OGDEN -- As controversy builds over the actions of Occupy protesters and police working to control them throughout the country, some have voiced doubt about whether protesters' actions will create social change.
"This message is not bad, it's just not how to change society," said Huiying Wei-Arthus, Weber State University professor of sociology, who is teaching a course this semester on social movement and social change.
"This issue is very emotional," she said. "Their intent is very well-stated."
Wei-Arthus is one of two Weber State University professors in different fields of study who both said more groundwork will be necessary on the parts of those behind the protests before their goals can be met.
Wei-arthus said she is hesitant to call the Occupy effort a movement, as many have, because it does not yet meet the qualifications of a movement.
"It's really just collective behavior," she said. "I would say it's preliminary. I think they have a good message. ... Whether what they are doing right now will make a difference remains to be seen."
Wei-Arthus said she believes that in order to be effective, those behind Occupy need to have clear goals, efficient methods, established organization and resources.
The effort falls short of being an actual movement, she said, because it doesn't meet those requirements.
"In order to make this a long-term movement, they will need more organization, more strategy and to talk about what they really want to accomplish."
And it's their talk that political science professor Leah Murray believes protest organizers will have to work on to be successful.
"For them to be successful, their issue has to be a very morally compelling issue," Murray said. "I don't think their issue is as moral."
She said movements that have been successful create a visceral response from people because their messages tug at the heartstrings.
"You listen to Martin Luther King speak and you want to march off a cliff with him," Murray said. "I don't see that happening (with Occupy)."
Both professors chose to compare the effort to the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.
Each said in different ways that in order for Occupy to be successful, it will have to follow a model set up by the civil rights movement.
Wei-Arthus said the civil rights movement was very systematic in its goals and its strategies, including its delivery through nonviolence.
"They need to do a lot more work," she said. "Venting of frustration for a temporary time frame is OK, but if they really want to do something ... they need a little more strategy to achieve that goal."
And that strategy will include the use of technology, Murray said.
Much of the success of the civil rights effort was in its use of television, she said.
"But today's advancements have made technology even more of a player ... more feasible," Murray said, pointing to Facebook alliances and communications as one way to garner mass support.
Both professors also said Occupy will have to emulate the civil rights movement in its ability to gain resources to serve the effort.
Murray said the civil rights movement was sustained through meetings each night in a church.
"Occupy is tenting out in parks," she said. "People can't live like that forever."
Murray cited more than a decade of continued efforts by those who sought civil rights before the country passed a voting rights act.
"That's a long time to tent out in the park," she said. "Trying to do this for a long time is going to get hard."
Wei-Arthus echoed the importance of resources, noting a need for a formal organization to develop.
Other problems the professors said they saw with the effort are attitudes Americans have in general about protest, the treatment protesters have received in the media and a need for further development of the message.
Murray said she believes the success or failure of Occupy will rest on attitudes.
"It really depends on the mood of the country at the time of the protest," she said.
And she doesn't believe Americans have much tolerance for protesters in general.
"While the U.S. believes itself to be steeped in political protest, we're not very forgiving of protesters," she said, pointing to other countries, such as France, where protests occur on a much more regular basis.
Wei-Arthus said she believes the media has demonized participants in the effort, making it appear that participants are mostly homeless and drug users.
But she believes there is much more to the participants than that.
"Their message is very clear," she said. "The economic gap has widened in the last 30 years."
But Murray said the message has to expand in a way that might not be possible in order to get the attention of the entire nation.
Murray said the more you can generalize your issue, the better, and noted that the civil rights movement achieved generalization in its message of social justice. She said:
"Justice applies to everybody."