Students release outreach letter to department chairs supporting 1TDay, May Day, and May 2 Student Manifestation

Brooklyn College Student Union has released a letter to department chairs offering allegiance to “any member of the faculty who discusses, endorses, participates in, or otherwise supports any Occupy Wall Street related causes or events.” The letter is focused on upcoming actions for 1TDay (April 25), May Day, and the May 2 Student Convergence at Brooklyn College. The letter could be used as an outreach tool by any CUNY student, or even at other campuses who want to highlight their own conditions.

The full letter reads:

Dear Department Chair:

As undergraduate students at the City University of New York, we offer our full allegiance to any member of the faculty who discusses, endorses, participates in, or otherwise supports any Occupy Wall Street related causes or events. In particular, the events of 1T Day on April 25, May 1 General Strike and May 2 Student Convergence.

This spring is slated to contain several days of action that may to some seem controversial or contradictory to the mission of this university and should have no place in the classroom.  I believe this notion to be false and urge those who make staffing and curricular decisions to see that the struggle in higher education today is very much in line with the narrative of Occupy Wall Street.We see the current state of affairs as such: our university, falling in line with the global neoliberal agenda, continues to become privatized at the hands of political elites like Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Chancellor Matthew Goldstein and his appointed Board of Trustees hold alliances to private corporations who profit from a struggling student populace;  Faculty and departments are losing their freedom of curricular control as a result of top-down decision making; Adjunct instructors are continually threatened with losing vital benefits that make doing their already grossly underpaid jobs possible; And student voices are continually left out, marginalized, or ignored.

We ask you now to please not ignore our voices.  Support the faculty who realize these issues are not divorced from a larger social framework.

There are four main ways you can support faculty and students leading up to May 1 and May 2 days of action:

1) Do not penalize untenured faculty members of your department for canceling their classes on these two days of action.
2) Allow for students to distribute fliers within your department list serv
3) Help students schedule time with your faculty to give “class raps” regarding the state of higher education in New York State and how Occupy Wall Street is connected to larger struggles in the United States.
4) Encourage your faculty to postpone, cancel or bring their classes to the following events:
  • April 25th – 1T Day – On the Brooklyn College Quad, Reverend Billy, Rebel Diaz, Rude Mechanical Orchestra and Revolutionary Games will be performing on the day that student loan debt reaches 1 trillion dollars!
  • May 1 – General Strike marches on Wall Street
  • May 2 – NYC wide student convergence at Brooklyn College Quad
We appreciate your support.
Thank you.

Sincerely,

Brooklyn College Student Union

For the original letter, see http://takebackbrooklyn.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/outreach-tool-letter-to-department-chairs-re-april-25-may-1-and-may-2-days-of-action/

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