Archive

Monthly Archives: March 2012

Chicago, IL – A coalition of students, staff, faculty, unions, and allied activist groups will host Take Back Your School, an chance for all to help make decisions that impact our education and our future, at Columbia College on Friday, March 16, at 2 p.m. on the first floor of the 33 E. Congress building. In solidarity with recent higher education struggles, the coalition seeks to manifest change through four demands: 1) Stop corporatization, aka “Prioritization” of Columbia College; 2) Freeze tuition; 3) End union busting; 4) Force the College into financial transparency.

The College has hid the details of its annual budget, attacked its staff (USCC) and part-time faculty (P-fac) unions, announced a tuition increase of 5.2% for the coming academic year, and instituted a “prioritization process” that has left its community riddled with anxiety.

Despite President Carter’s March 14 email to faculty and staff that “unlike other institutions. . .we chose to make [Prioritization] a fully transparent, engaging, inclusive and communal process,” Columbia has hidden most details of the process in opacity and harmed its community’s morale. “I feel that the Prioritization came about in a very threatening manner,” reads a comment from a recent full-time faculty survey available to the public here.“This has been a very demoralizing process. I tell my friends who are academics at other institutions, and they think I’m insane to keep working here,” reads another. “For all of the transparency of the process,” another states, “the actual machinations through which things seem to be getting done is maddeningly opaque.”

Students have been kept uninformed of this process, exposed to it only via The Columbia Chronicle, internal media that serves as a mouthpiece for the administration, and the President has requested that faculty and staff “refrain from engaging in any speculation on the review process—including with students or media” and to direct all media inquiries to an internal representative.

At Take Back Your School, look for: Absent college administrators, who were invited but refuse to appear; No Confidence resolutions; Buy Ins; Line Items to “create change”; Appalling Quotes from administrators; Questions and Answers from non-experts with real solutions; and a Proposed Budget reallocating a bloated and useless administration to scholarships, wage increases, and program restoration.

Take Back Your School has been endorsed by Occupy Columbia, P-fac, Coalition Against Corporate Higher Education (CACHE), Occupy Chicago, and the students, faculty, and staff whose labor, tuition, commitment, creativity, and passion make Columbia College possible.

Contacts: Alexandra Fitzgerald, Occupy Columbia, occupyccc@gmail.com
Nancy Traver, P-fac Publicity Chair, 847.334.5540
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/357207937653469/

We are holding this conference not on property that belongs to all DePaul students, but instead on the public sidewalk, the only place we’ve been told our presence will be allowed, despite this being our school.

This morning, the DePaul Board of Trustees picked up the Student Government Association President, Anthony Alfano, in a university vehicle. After refusing to tell him where they were taking him, they drove him to a parking garage and brought him up to the trustees meeting through the back door. In an act of solidarity with those silenced by this maneuver, Anthony texted us updates of his situation. They still have not told him where he is.

At the last minute, in response to student mobilization last night, the Board of Trustees and administration has moved this vital meeting to an undisclosed location, and resorted to the secretive transport and restriction of communication with our appointed representative. They have threatened severe disciplinary action, arrest, and police involvement in an attempt to restrict our voice regarding those decisions that affect our education, our lives, and our future. In the face of the undemocratic actions taken by the Board of Trustees; we demand the following, unequivocally:

1. Justice, in the form of a tuition freeze, effective immediately.

2. Democracy, in the form of a public forum fully open to students, faculty and administration alike, on Friday, March 9 at 5:00 p.m., to discuss the tuition hike decision and any such future decisions affecting the cost of tuition.

The entire system of corporate higher education, has repeatedly lied to us, betrayed us, run from us, and condemned us to a lifetime of debt in order to line their pockets. Today we say no more.

We, the students now occupying the Student Center of DePaul University, make a call to the students and faculty of DePaul and the city of Chicago, on behalf of our Vincentian mission, to join us as we protest the forthcoming tuition hikes (both tonight and in the coming days and years).

Our actions this evening have occurred within the larger context of the international STUDENT DEBT CRISIS. Student debt is now the largest debt bubble in the nation (exceeding credit card debt as of this year), tuition rates have risen over 400% in the last 25 years (far above the rate of inflation), and the collection rights of student loan companies are more expansive than any other loan system. As education has been privatized and government funding has decreased, students have been forced to leave school with absurd, untenable, and insurmountable quantities of debt. All the while, military defense spending proceeds unfettered and the banks are bailed out.

At DePaul (the most tuition-based institution in the nation), expansionist policies have caused tuition to rise 35% in the last seven years, causing the average student to leave with $28,000 in debt and the average graduate student with $51,000. As we have manifested in these past hours, and as the London student riots and Spanish student insurrections of this past year have evidenced, students are not willing to accept these conditions any longer and are finding ways to voice our discontent.

Join us in the struggle for a free and open system of higher education.

Come tomorrow at 7:30 AM in the DePaul Student Center (2550 N. Sheffield) as we rally outside of the meeting of the Board of Trustees and demand that they not vote to increase our debts and eviscerate our futures.

In the name of a more egalitarian society,
The DePaul Student Occupiers, 3/2, 2012

Come join us students in front of the statue of Fr. Egan in order to protest the proposed tuition hikes that will be voted on the NEXT DAY by the Board of Trustees.

On Thursday night, we met with Fr. Holtschneider in order to make our four demands. These are:

1. IMMEDIATE tuition freeze for all current and incoming students.
2. That Fr. Holtschneider retract his approval of the proposed 2012-2013 budget and tuition increase.
3. That we are granted a meeting with the Board of Trustees, and the SRAC BEFORE the vote on the proposed budget.
4. That the vote this Saturday be post-poned until this meeting is held.

None of these demands were met, and so we, Depaul Students, must unite to show the administration that we will NOT cease until our demands are met!

Here’s some news coverage from Thursday night’s action:
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news%2Flocal&id=8565731

And here’s a link to the online Petition Against the Proposed 2012-2013 Tuition Increase:
http://www.change.org/petitions/the-administration-of-de-paul-university-freeze-de-paul-universitys-tuition?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=share_with_facebook_friends

CALL CAMPAIGN:

DEMAND TUITION FREEZE!!
-Main University number at 312-362-8000
– President Fr. Holtschneider at 312-362-8890
-the Vice President of Student Affairs at 312-362-8854
-the Administrative Chancellor at 312/362-8711
-the Provost at 312-362-7560 and the Vice President at 312-362-6695.