I work in the system, in the institution, because firstly that’s the only style of organizing I know. But beyond that, even though the work I do is only a futile attempt to stop the bleeding, to let everything go to hell to actually wake people up is a sacrifice I’m not willing to make. People shouldn’t be harmed in order to motivate them to be engaged and take control of their society.
Everything is just fucked up. If Prop 30 passes, the politicians win and know they can keep holding students hostage, while students themselves will breathe a sigh of relief and become further disengaged from the political process, believing that they’ve won (again) and that they don’t need to pay attention anymore. If Prop 30 fails, public higher education is going to go off a cliff that we will not be able to recover from, and we run the very possible risk that students become even more disillusioned with the process and become further disengaged from the political process out of sheer disgust and hopelessness and perceived powerlessness.
And even if we keep public higher education accessible and affordable, it is headed in such a horrible direction on its own. Politicians and administrators only talk about the math and sciences, never about the humanities and ethnic studies that are crucial to educating and developing critical thinkers who will challenge the neoliberal bullshit of this era. We’re fighting for communities of color to have more access to an institution that is now designed to create profit-focused robots who won’t give back to their communities, an absurd reality that grows worse by each year and another ethnic studies program is cut in funding.
1) DON’T VOTE THIS ELECTION
2) VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 30
3) DON’T REBLOG THIS INFORMATION
STU SVCS FEE U -UGra $324.00
TUITION-UG RES -U &R $3,740.00
ASUCI FEE -UGRA $18.00
MEASURE S -UGra $8.00
STU CEN FEE $136.50
BREN FEE $23.00
REC CENTER FEE $70.00
ATHLETICS FACIL $18.00
At the top of the hierarchy, the Feudal Lord, the Chancellor. Up in clouds of authority, unaware, or purposefully unaware, of the suffering below.
Serving the Lord are Treasurers, Vice Chancellors, counting and distributing the fiefdom’s money.
They sit and watch with amusement as the Nobility, the Deans, squabble over who should get the most money, who should have the most prestigious and well funded school.
All the while, the Clergy, the Faculty members, sit in their untouchable safe haven of academia, with the sole purpose of getting the Peasants and Craftsmen in and out of their convert system as fast as possible. Of course, you have to pay a fee to be converted and have your soul saved though, through a piece of paper acknowledging your payment.
The Craftsmen, the Graduate Students. On the lower rungs of the ladder, but offered marginal benefits for their skilled labor.
The chosen representatives of the Peasants, the Student Governments, given little to no actual power, are tasked with keeping the Peasants happy by throwing festivals. The authorities will never remind the representatives that their actual duty is to protect the Peasants and advocate on their behalf.
And ah, the Peasants. Working every day, doing what they can to get by. Paying their tithes to the Feudal Lord. Milked dry of their money and time, to fill the coffers of the fiefdom.
They are the people who make the fiefdom possible. Yet they are treated the worst, and receive the least for what they give. The upper authorities don’t care about the Peasants, we are just each another $50,000 number to them. The faster they can get our money, the better. The more then can get us to overpay for Summer Session, the better. But of course, we don’t have much of a choice. We work and pay our tithes because we need to survive, and because we believe that the system works for us. But we also think that we don’t have power over those above us. We think that it’s easier to just pay the fees and get our salvation through a piece of paper. We don’t imagine, we don’t envision, a better world, a world where we might actually be respected as human beings seeking a future. We don’t realize the power we have. We don’t realize that if the Peasants stopped paying their tithes, the Feudal Lord will have no money and no power. But we’ll likely never do that, because we are trained to be docile and passive.
It is very unfortunate.
TODAY, the California State Senate is voting on the Middle Class Scholarship Act, a two part bill that would close an out-of-state corporate tax loophole in order to fund scholarships accessible to UC or CSU student whose family ma
Yesterday I attended an AFSCME meeting. For those of you who don’t know, AFSCME is one of the nation’s largest labor unions. They focus on workers on the low to middle range of the pay scale. The group I visited is part of a wider network of California chapters whose membership are all employees of the University of California. The primary groups are medical center workers and service workers on both the medical centers and the student campuses.
