Posts Tagged ‘solidarity’

From a faculty member:

WBEZ, the NPR station in Chicago, ran a story today about Joe Paterno and Penn State. They have yet to run a story about SIU and the strike. So, I wrote this in response to them:

Hey, WBEZ, the last time I checked, Penn State was in Pennsylvania. Southern Illinois University is in Illinois and a majority the students at SIU are from Chicago. (How many Chicagoans are at Penn State?)

SIU had a week-long faculty strike, the first in the school’s history, and hundreds (some say thousands) of students, in three separate marches, on three different days, marched beside the striking faculty. What else happened? The university censored its Facebook page and then blocked anyone who wrote anything that challenged the Administration. Striking faculty were electronically shut out of their emails, and online sites that contained their course materials. And the administration fought furiously to undermine tenure and all that it means. But none of this is important, is it? Because it’s not about a football coach in another state. Shame on you, WBEZ. Here’s a site where you can begin your journey to southern part of the state. https://occupysiuc.wordpress.com/

The media should be reporting on the powerful actions by the students of SIUC. Let’s pressure them to do so.

While waiting for the official announcement and terms of the tentative agreement between the SIUC Board of Trustees and the FA, we’ll be posting some material that we gathered during the strike that was pushed aside because of breaking news.

Student interview from November 4.

A fuller analysis will probably have to wait until morning, but to tide you over here are some stories from the local media:

KFVS 12
WSIL 3 (includes full text from Chancellor Rita Cheng to SIUC students and staff)
WPSD 6
The Southern Illinoisan
Daily Egyptian

Posted today on Socialistworker.org:

The key issues in the strike flow from SIU Chancellor Rita Cheng and SIU President Glen Poshard’s attempts to impose a “corporate education” model on the school. As one student and Navy veteran asked in an open letter, “Is SIUC just after my government benefits after all? Like [the for-profit] University of Phoenix?”

“What is at stake here,” said striking professor Jyostna Kapur, “is the education of working class and middle class students. The administration wants to cheat our students of a good education by trying to make us work for more and more with less and less at a time when working class and middle class students are going into debt for this education.”

Read the full article.

The most recent petition signature reads:

“It is becoming increasingly apparent that something is terribly wrong with the Administrative structure as SIUC and this strike is actually a symptom of a larger problem. As a student I am signing right now to not only support my faculty, but to say ENOUGH! I believe that greed and corruption are at the center of this struggle. It is not the greed of the Faculty however, it is the greed for money and power at the top. I am asking that Glenn Poshard and Rita Cheng resign from this institution, so that we can restore dignity and integrity to this university.”- Mickey Johnson

Have you asked your friends to sign the petition today?

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savetenureatsiucarbondale/

Thanks to the QueerillaCollective for making this video that addresses current issues happening at SIUC.

CALL THE ADMINISTRATION:
Board of Trustees 618-536-3357
Chancellor Cheng 618-453-2341
President Poshard 618-536-3331

From the comments section at Deo Volente:

“Thank you university police, for your professionalism in keeping the campus safe during a busy and trying time on campus!”

“Yes, indeed! I was very grateful yesterday morning [November 3rd] for the university cop that warned me and other strikers of a white car trying to run other strikers over. I wish them the very best luck with their contract dispute with the university.”

“I’m also grateful for them telling us when we were getting too close to the road for safety. We may not have liked hearing that we should stay back where we were less visible, but they really were looking out for EVERYONE’S safety.”

“Any more news on the white car?
That episode sounds pretty unpleasant”

“A police officer has spoken with the driver. The driver indicated that he did not intend to run anyone down, that he was just trying to make a point. The officer told him that a way to make a point is to stop and talk with people and debate the issues.

What will happen to the driver judicially remains to be seen.”

Remember, the University Police are without a contract now, too. They are scheduled to begin negotiations soon after those with the FA end. Because they’re police, they can’t go on strike to make their will known.

They know what you’re feeling and they’re there to keep you safe. Treat ’em with respect.

“I brought Occupy SIUC to Occupy Duluth tonight: I wanted SO BADLY to stand side by side with my professors and friends during this week’s faculty strikes that I made a sign and waived it around on Duluth’s busiest intersection all by myself ♥. DEAR ADMINISTRATION: PLEASE SETTLE. Even all the way up here in Duluth, MN we support SIUC’s professors. Why won’t you?”-Cory Hussein Dack

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From our inbox this morning:

I find it most imperative to warn those who inhabit the Communications Building: as best as I can infer, Room 1018 seems to be equipped with some sort of invisible projectile weapon that vaporizes any and all *ahem* qualified instructors who attempt to cross its threshold.

Granted, my field of expertise lies in realms apart from invisible projectile weapons. But I can reach no other conclusion on the matter because I’ve been attending classes in 1018 since the strike began on Thursday (three classes in 1018, totaling five hours of classroom time), and despite repeated public assurance from our benevolent administrative overlords in Anthony Hall, “business as usual” seems to entail a lot of sitting in an empty classroom, realizing no one is coming, and wandering in a despondent and/or angry fashion.

For all you readers out there who find the administration’s promised business-as-usual model so tasty that you need a spoon to gobble up every drop, please read on for a thrilling chronicle of an absolutely true week in the challenging life of a SIU doctoral student:

Thursday (Strike Day 1)
Show up for class. Wait 10-15 minutes. Call Dean’s office to complain. Wait another 10-15 minutes. Behold not a qualified instructor but a “qualified attendance taker,” who takes attendance (checking names off list without visually scanning for said names) and dismisses you after brief but fiery interrogation from angry students. S/he promises you will have an instructor on Tuesday. Promise.

Friday (Day 2) — Bonus!
Arrive in Comm. Room 2012. Sit for 10-15 minutes waiting for instructor. Leave when one does not arrive. OPTIONAL: complete state-mandated ethics training required of all SIU employees. Computer and wi-fi required. Rita Cheng and Rod Blagojevich applaud your commitment to ethics.

Tuesday (Day 4)
Show up for afternoon class. Worry that obligatory sarcastic remark to classmates about being today’s qualified instructor might set off vaporizer. Wait 10-15 minutes. Glance out door to see Thursday’s qualified attendance taker pass room without stopping to say hello. You were probably too hard on him on Thursday.

(Three hours before night class. Do you have all your reading done? Don’t miss this chance to impress your new, absolutely befleshed, qualified instructor! You’re graduating soon, and you’ll need that letter of recommendation!)

Night class: arrive to find the room dark and a man with a clipboard (alas, he is not your instructor) and a (totally awesome — no sarcasm this time) custodial worker who is moving the desks to clean the floor. Two minutes into your 150-minute graduate seminar. S/he informs you there will be no class.

Go home, pondering the lost hours/effort/gas you spent coming to class because administration threatened your livelihood. Remind yourself to brush up on Foucault’s panopticon discussion in Discipline and Punish — this was probably all avoidable.

Anyway, I’m working on dismantling the invisible projectile weapon in 1018. The fact that there seems to be an utter dearth of our promised qualified replacement instructors on campus can only mean these nefarious weapons are all over campus.

Please contact administration early and often in the coming days and demand a fair deal for the faculty. They probably have the keys to turn these things off.

In the meantime, if a replacement instructor somehow gets into your classroom and tries to teach you something, this probably means s/he is not qualified to teach your class. It is not inappropriate to demand their qualifications and to complain to the administration immediately if said qualifications are unsatisfactory.

In solidarity,
Anonymous sarcastic smartass, doctoral student, Communication Studies

Board of Trustees 618-536-3357
Chancellor Cheng 618-453-2341
President Poshard 618-536-3331