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TUSC Rally on 5/13: Taking Back Democracy!

On Friday May 13, Tent University Santa Cruz held a rally in the Baytree Plaza at UCSC. Pat True of CUE, Paul Ortiz of the Community Studies department, community member Robert Norse, TUSC organizers and other student activists at UCSC used a megaphone to share their thoughts.
pattrue_5-13-05.mp3
pattrue_5-13-05.mp3 (2723 k)
Pat True
eric_5-13-05.mp3
eric_5-13-05.mp3 (1014 k)
Eric
chris-laurel_5-13-05.mp3
chris-laurel_5-13-05.mp3 (984 k)
Chris and Laurel
david_5-13-05.mp3
david_5-13-05.mp3 (2404 k)
David
stephanie_5-13-05.mp3
stephanie_5-13-05.mp3 (1254 k)
Stephanie
colin_5-13-05.mp3
colin_5-13-05.mp3 (1263 k)
Colin
paulortiz_5-13-05.mp3
paulortiz_5-13-05.mp3 (2158 k)
Paul Ortiz
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platform_5-13-05.mp3 (1899 k)
Platform of Demands
response_5-13-05.mp3
response_5-13-05.mp3 (2440 k)
Denton's Response
Pat True (7:44) -- I missed the first part. Read the full transcript here:
santacruz.indymedia.org/mod/comments/display/18566/index.php

Eric (2:53) -- Eric talks about TUSC.

Chris and Laurel (2:47) -- Chris talks about April 18th and Laurel gives another invitation to beurocrats and asks them to come down from their perch and join the circle.

David (6:50) -- David explains how we are shaking the foundations of the University. David does an excellent job of making connections between movements at UCSC. (*LISTEN TO THIS!*)

Stephanie (3:33) -- Stephanie gives a historical account of Tent State University which began in 2003 at Rutgers College in New Jersey. For more information on Tent State University, see:
www.tentstate.com/

Colin (3:35) -- Colin helps clear up confusion about TUSC. What was it all about? It is a vision to change the whole system. Our educational system is failing us.

Paul Ortiz (6:08) -- Paul Ortiz discusses the importance of TUSC and the impact it has had upon UCSC faculty members. Paul also talks about his own background and how the military was the only option he was presented during high school.

Platform (5:24) -- Going over the platform. Colin and Analiza take turns reading the TUSC demands off a huge sheet being held from the big rock in the plaza.

Response (6:56) -- "United as One, Free Speech Doesn't Set with the Sun." Then we hear a student read Chancellor Denton's written response to the TUSC demands.

***************************

SEE THE COMMENTS BELOW FOR THE THE FOLLOWING AUDIO!

Jackie (0:50) -- Jackie invites us to get involved with Take Back The Night. For more about Take Back The Night, see:
santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/17688/index.php

Robert Norse (2:05) -- Robert Norse suggests a student hosted show on Free Radio Santa Cruz, encourages people to publish on Indymedia and provides information about Medical Marijuana organizing in Santa Cruz.

Petitions by Pat True (1:08) -- Pat talks about the two petitions that he has created. The first is a request for an appology from the Chancellor. The second petition is calling for Denice Denton to resign. Pat also encourages people to continue calling the Chancellor's office.

Wes (1:05) -- Wes talks about the CARE campaign to increase student diversity and improve funding for the ethic resource centers.

Shiva (1:43) -- Shiva talks about SCTV and encourages people to support Measure 13, a student fee for permanent funding of student media projects.

Wrap up (1:10) -- Laurel encourages people to keep resisting. We end with a solidarity clap.
 