As I learn about student advocacy and fighting tuition increases, I’ve learned about the parallel fight for labor justice, living wages and benefits for the thousands of workers that quite literally keep our Universities running every day and night. I’ve learned about the relationship between student advocacy and labor justice too. I’ve learned how it’s in the administration’s interest to keep us from building coalitions with the labor unions. I’ve learned about the downright abhorrent tactics of offering students tuition freezes at the cost of workers’ benefits, or offering workers’ benefits at the cost of increased tuition.
So I’ve learned that it is so absolutely important that we students understand that the workers are our allies in this fight against the corporatization and privatization of OUR University. They want us to be able to have an amazing education just as much as we do. They want to be able to send their kids to these great universities. They are just as invested in this project of public higher education as many of us we privileged students have forgotten we should be.
They don’t want to go on strike. They don’t want to harm the operation of the University. But they will take whatever action is necessary if the administrators keep denying them basic living wages and benefits. And as a student, I think I need to commit to being their ally in their struggle. This isn’t some “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” bullshit politics. This is a real tangible shared vision and mutual relationship we might not always see but binds our fate together. Administration is screwing all of us over, so we have to stand together against that.
Being in that room with a few fellow students, but mostly service workers, was a moment of reality check. The meeting took place around 5pm. Why? Because most of the workers don’t get off work until that time. I get to enjoy my summer and organize at my leisure, but these people do their daily work for the University, for me, for my fellow students, then take the time, some even bringing their young children, to come to these meetings to dialogue about what’s at stake and what kind of organizing needs to be done moving forward. I couldn’t understand half of what people were saying because it was in Spanish, but that was just another reminder of the realness and the diversity of people who work to keep the University running, and why we students have to fight for them.
These are talking points/notes I prepared for myself going into the Lobby Visit yesterday!
>Same Day Voter Registration and then Same Day Voting
>Previously, must Register 15 Days prior to Election Day
>Fraud Penalty raised from $10,000 to $25,000
>Other States: 10%-12% Higher Voter Turnout, No Significant Increase in Fraud
>Other States: Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Wyoming
>Procedural Canvass Period after every election anyways, provides time to check for double-voting/fraud
>Great benefits for College Students, because College Students change addresses essentially every year, may not remember to re-register
Middle Class Scholarship AB 1500 and AB 1501
>Family Income under $80,000 already get Blue and Gold
>Many who don’t meet that strict threshold, but don’t make quite enough to properly cover the ridiculous cost of higher education
>So, Under $150,000-160,000, Above $80,000, would get Middle Class Scholarship
>Projected: UC’S 42,000 Students Affected, save $8,000 each
>Projected: CSU’S 150,000 Students Affected, save $4,000 each
>Projected: Community Colleges get $150 million for Affordability Programs
>Closes Tax Loophole for Out of State Businesses
>Brings Out of State Businesses to level playing field with Local Businesses
>Every $1 invested in Higher Education is $3 back to California
An existing issue with our current financial aid system is that middle class students don’t qualify for low income scholarships such as the Blue & Gold Plan AND don’t make enough to afford higher education. So then how do they pay for their degree? By taking out loans, and LOTS of them. The average college graduate graduates with not only a degree, but also an average of $25,250 in loans. Right now in our nation, the total student loan debt is MORE than the credit card debt. Furthermore, with our economy the way it is, the employment rate for young college graduates is only a small 9.1% Obviously, there is something wrong with this picture.
California Assemblyman John A. Perez is proposing a plan that will close a loophole that will channel a tax from out of state corporations into higher education that totals to about ONE BILLION DOLLARS. $150 million will go to California Community Colleges to fund scholarships and the rest will go to the UC and CSU system. If his plan passes, tuition for CSU and UC students who meet the requirements will be CUT BY TWO THIRDS! The plan defines middle class as students whose family income is less than $150,000 annually and the student must apply for financial aid and submit his or her FAFSA on time.
For more information and to get involved check out http://asmdc.org/issues/middleclassscholarship/
SIGN THE PETITION! SHARE YOUR STORY!