more student nightime activities downtown. - JamesDawe

2004-12-20 14:32:42   How about organized efforts to get students informed about city issues and likewise get residents informed of student issues? Also, I think there needs to be clairity as to what exactly the issues are. Is a major issue the lack of a accessible, cheap venue — along with noise violations? What is a possible solution to this? I know that many on the ASUCD Senate (especially those in the Student Focus slate) promised to help establish such a venue — but it fell through. Also, I see from Arlen's article that there were "proposed meetings between two executive ASUCD officials and two councilmembers," but what ever happened with these? - PhilipNeustrom

2004-12-21 14:07:07   distributes grains of salt - DanMasiel

2004-12-21 20:53:14   Bev, one example is the Davis Governance Task Force, which the council created to study the issue of representation in Davis government. 3 students applied for the 9 spots (plus one alternate). There were 20 applicants. There was a "student" check mark on the application. No students were picked. In fact, out of the 49 votes cast by the 5 councilmembers, only 2 were cast for students. Moreover, applications were solicited over the summer. - ChrisJerdonek

2004-12-21 20:59:36   Rob, the election date is only going to get worse. The California legislature moved the spring primaries to early June, and council elections are held during the primary election. - ChrisJerdonek

2004-12-21 21:25:35   Apartheid seems like such a poor choice to words to describe the lack of student representation here in Davis. For the most part, as has already been pointed out, if the students cared enough, they could fix things, unlike in the South Africa of the past. It doesn't help anything to call it Apartheid, it only turns possible alies and friends into adversaries. - EricKlein

2004-12-22 10:21:15   ChrisJerdonek: is there perhaps a way to make the city move their council elections to general elections? (better yet even-year general elections - KenBloom

2004-12-22 12:55:23   Ken, yes, the CA Elections Codes say here that a city council may pass an ordinance to move the date of city council elections to, for example, the statewide general election. This would be a good suggestion to bring up to the Davis Governance Task Force. This is exactly the sort of thing they're looking at. Their next meeting is tonight at 7PM at the city chambers. - ChrisJerdonek

2004-12-22 20:46:24   ChrisJerdonek: I'm in sunnyvale, home for break. You didn't happen to go and mention the idea? (Otherwise it will need to wait until after the break) - KenBloom

2004-12-24 17:45:55   Consider this: In Eugene, OR — a college town with a liberal atmosphere — police travel around on weekends, stop at houses with parties, and as soon as there is mild evidence of anyone drinking they enter the place. They immediately tell everyone to freeze and not leave, and give breath tests/ID everyone there, handing out tons of Minor In Possession tickets ($250 a pop). Furthermore, when you purchase a keg the address that you put down is given to the police department and used for policing parties. —PhilipNeustrom

2005-01-13 08:50:40   Aggie article. We need to do something about elections. Has anybody brought up elections to the Davis Governance Task Force? —KenBloom

2005-01-31 20:49:24   For reference, I brought up the idea of moving city council elections to November at tonight's Governance Task Force meeting, and they are going to consider this suggestion. —KenBloom

  • Interestingly enough, I attended the Task Force meeting last night and they mentioned this fact! Ken, you should come to the final three meetings to show your support of Choice Voting in City Council elections (Assuming you support it). —PhilipNeustrom

2005-02-23 15:30:13   It really isn't difficult to make your voice heard in this town where everybody has an opinion. All you have to do is show up at the Davis City Council meetings, held regularly beginning at 6:30pm on Tuesdays, except on the fifth Tuesday of any month and Tuesdays prior to a holiday. Even crazies get to speak at council meetings, so those who complain about lack of a voice really have nobody to blame but themselves. —AlphaDog

2005-02-24 15:55:12   Please Please PLEASE incorporate the students living on campus and west of campus into the city! I'm sick of being a citizen of Davis and not being able to even vote for dogcatcher. —ScottRitchie

2005-04-05 11:44   This is something that has been discussed since the University opened. This will never happen, due to the University's reluctance to start paying taxes to the city. The University does not pay the addition sales tax voted for by Davis city residents, or any property taxes to the city. If the student dorms were included, then all the obligations would have to be included along with the privileges. Also, the University would have to reliquish the power to plan and develop at will. You are not, in reality a citizen of Davis, rather a citizen of Yolo County, and only that if you've changed your registration to reflect your present living location. I find that most undergraduate students remain citizens of the city where their parents live. —Sharla Daly

2005-10-30 20:47   Does that include those living in Cuarto? —JosephBleckman

2005-10-30 22:09:28   Davis "apartheid"? Why don't we just call it the Davis Holocaust to get more sympathy for the students? —ApolloStumpy