 


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More Audio from the 5/13/05 TUSC Rally

jackie_5-13-05.mp3
jackie_5-13-05.mp3 (297 k)
Jackie - TBTN
robert_5-13-05.mp3
robert_5-13-05.mp3 (733 k)
Robert Norse
petitions_5-13-05.mp3
petitions_5-13-05.mp3 (399 k)
Pat True's petitions
wes_5-13-05.mp3
wes_5-13-05.mp3 (382 k)
Wes - CARE
shiva_5-13-05.mp3
shiva_5-13-05.mp3 (606 k)
Shiva - Measure 13
wrapup_5-13-05.mp3
wrapup_5-13-05.mp3 (413 k)
Wrap up
Jackie (0:50) -- Jackie invites us to get involved with Take Back The Night. For more about Take Back The Night, see:
santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/17688/index.php

Robert Norse (2:05) -- Robert Norse suggests a student hosted show on Free Radio Santa Cruz, encourages people to publish on Indymedia and provides information about Medical Marijuana organizing in Santa Cruz.

Petitions by Pat True (1:08) -- Pat talks about the two petitions that he has created. The first is a request for an appology from the Chancellor. The second petition is calling for Denice Denton to resign. Pat also encourages people to continue calling the Chancellor's office.

Wes (1:05) -- Wes talks about the CARE campaign to increase student diversity and improving funding the ethic resource centers.

Shiva (1:43) -- Shiva talks about SCTV and encourages people to support Measure 13, a student fee for permanent funding of student media projects.

Wrap up (1:10) -- Laurel encourages people to keep resisting. We end with a solidarity clap.
 

Dump the Chancellor: Isn't this extreme?

"The second petition is calling for Denice Denton to resign."

This request is silly and extreme. Sure, let's oust the new Chancellor, make an even bigger spectacle of Tent University, and risk having the Regents replace Ms. Denton with someone who is far less sympathetic!

Some people seem to have no sense of the history of our University, or indeed, of the history of our State. Have we forgotten Clark Kerr, the UC president who was somewhat sympathic to the Berkeley student protest movement of the sixties -- just not sympathetic enough for the student protestors, and a little too sympathetic for the electorate and Reagan?

There were a lot of sad faces among the student protestors when Reagan finally succeeded in deposing Kerr. The University administration, and the State, made a hard right turn, the extreme actions of the Berkeley student protestors having opened the door. The damage -- especially in terms of education funding -- persists to this day.

Perhaps it would have been better to cooperate with Kerr, a sincere person who wanted to work with the students and improve their institution.

And perhaps it would be better to cooperate with Ms. Denton, also a sincere person who wants to work with today's students and improve their university experience.

Also, it may not be appropriate for someone who accepts a paycheck from the University (and probably also enjoys the University's highly subsidized health insurance options, well-funded pension, vacation pay, sick leave, and due process hiring/promotion/grievance/firing rights), to criticize his own employer in public. Were Mr. True in private industry, he could be fired for this, and perhaps rightly so. At some point, you have to decide whether you're on the team or not. Petitions, hunger strikes, and things like that can harm the team. It's irrational for the University to be paying students and employees who spend so much time fighting against the University. Let these people air their criticisms in constructive ways, or go study and work elsewhere.

(This is the first time that I have felt it necessary to post anonymously. I am truly afraid of the attacks that have been and will continue to be levied against people who dare to criticize Tent University on other than a high theoretical level. Frankly, I'm also fed up with the amount of coverage that Tent University has received here, while other, more immediate issues go unnoticed. I hardly visit S.C. IndyMedia anymore, because I know I'll just find another front page story about Tent University. And I consider the use of words like "brutality" an insult to people who have suffered through real struggles. I'm thinking of people like Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who had to be escorted to university by federal officers -- because she was Black. That's a struggle, worthy of a word as heavy as "brutality".)
 

Re: TUSC Rally on 5/13: Taking Back Democracy!

