Free University announced for May Day; call for teach-ins, workshops and relocated classes
A coalition of New York City students and educators, from high schools, colleges, and universities—including CUNY—have announced the May Day Free University, a one-day, “pop-up” university taking place on May 1 from 10am-3pm in Madison Square Park. The Free University will include lectures, workshops, skill-shares, and discussions, all open to the public.
In solidarity with the general strike, the Free University will offer a public space for the 99% to disengage from an unequal system and imagine a model for alternative education. Those gathered in Madison Square Park, and those meeting in other spaces in solidarity, will create a university that is open to all, without debt or tuition for students, without pre-requisites, age limits or any other disqualifying requirements. According to organizers, the Free University is also a response to privatization, securitization, and inequality in education:
Our education is continually being remodeled and transformed into an anti-democratic and less inclusive institution. This month the total debt held by US students will surpass $1 trillion; tuition rates are skyrocketing up; our schools are becoming more privatized and bureaucratic; our buildings and campuses are militarizing; police are conducting surveillance on students; schools are becoming more secluded and alienated from the communities in which they reside; and schools are removing secure and tenure based positions to rely on contingent labor. It is urgent that we envision and create the type of education system that we want.
There are several ways students, faculty, and the public can participate in and contribute to the May Day Free University:
- organizing a workshop or teach-in at the Free University (send ideas and proposals through the form at http://maydaynyc.org/freeuniversity)
- bringing your class to the Free University
- attending the Free University and participating in the workshops, classes and trainings
- asking teachers to bring classes to the Free University
On May Day, the Free University will be followed by a massive student convergence and march to Union Square to participate in the 4pm May Day Rally.