2005-10-30 22:25:05   I agree that the name is pretty hyperbolic, but the issue is real. —KenjiYamada

2006-07-21 03:08:03   Am I missing the joke here? Students who have chosen to attend a university in a small, Central Valley town feel its long-term residents are "intolerant" of them because they discourage loud, drunken gatherings of young people throughout that town. Gee, where's Nelson Mandela when you need him? Haha! —DukeMcAdow

Was Jim Hyde trying to make a funny joke in that long pdf about parties? On the first page it mentions noteworthy parties at 625 Cantrill Drive as well as 2121 Cowell Blvd. According to the google local, that's the south davis safeway. —TravisGrathwell

- You'll also notice that on page 14 that it states, "you’ve earned the right to bust loose for an end-of-semester bash." So this means that only people in professional schools at UCD have earned the right to bust loose because the rest of us are on the quarter system.

2006-07-21 10:05:11   Didn't look like a joke to me, but it didn't look like "apartheid." (Maybe the party at 2121 Cowell was not confined to a single address, but was in the vicinity of 2121 Cowell.) —DukeMcAdow

2006-07-21 10:10:20   Hahahaha!!!! You people actually think that living in Davis is comparable to apartheid?? hahahaha!! Oh my God, I'm actually laughing over here. —CameronMenezes

2006-07-21 10:59:11   Cameron, admittedly I made this page, way back in 2004, out of some sort of jest. But with the town being 33% college student - not including those living on campus, who cannot vote in Davis because they technically do not live in Davis although if you ask them where they live they say Davis so that kind of is a mild form of apartheid - there is disproportionate student representation on the council. Now with Lamar on the council (and Sue, who, believe it or not, is actually the second most pro-student council member after Lamar), things will hopefully change. But in plurality elections, the majority is allowed to be ignored because the minority (in this case developer friendly council people that take make from property companies and then tell the students they are on their side, and ask for ASUCD's illegal endorsement, but you cannot be pro-tenant while you are in the landlord's pocket) has a majority on the council. But here I go hinting at how Davis should have choice voting - even though some people consider that a disease. I'm sure the National Party of South Africa would have also agreed that choice voting is a disease. —RobRoy

Rob, Davis may fulfill some of the same criterion for apartheid as South Africa did, but to me the word "apartheid" evokes a very horrible image, one not at all comparable to the City of Davis. ps- thanks for the link.—CameronMenezes

2006-07-22 02:43:51   I'm actually pretty curious about the status of students that live at Cuarto, do they get to vote? —KarlMogel

2006-07-22 08:00:09   They do get to vote in city elections. —WilliamLewis

2006-07-31 10:32:50   While I agree that the rental climate in Davis is certainly not student-friendly (though the same might be argued for the rental climate in all of California), I have a number of problems with the equation of "student rights" and partying. First, it assumes that partying is so central to students' nature, so integral to their very being, that it achieves the status of a political right. While this notion did help to launch the Beastie Boys' career, in the realm of serious civic discourse, it trivializes student voices, and may ultimately undermine the credibility of those who do advocate for more legitimate student political aims—you know, like affordable housing, affordable tuition, etc. Second, it also ignores the fact that most students aren't habitually involved in the kinds of parties that get busted by the cops. Plenty of student-type-people have parties that don't wake their neighbors; plenty apply for noise permits when they plan to have a band; plenty police their own parties to make sure that attendees don't get out of hand. Second, it fails to recognize that police respond to parties only when they've been called by a resident—i.e. when the effects of the party (noise, property damage, etc.) infringe on the rights of others. While I'm sure that there may be one or two cranks in Davis who call the police out of spite, if you bothered to ask residents why they call the police, they'll most often tell you that they've been woken up by noise. Finally—and this is what rankles many Davis residents—the logic of the party manifesto seems to hinge on a sense of near-absolute narcissism. Advocates of this partying-as-politics position seem to be saying (though they would never explicitly claim) "because we (or, more accurately in many cases, our parents) put some money into the community, and because some of that money may trickle down to you in the form of benefits from sales taxes, etc., we should be free from the restrictions of normal civil behavior. We should be allowed to wake you up in the middle of the night, verbally abuse you, damage your property, vomit on your sidewalks, and piss on your lawns. And if you take steps to preserve your own rights, we'll accuse you of an act equivalent to one of the most egregious human rights abuses the modern world has witnessed." As the old folks say, grow up.—DavisExile