"(This is the first time that I have felt it necessary to post anonymously. I am truly afraid of the attacks that have been and will continue to be levied against people who dare to criticize Tent University on other than a high theoretical level. Frankly, I'm also fed up with the amount of coverage that Tent University has received here, while other, more immediate issues go unnoticed. I hardly visit S.C. IndyMedia anymore, because I know I'll just find another front page story about Tent University"

--

Ok, so people that publish to (or SIMPLY read) sc-imc know that i spend a lot of time in the streets covering events and behind a computer screen uploading media (audio, photos and videos). While the comment above has been posted anonymously, i'm pretty sure i know who posted it... this sounds like a friend of mine. one who is very passionate about making the world a better place. I do not think there is any reason to be upset about the amount of coverage that people have published about TUSC. But, I certainly think that our community should working a lot harder to publish stories on SC-IMC about the more immediate issues that go unnoticed. I know my friend knows how to publish. This person has written amazing articles for Santa Cruz Indymedia, many of which end up being promoted to the center column.

So, I encourage my anonymous friend to continue publishing articles on Santa Cruz Indymedia. SC-IMC is only what we make of it. It is very hard to keep Santa Cruz Indymedia going...... but it is very easy to make it go away.... though, it is impossible to stop (-:

So please, PUBLISH:
santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/index.php
 

A clarification

Bradley, I should have used the word "attention" rather than "coverage" when referring to Tent University. I wasn't criticizing your reporting, which is always timely and thorough. I really appreciate what you do.

I was trying to provide a counter-point to Pat True's petition and to express frustration with what I see as an obsession among community members. Some of the "immediate issues" that people might want to monitor, when they get tired of Tent University:

* The City of Santa Cruz is repealing an illegal tax on working people and asking the voters to approve a replacement tax that is just as regressive.

* The Governor is in the process of squandering $4 billion of one-time money, some of which may not even actually be his to spend.

* Naive folks in Felton are agitating to repurchase their water system, when here in Santa Cruz, public ownership and mismanagement are causing huge water rate increases -- again shouldered by working people. The City of Santa Cruz is using dirty tricks to hide the increases.

* A renovated library branch is about to open in our own county, but without enough staff. A rookie supervisor blocked the closure of a tiny, deficient branch -- a plan that would have allowed proper staffing at the new branch. Now he's bent on discrediting the library system's executive director, even though his own financial largesse (and that of his Democratic cronies) keeps putting her in the awkward position of having to recommend service reductions year after year after year.

* Someone is circulating a ballot measure petition and pretending that it will tax big corporations like PG&E, when in fact the law compels PG&E to pass the tax on to working people. The latest draft of the measure is better than it used to be: the old version would accidentally have raised taxes for renters!

I could research and write articles on or more of these topics, but these issues don't appeal to the community in the same way that Tent University seems to. That's what I find frustrating.
 

Two more topics

Two more topics I forgot to include in my list:

* A local non-profit program that serves the homeless is in jeopardy.

* The Fiat Pax Web site is thoroughly biased and full of distortions.
 

Re: TUSC Rally on 5/13: Taking Back Democracy!

Also, it may not be appropriate for someone who accepts a paycheck from the University (and probably also enjoys the University's highly subsidized health insurance options, well-funded pension, vacation pay, sick leave, and due process hiring/promotion/grievance/firing rights), to criticize his own employer in public. Were Mr. True in private industry, he could be fired for this, and perhaps rightly so. At some point, you have to decide whether you're on the team or not. Petitions, hunger strikes, and things like that can harm the team. It's irrational for the University to be paying students and employees who spend so much time fighting against the University. Let these people air their criticisms in constructive ways, or go study and work elsewhere.

oh yeah, the university is a groovy place to work. entering clericals make barely enough to live on and god forbid you try and take care of a family on it. highly subsidized insurance is becoming more expensive especially for those employees who haven't had a real raise in years but who are also shouldering parking passes to the tune of $900 year etc etc. Quit with condescending attitude dude. Just cause issues at the university are not your cup of tea it's rather rude to tell others that issues that interest them are to processed in a more appropriate manner (would that be high tea?) or they should go work or study elsewhere. That;s a novel approach to change there@! Here's a new bumper sticker for you....UCSC LOVE IT or LEAVE it! Got a nice ring to it, huh?
 

