reclaimucsd

Prioritize Students, Not Politician Interests

In California, Privatization on April 18, 2012 at 8:00 am

Dear Editor,

Amazing the things you can do if you’re wealthy. If you’re a politician or university administrator, you can help run our country or university into bankruptcy while enriching yourself. You can hire friends to write garbage reports about UC ‘leftism’ because it fits your agenda.

Of course the UCs are leftist,with administration slashing the number of transfer students, raising tuition to unobtainable levels for the poor and working class, and removing affirmative action that leveled the playing field for those struggling to get into the racist UCs. The UCs and the state perpetuate the problems of rich becoming richer and well educated, leaving the masses out of opportunity and forced into shitty jobs to fuel the 1 percent!

The report that the Guardian decided to waste space with fails to even define “Leftist,” i.e. anti-capitalist. Recent polls by conservative agencies have found that our generation, especially folks of color and poor folks, are increasingly becoming critical of, if not anti-capitalist, and our politicians and university administration are doing everything in their power to fight these trends from suppressing free speech and activism through campus stay away orders, barring students unjustly from political activities, to arresting, beating and pepper-spraying them.

As Michael Parenti writes, bias “…moves in more or less consistent directions, favoring management over labor…and conservative commentators and columnists over progressive or radical ones.”

Read every statement from UC administration (and the Guardian) who claim to be on our side but carry the state’s bias that we are “out of money,” “K-12 teachers are paid too much,” “people must be patient” and “things are complex.”

When in reality, we have the money to fully fund education, but it comes at the expense of dismantling the bias that administration and the state push on student and workers. Radical and leftist are words used to isolate small groups. The vast majority of this nation and world, even Republican Californians, are what we’d call ‘radical’ politically, wanting free, not fee-d public education, universal healthcare, an end to our illegal wars and think “from each according to their ability to each according to their needs” is in the U.S. Constitution.

It’s time to fight for a university that actually prioritizes the interests of students and workers, not the red-baiting fears of politicians and administration. The poor and middle class pay a disproportionate amount of our taxes compared to the wealthy for an education that has increasingly become unaffordable.

To organize with students and workers who are fighting to reclaim our university, come to Public Education Coalition meetings Mondays at 7 p.m. at the SRC in Price West.

—Nikolai Smith

Ph.D., Department of Sociology

[originally published in the 4/17/12 issue of The Guardian]

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