Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ignore Them...

Maybe They Will Go Away?

I am not a fan of SDS - Students for a Democratic Society. Too much baggage, they should reorganize.

Nevertheless, it is a free country and I am in sympathy with many of their aims. The administration apparently reneged on their promise to send a representative to a recent meeting in Coffman about a perception of the State of the University that is quite different that the one the President presents.

From the Daily:

The People's State of the University

Activists Speak Out Against Budget Policies Proposed by the University Administration

On Wednesday, the Save Our School and Chop from the Top coalitions held a community forum called “The People’s State of the University” in Coffman Union. Initiated by Students for a Democratic Society, the event served to counter University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks’ State of the University address (published online) with alternate viewpoints from the University community. Bruininks claims in his address to “have the best interests of the University and our students at heart,” but the administration continues to balance the budget on the backs of students and frontline staff. The forum served as a venue to speak out against the hypocrisy of our administration and as an opportunity for students, staff and faculty to continue the discussions ignited by the national education rights protest March 4.

The forum’s panel speakers included Phyllis Walker, president of AFSCME 3800 clerical workers’ union; professors Eva von Dassow and William Messing from Faculty for the Renewal of Public Education; Eli Meyerhoff and Elizabeth Johnson from Graduate Student Workers United; Student Solidarity Alliance member Jesse Simmons; and SDS member Mia Overly. The audience included students, staff and faculty. Notably absent was the representative from the administration Bruininks had promised to send.

As Simmons pointed out, the average student from the University of Minnesota graduates $30,000 to $40,000 in debt, and tuition just keeps increasing. Meanwhile, the administrators are paid bloated, ridiculous salaries. Overly said, “The [budget] crisis … has been brought on by the greed of the administration, and now they are kindly asking the students to pay a bit more in tuition, the grad students to continue to pay their extravagant fees, the staff to kindly take a few more unpaid days, the faculty to teach more and larger classes, and the list goes on.

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