Yes, I am concerned about University issues

"Just cause [sic] issues at the university are not your cup of tea..."

You seem to have missed my comment about the futility of Mr. True's call for the Chancellor's resignation. History has shown us that this approach won't benefit Mr. True's cause, and might actually harm it. Obviously I am very concerned about University issues. My only crime is to have done substantial research and identified a historical antecedant. If today's Tent University people spent a little less time protesting and a little more time studying the contemporary political history of the University and the State, they might find effective ways to advance their cause. I would actually like to see some aspects of their platform succeed.

"UCSC LOVE IT or LEAVE it!"

Nothing of the sort. If I were *Mr. True*, I would stay as long as I could, and continue enjoying the net benefit of my employment relationship. Obviously, for a person to remain in a particular job, he has to perceive a net benefit -- that is, he has to believe that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

My point is that *the University* would be justified in firing Mr. True, due to the serious public criticisms that he has levied. Mr. True is most welcome to speak out against the University, but the University should also be welcome to defend itself. Of course, the University is not allowed to defend itself. It is virtually impossible to fire a public employee.

Think strictly of the employer-employee relationship, and put yourself in the employer's shoes for a change. When you have malcontents on your payroll, and they badmouth you publicly, their presence no longer benefits you.
 

apologism 101



You seem to have missed my comment about the futility of Mr. True's call for the Chancellor's resignation. History has shown us that this approach won't benefit Mr. True's cause, and might actually harm it.

History of UC shows us lots of things. Your assumption that Denton is good or better than the next person may or maynot be correct. That is the nature of change is that you can't always plan results. Your alternative means no change or only advocacy of change when there is a sure thing.

Obviously I am very concerned about University issues. My only crime is to have done substantial research and identified a historical antecedant.
actually it's NOT obvious you are concerned with university issues and quite frankly you sound rather uninformed as to the state of employee affairs on the campus at this time. and please, quit with the victimhood stance. no one is accusing you of a crime, I just think your points are rather uniformed and invalid.

If today's Tent University people spent a little less time protesting and a little more time studying the contemporary political history of the University and the State, they might find effective ways to advance their cause. I would actually like to see some aspects of their platform succeed.

maybe with all your advanced political organizing skills you can offer a free workshop for UCSC agitators. if you don't have the time to do this in person, how about making a manual for effective political change (in your opinion) and posting it on SC IMC for all to benefit from.


.... If I were *Mr. True*, I would stay as long as I could, and continue enjoying the net benefit of my employment relationship.
Obviously, for a person to remain in a particular job, he has to perceive a net benefit -- that is, he has to believe that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

My point is that *the University* would be justified in firing Mr. True, due to the serious public criticisms that he has levied.

really? so for someone to complain about the actions of the university make them liable for being justifiably fired? even if the employee is factually correct in their assertions? that's an interesting comment from a supposed liberal progressive marxist or whatver you fancy youself to be. maybe all the union employees should be justifiably fired too for criticizing the university for sitting on millions of dollars rather than passing it onto employees in the form of raises.


Mr. True is most welcome to speak out against the University, but the University should also be welcome to defend itself.

This shows how little you know of the inner workings of UCSC. The university DOES have a way of defending itself. It's called LIZ IRWIN. She's the gatekeeper of all info about and regarding UCSC. Prior to her arrival at ucsc the PR department (its called media relations up there) was open about dispersing information. The information dispensed was at least an attempt at being truthful. This is not the case since Liz Irwin has been at the helm. If you care to do more in depth research, do a google search of Liz Irwin and either Goodtimes or Metro. They did a substantial article on the PR machine as gatekeeper at the University. As someone who has actually worked with UCSC for years I can guarantee you that if they want their voice to be heard, they have EVERY avenue available for their message, AND they use it.

