Ethnic Studies with professors and hiring power
Major Cultures with classes on colonialism and race
responsibly through community input
Increase administrative support

This is what we are fighting for. Support the strike & sign the petition. Contact us at

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Striker on the First Day of Negotiations

“We want the students out of their tents, back in the dorms and to the dining halls as soon as possible” – Provost Alan Brinkley at today’s negotiating meeting

Our university administrators offer such kind gestures displaying the Churchill-esque grandiosity of their sentiments. A sentiment that holds the health of the students as their primary concern, yet when told in that very meeting one of the strikers was wheelchaired away because of low blood sugar they only had blank stares to express their sentiment. So what is the sentiment of this university administration - is it to show face for our health, or another paternalistic statement without addressing the heart of the issue. Our health is not tied to our desire for the comfort of dorms and dining halls. Our health is tied to the willingness of Brinkley and the others in that room to respond to our demands, and reach a binding agreement in good faith with the negotiators. For so many in that room to tell the negotiators that their priority was to end the strike, while waiting through the weekend and until the 6th day to continue talks puts into question that priority. As the negotiators said, herein the contradiction lies: we are left to go longer without food while administrators attend weddings, benefits, and weekend relaxation from the uncomfortable work situation we are surely putting them in. We will wait. But the responsibility in the case of our concerns not being swiftly and consistently heard is not our own, but the situation we strike within and what we strike for: support Ethnic Studies with professors and hiring power, update Major Cultures with classes on colonialism and race, expand responsibly through community input, and increase administrative support.

We hope the talks continue well. Our people have come to the table, prepared to defend these issues yet another time after meetings in 2004 for CUCSC, 2006 for SHOCC and last spring for Ethnic Studies Now! The table has been closed however, we are only allowed a small number of observers, confined to the narrow definition of ‘student leaders.’ But when it comes to the title of ‘student leader,’ we have learned through our own actions that any students or people of conscious can lead in these times. We cannot settle on being told only some of us are ‘leaders,’ and as leaders we must wait.

Caring for ourselves through the first weekend,
And looking forward to the Marcus Garvey Park Drummers

A Hunger Striker