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Tent University -- Toward A Common Platform

Hi Folks,

Below are the notes from a discussion 50 of us or so had this afternoon. The purpose of the discussion was to initiate a conversation about the forging of a common political platform -- a list of demands different constituencies on campus can unite around and win. The last two days of Tent University are focused on platform building. Our discussion, and these notes, are meant as a resource for those who participate in these vital discussions on Thursday and Friday.

I’ve organized our discussion into three categories:

1) Our Targets
2) Our external demands
3) Our internal resources, and work we need to do


*UCSC administration
*UC Regents + UCOP (office of the President)

Below, I’ve organized the suggested external demands according to their appropriate targets. In other words, who do we need to agitate to win these demands? Obviously, winning these demands will require hitting multiple targets, but this break-down is a decent starting point.



*A more diverse student body at UCSC

*American Studies currently substitutes for the kind of Ethnic Studies programs there are at other UCs. This is problematic. Though ghettoizing discussions of racism and racial injustice in ethnic studies programs is problematic aswell…How to make the general curriculum anti-racist?

*End of Grading System – Return to Narrative Evals

*Fully fund language programming at UCSC – perhaps create a language department

*Re-open the Long Range Development plan for serious debate

*Military Recruiters off the UCSC campus

*Free speech should not stop at 8pm


*Living Wages for all of UC’s workers

*Restore funding to outreach programs

*Stop UC’s bid on the Nuclear Weapons Research Lab.

*Moratorium on all student fee increases.

*Better student representation on the Board of Regents


*Military Recruiters in high schools replaced by UC recruiters

*Tax the richest 1% of California in order to raise funds for public education

*Fully fund Proposition 98; it guarantees a minimum level of funding for public schools.


Student Union Assembly (SUA)
University of California Student’s Association (UCSA)
Graduate Students Assocation (GSA)

*Inter-organization meetings are held every Friday at 2pm in the Bay Tree Conference Center

*Indy Media type site for UC Santa Cruz where organizers and students can communicate and post etc…. could possibly serve this purpose.

*Learn from history of past successes at UCSC. Like the successful campaign to boot sodexho off campus

*UCSC was conceived as the premiere UC for undergraduate education. Our liberal arts tradition stands in contrast to the corporate vision of the ‘Research University.’ There are many faculty and alumni disgusted with the turn UCSC has taken. We can really tap into that.

*Build relationships. Launch a coordinated and concentrated effort.

*Build a more effective state-wide student organization.

*Regents are meeting on May 25 and 26th at UCSF

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Re: Tent University -- Toward A Common Platform

James...thank you for doing this...this movement desperately needed a set of cohesive ideas and concepts around which to take action. The list you've taken down should be read by all and used to gather the growing strength of the movement.

PIX: Tent Democracy In Action

A couple pix from the meeting. An assurance for the sceptics that the above platform was not merely the made up by a couple "leaders" ;-P in a back room somewhere.
Click on image for a larger version

Radical Tent Democracy in action at the base of UC Santa Cruz, April 19, 2005.
Click on image for a larger version

Radical Tent Democracy in action at the base of UC Santa Cruz, April 19, 2005.

UC Support Corporations

These are great! One thing I'd add is an examination/investigation into the extent that UC is simply a partnership to corporate interests. Forget the fact that one half of one percent of UC grads will major in something ethnic, the increasing levels of students are going into the sciencies and applied sciences. No problem their except how much corporate money funds these programs and how much UC partnership is really about research that brings about $$ for these corporations and the regents. What would be imporant would be demands that a certain percentage of "science" or applied science research goes into "alternative" systems or applications, ie solar, organic, and the like.

For worldwide revolution with unlicensed pleasure as its only goal

As someone from the other side of the world (the UK) who finds this protest extremely inspiring, I'd be wary of hitching your colours too quickly to a common platform. It's interesting to think about 'cohesive ideas and concepts', sure, but preparing a specific list of demands seems like a preparation for the end of the protest - either you don't get what you demand, leading to demoralisation, or you _do_ get what you demand and discover that it wasn't really what you wanted after all.

The fundamental statement of a protest movement is, "Things can't go on this way." The incohateness of the post-Seattle movements is a strength, not a weakness.

Thursday and Friday at Tent U: Creating a Platform to Unite UCSC Orgs

Hey, everyone.

Tent U is going strong at the base of campus. We slept at the Quarry last night, and the day-time activities have really picked up.

I'd like to invite you to take part in the process of forging a common political platform to unite all campus orgs.

Above is James Rowe's description and notes regarding that list of demands. On Thursday, we will began the actual process of creating the platform at 10 a.m. I think there has been a very conscious shift on this campus lately toward trying to unite our different movements toward common goals. This platform process represents a very promising opportunity to actualize the kind of unity we've been striving for.

Hope to see you all soon at the base of campus!

Re: Tent University -- Toward A Common Platform

"*Tax the richest 1% of California in order to raise funds for public education"

What happens when they move out of state? This doesn't seem to be a very pragmatic approach?

"*UCSC was conceived as the premiere UC for undergraduate education. Our liberal arts tradition stands in contrast to the corporate vision of the ‘Research University.’ There are many faculty and alumni disgusted with the turn UCSC has taken. We can really tap into that."

Corporate version? What does that mean? many important breakthroughs are discovered and carried out by corporations...

Do you like the internet? Boy howdy, that was a joint undertaking by the Universities, corporations, and *gasp!* the military! ahhhhhhh!

These demands don't seem very fleshed out... Don't suppose there's a more in depth explanation of them, otherwise they seem rather shallow...

Re: Tent University -- Toward A Common Platform

Who needs the police and corporate media to mess up the left and its struggles? Just look at how this thing was organized. They came across as know-it-alls who knew very little.

Re: Tent University -- Toward A Common Platform

These are the reformist demands of people who have chosen to attach themselves to UCSC. Not to sound like a UC apologist, but these people have chosen to attend, and most are paying tuitions. And UCSC is actually behaving as universities are meant to behave in this society.

Idealistic demands for equal opportunity, democracy, justice, and peace are utterly impossible in this society. Equal opportunity? The economy may admit a few thousand more university-conditioned people into their upper or middle classes, but the only equality this will offer is equality of possession and attachment. The regents would never allow democracy, but even if this were achieved, what would it look like? A bureaucratic republic of students? Majorities of several thousands dictating terms to minorities of several less thousands? The same goes for justice. Who will determine justice in a university? Hopefully not the campus police, or the activist police. And peace? In a society that wages perpetual war? (Terrorism, communism, drugs, poverty, anarchists, foreigners, emancipated blacks, etc.) Every part of the establisment, even the ivory tower of higher education, is bound to support these wars, in one way or another.

But ye probably aren't going to be convinced, because ye have pre-set minds and ideologies. The biggest problem though, is that THE REGENTS AREN'T GOING TO FUCKING LISTEN!


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