It is virtually impossible to fire a public employee.

again, you display ignorance of the subject. what happens up at UCSC is if they chose to target you as a troublemaker, then pressure is put upon you via your supervisor who is management and answers to a upper level supervisor who is either a Vice-Chancellor or VC assistant. VC answer direct to the Chancellor. Get the power dynamic? How do you put pressure on employee? micromanage their hours, tasks, efficiency, attitude. You alter their job description, give them more duties (under the guise of fiscal reorganization) etc. That is why most employees up at UCSC (until recently) have been rather quiet about publically speaking out about UCSC policies. Can someone get fired? It's hard but possible. But far easier is to simply drive them out of their jobs. It's done. I've seen it in at least 4 instances and none of the instances the employees were able to fight back because NONE of the other employees that had facts that would support the fired employees claim were willing to testify or sign affidavits. nice chummy conspiracy of silence up there. but that's okay because its a progressive institution or so they claim.


Think strictly of the employer-employee relationship, and put yourself in the employer's shoes for a change.

actually I AM an employer. just because one is an employer doesn't mean that you have to be an apologist for all employers.

When you have malcontents on your payroll, and they badmouth you publicly, their presence no longer benefits you.

well duh, and this is profound? first off, I don't see true as being a malcontent. of course UCSC will because anyone that isn't a yes man or yes woman is considered a malcontent. So go a couple paragraphs up and see how the university will probably deal with him. but as an employer I am open to hearing what my employees are saying. lets say my product is coffee (it isn't) but one of my employees starts riding me because I sold bad beans in my mix or a bunch of beans that were infested by rats got knowingly ground up and sold by me. I deserve to be outed if I'm conducting myself in such a horrible manner. again, simply because I have the power in the relationship and it is my company doesn't make me god. I simply sign the checks. so what's your point? that you think the tactics of tentU folks need improvement? if that's your stance why do you sound like such a pussy assed apologist telling people they need to be part of the "team" and to "study or work elsewhere" if their critiques can't be more "appropriate"
 

Anonymous Complaining is NOT Impressive, but Action IS

>I could research and write articles
>on or more of these topics, but...

Oh, sure... you COULD... but you'd rather just sit around in front of your computer complaining about what other people don't do, and how knowledgeable & well-researched you are, and how everyone else just doesn't understand, and employees should just STFU and enjoy their miserable-and-getting-worse jobs.

Want to show us how well-informed you are? Fucking do it! Don't TELL us you're well-informed, SHOW US that you are. Stop boasting about what you COULD do and damn well DO IT.

Put up or shut up.

We're waiting.
 

A Little Historical Perspective on Clark Kerr and the FSM

I found myself somewhat incredulous at "Anonymous's" praise for Clark Kerr. Here's what an FSM activist of the time had to say about Kerr last year when he died:





Free Speech Movement Activist Finds Tarnish On Clark Kerr's Legacy
[Published as a letter in the Berkeley Daily Planet
Edition Date: Tuesday, February 17, 2004]


By MICHAEL ROSSMAN Special to the Planet (01-23-04)

Public events are mirrors through which we may read ourselves. I'd like to say brazenly that the wave of eulogies following the death of the noted liberal educator Clark Kerr reminds me of what happened to the Democratic Party during his lifetime - the long slide from reaching for popular spirit to abject "centrism," shamelessly greasing the gears of late-stage global capitalism.
But my bravado leaks like a punctured lung. I wince with shame at how petty and mean-spirited I will seem to go against the general tide of good feeling about Kerr and his accomplishments.

How can my grumble not be in bad taste, revealing me as a pinched creature, an old hippie still trapped in attitudes of youth, fixated on a few things that happened 40 years ago, as if they still mattered?

In this age of Ashcroftian terrorism, every good liberal's instinct is to bow to the story told so eloquently by the patient FOIA researcher Seth Rosenfeld. As a leading liberal reformer and president of the world's greatest multiversity, Kerr was targeted not only by then-Gov. Reagan's wrath, but by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, which secretly derailed his career and his chances for greater national influence. Kerr was thus a hero, worth remembering and mourning in a time when basic civil liberties and liberal values are again so threatened.

All this is true enough, in its own terms; I can scarcely quarrel. Even so, some other truths should be recalled.

For I remember what it was like, down there at Ground Zero, in the actual trenches of making history, during the Free Speech Movement in 1964. The eulogies credit Kerr with "saving us" from assault by 600 armed police, as our thousand sat around the police car we had trapped, with the civil rights worker inside, arrested for daring to set up an informational table in the plaza, right in front of the administration building.

They don't mention that Kerr himself had been the key architect of the prolonged despoilment of student civil liberties that brought us to this desperate gesture and condition. From 1957 on, as student activism emerged in the New Left, Kerr liberalized certain features of campus governance while overseeing increasingly strict regulation of key activities - essentially thrusting student activism off-campus just as its energies were rising.

Caught between his younger liberal values and the business and governmental pressures to which his administration increasingly responded, Kerr's policies were riddled with contradiction. So was the agreement he signed that night with Mario Savio as our representative.

Every term beside our own agreement to withdraw was a betrayal: the charges weren't dropped, the "fair" committee was completely stacked, and so on. Under pressure of the crisis, but along natural faultlines, Kerr had argued and signed in condescending ignorance and ultimately in bad faith.

A deeper form of bad faith soon became apparent. It was bad enough that the higher administration adamantly opposed our struggle for basic civil liberties on campus. Beyond, in the eyes of the larger community, we were at the mercy of the media, which sensationalized us even more than we invited, without much bothering to report on the serious and intellectual content of our protest.

In this inflammatory milieu, so shortly after the wane of Congressional Red-hunting, Clark Kerr was quoted in the metropolitan news as saying that nearly half of the FSM's leaders were "followers of the Mao-Castro line," i.e.: dirty Commies.

Of course, this was a dirty lie, though we did treasure the one Commie highest among us, Bettina Aptheker, because she was righteously conservative and wise. But though Kerr later privately claimed he had not said this, the damage was well done, and he never bothered to retract his statement before the Public in whose name eight hundred of us eventually were arrested and many sent to jail.

I must note that during our subsequent trial - for the first sit-in to paralyze a university's administration - Kerr's lawyers had to take him out into a corridor to explain the key technical point about advocacy speech, which had been a center-post of our argument since early on, but which Kerr had never clearly understood until seven months after our jailing swung the faculty decisively to support us. In this ignorance - born ultimately of distance from and contempt for students - Kerr's manner of governing as well as a personal dereliction of duty were revealed.

But my deeper bone to pick with him, then and since, is as an educator.

Clark Kerr never understood that the key reason we white kids involved ourselves in the civil rights movement was not simply compassion, but our desire for learning how to be citizens, for learning democracy by exercising it. This was a species of education beyond his effective comprehension. He spoke and planned in other terms.

Our complaint was not only that he would never meet with us directly, never talk with us nor listen to us; it was that he had no center, that he was a technocrat of the depersonalizing institution. Already his book had established him as the leading theoretician of the modern multiversity. We mocked him in song for proclaiming that - "the Knowledge Industry now accounts for 29 percent of the G.N.P."

In retrospect, it is even clearer that during his rise and regime from chancellor of the Berkeley campus to president of the whole state university system, Kerr presided over a key transition of elite higher education - from an institution having some of the liberal and Ivory Tower qualities that we simultaneously derided and respected, into one geared increasingly and shamelessly into the dominant mechanisms of capitalist society and culture.

I can scarcely count the ways in this brief piece, nor mourn properly at the depths to which humanistic education is being sacrificed from lower levels up in a mélange of testing, pre-professionalism, "standards" and technology. But of course, all this takes office space, and I chuckle wryly whenever I pause at the stop sign outside the main entrance to the satellite Clark Kerr Campus, only half a mile from the main quads. I used to read to blind students, and grew accustomed to them on campus.

Long before sidewalks were first ramped here to allow wheelchair mobility, Berkeley was already a national leader in mainstreaming the handicapped. A unique 58-acre campus for blind and deaf students offered them unrivaled, direct access to the full resources of the university for half a century - and oh, my, how time does fly! Midway between the FSM and now, a cruel trick was played on the deaf and blind: Their precious buildings and grounds were judged uninhabitable due to earthquake danger, far too vulnerable and too expensive to repair.

Too bad; and whisk! off went the deaf and blind, trucked to some facility forty miles away, tucked away out of contact, out of sight, out of mind. Maybe every mind but mine?

Who knows who remembers? No one ever talks about what happened and why. It's not mentioned in the glossy promo lit for the Clark Kerr Campus, which houses international students and visiting scholars, and rents its facilities to endless varieties of corporate conferences and educational affairs, in gracious surroundings well-braced against temblors. Turned out to be cost-efficient after all, once the defenseless were cleared away.

I doubt that Kerr had anything to do with this personally. His name is simply enshrined there, over a pit of silent shame. In somewhat the same style, his name is burnished now in public eulogies as a symbol of liberalism, above unmentioned pittings of shame.

Another involves then-Chancellor Edward Strong, whom Kerr left at safe distance - without saving guidance or restraint - to complete the mishandling of the FSM affair all the way to the final dramatic assault on Mario Savio before ten thousand in the Greek Theater, which Kerr the experienced labor mediator mishandled on his own. The whole experience was ruinous to Strong, who emerged a broken man, in fair part from his abandonment by Kerr.

Such personal costs are so far outside the usual calculus in which Kerr's institutional accomplishments are measured, that they'd seem unsporting to mention, if abandonment were not a deep theme here. "Joy to UC," we sang in early carol that year, "Clark Kerr has called us Reds!"

What we could not sing was our longing for who he might have been, other than our newspaper assassin. We could hardly imagine a university president who could lead constructively, who could read the Constitution and our careful explanations for himself, and help teach the public: - "Yes, these are student rights; this is how learning to be citizens makes sense."

There was no vision of learning, geared to deep values; only the same waving and bowing to pressures, to power. And so it was in a larger frame too. Clark Kerr's response to our awakening in the FSM was an earnest of his response to the entire predicament of the university during a deep phase of historical transformation. He will not be remembered for promoting visions and values of education that might balance its increasing corporatization. Indeed, his failure will pass beyond mention, invisibly, for no one expects the head of a major public institution to provide this sort of leadership now. And that's a genuine, deep shame.


Copyright 2004 by Michael Rossman. This text may be republished in any form accessible to the public without charge and not supported by advertising. All other rights are reserved.
 

Clark Kerr article & employment example

This last post fits well with my comment about Mr. Kerr: "just not sympathetic enough for the student protestors, and a little too sympathetic for the electorate and Reagan".

All I can do is paraphrase Governor Pat Brown's response to criticims of his administration's record on civil rights: something to the effect of 'we did more than we had to'. I'll try to find the exact quote again. Before people get upset about this, in context 'had to' means, 'what the electorate was actually ready for', not, 'what we would have done in the ideal'. For those who doubt the elder Brown's sincerity, I have one word: Rumford.

As for Mr. True and the University's opportunities to defend itself, a press release from Liz Irwin is a rather weak defense. Governor Schwarzenegger doesn't read those. Orange County voters don't read those. Ward Connerly [yes, thankfully he's gone now, but he was a good example of a powerful Regent] doesn't read those. The people who make decisions about UC just see the circus effect. They *will* respond negatively.

The problem with Mr. True's hunger strike and petition -- and indeed, with Tent University -- is that these activities are external (political) rather than internal. They could have permanent negative repercussions for the University. Governor Reagan's hands-on approach to UC stands as an example. The example is being replicated today by Governor Schwarzenneger, who targets UC programs that he doesn't like, through his budget proposals (outreach to disadvantaged high school students; labor think-tanks; etc.).

Instead of confining the struggle to internal venues (the bargaining table, in Mr. True's case), the protestors have gone public (political). The internal decision-makers aren't perfect, but they are more moderate than the external (political) ones. The internal people could be used as a bridge, or more properly a firewall, between the harsh external world (it is hard to deny that the State's electorate is becoming more conservative) and the friendlier, internal world that the protestors live in. I am speaking up for compromise and discretion, because these approaches can win results. Save the revolution for the really big problems (viz., my Charlayne Hunter-Gault example).

I do find it interesting that we *want* a firewall between politics and the University when we are getting our way. For example, we don't want Governor Schwarzenegger to be able to use his budget powers to kill high school outreach. We invoke the constitutional guaranty ("The university shall be entirely independent of all political or sectarian influence and kept free therefrom in the appointment of its regents and in the administration of its affairs", blah blah blah) and are thankful for it.

However, when we aren't getting our way, we quickly to shift the struggle to the political arena, appealing directly to the public (voters) and to the politicians. For example, UC unions love to quote Assembly Member Dion Aroner ("worst public employer", blah blah blah). For Ms. Aroner to comment (regardless of which side she takes) violates the spirit of the constitutional guaranty. Still, the UC unions welcome her involvement, because she happens to be taking *their* side.

This wavering -- (a) if you're trying to do something "bad", UC shouldn't be subject to political control or (b) if you're trying to do something "good", UC should be subject to political control -- is hypocritical. It's also stupid, when the person with real decision-making power (i.e., with his fingers on the pulse of an electorate that's turning to the right) is Governor Reagan or Governor Schwarzenegger.

Let's return for a moment to the employer-employee relations example that one person constructed. Let's imagine that our employee is making statements about our coffee that are partly true but also contain some distortions (maybe there was a mouse in the coffee, not a rat, and just one batch was affected). Let's also say he's protesting in the middle of our cafe, scaring off our suppliers, our lenders, our business partners, and our customers -- for good, not just until we can improve our coffee.

If the employee really wanted to help us improve our coffee, without destroying our business, he'd work closely with us, and keep his complaints internal. If he did go public, it would be with a positive message, such as, "The boss knows there are some problems with the coffee, and he's been working with me to solve them." The public message wouldn't be: "Everything about the coffee is bad, and by the way, please sign this petition encouraging the boss to resign."

In the latter case, firing the employee would clearly be in the best interest of our business. I am not saying that Mr. True and the Tent University folks are quite so extreme as our hypothetical employee. Their comments about UC do seem to more negative than positive, though. Circulating a petition calling for the resignation of a brand new and not entirely unsympathetic Chancellor can hardly be called constructive. I can only guess how M.R.C. or Sinsheimer would have handled to Tent University.

Regarding a public employer's opportunity to excise an employee, it is true that the employer could poison the work environment by changing the employee's hours, etc. However, these actions would be tied up in grievance hearings for years. They would not be effective.
 

Re: TUSC Rally on 5/13: Taking Back Democracy!

If the employee really wanted to help us improve our coffee, without destroying our business, he'd work closely with us, and keep his complaints internal. If he did go public, it would be with a positive message, such as, "The boss knows there are some problems with the coffee, and he's been working with me to solve them." The public message wouldn't be: "Everything about the coffee is bad, and by the way, please sign this petition encouraging the boss to resign." you are assuming that UC is a receptive employer. keeping things internal only works if you perceive those on the inside to be actual constructive avenues for change. unless you are talking about superficial changes, as in perhaps asking UCSC administration to sponsor next year's tent U by providing booths and refreshments, asking the current UCSC admin to bring about significant changes is pretty much a joke. if you knew anything about campus politics you'd understand this fact. it seems pretty clear to me you are approaching this matter from a purely theoretical standpoint. the only problem with theory alone is that real life interferes.
 

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