nysrtour

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After the student representatives on the CAS Board at SUNY New Paltz were overruled and outvoted, the students attending the meeting began to see that this student inclusion had no meaningful decision making power on the board.  Students attending the meeting held up signs protesting a $300,000 vending machine and the non-transparency of the administration.  The administration called an “executive session” (meaning everyone the board doesn’t want there has to leave), and the students stayed seated.  The police arrived telling the students to leave, soon to be followed by the campus lawyer. After discussion amongst themselves, the students agreed to wait outside the building if they could address the board.  The board said one person could speak, to which one student replied “Wow, what a perfect way to sum up our grievances with the board.”  After multiple students addressed the Board (one saying “If you don’t want to be held accountable for your actions, choose different actions”) they left peacefully and waited outside, where they were greeted by excited food service workers at the door.  The students and food service workers spoke for almost an hour outside, the food service workers having a lot of praise and thanking the students for what they did.  "We are in a different position, we can be fired for speaking back to the administration. You students were speaking for us there, whether you knew it or not" one service worker told students.  Students and service workers both agreed that they should work together in the future. The vote that was scheduled for the meeting to choose the camus’s next food contract was not held.

SUNY New Paltz Students are being forced by the University Police to leave the Campus Auxiliary Services Board meeting to decide the next food service provider.

Today, I realized how real the war over food is as well how the student voice is no longer a priority but a minority- being forcibly removed by the University Police Department for refusing to leave an open meeting that decides the next long term food provider which is coming out of the pockets of students and which directly affects them and the workers is unjust. Calling an executive session in the middle of one of the most important decisions after stating how they (CAS Board) have been “completely transparent” with us, has made me lose faith in this school’s administration even more. Shame on them for punishing us for speaking up and standing up for ourselves and taking away our rights. 6 TO 4 IS NOT AN EVEN SCORE!

Students tried to attend a meeting last month, the food service provider interviews but were not allowed. Not even allowed to listen. Then students decide to come to a CAS meeting and speak, and are kicked out even though the CAS Board says they are “transparent.” We want our voices heard. The students on CAS HEAR THEM. It’s the rest of them that don’t. I have full faith in my student CAS representatives, but unfortunately you need at least 2/3rd vote or majority vote to have any sway with voting on CAS and luckily the non student members of CAS have a 2/3rds presence on CAS, and lucky for them they all happen to be on the same page and often vote together. Today I saw two votes happen at the CAS meeting where the students voted to extend the public commentary so more kids could speak, but there was a 2/3rds objection. I saw a motion to go into executive order with a majority vote. Guess who objected? The four students. Tell me how it’s fair that our votes can be totally unaccounted for when it comes down to making decisions.

So after that vote…we stayed. They called the police to escort us out, but we stayed, because this is not okay. We’ve been continuously silenced, shut down, and ignored. It’s time to make our voices heard because this administration clearly does not want to listen.
6 to 4 is not an even score.

—  Quotes and social media responses from student at SUNY New Paltz after the administration decided that the best way to deal with being called “non-transparent” is to make the public leave the current meeting. After deciding not to extend the public comments period (cutting off people who came to speak) students held up signs in response to the board and covered their mouths with duct tape, similar to the student reaction at Stony Brook recently. Students had not been allowed on the board in the past, now they are up to 4 seats on the CAS (Campus Auxiliary Services), and are pushing for 2 more seats, which would give a balance to the board and allow meaningful student decision making Pictures and video soon to come.
An international student movement is growing; from Mexico, to Montreal, to Chile and Turkey. These students are drawing attention to the increasing commercialization and privatization of public education, and fighting for free and emancipatory education.
We will not tolerate policies that diminish the potential of the many in exchange for maintaining the prosperity of the privileged few. We will not be relegated to the margins or labeled a small, vocal minority. We will rise up and seek out solutions to the daunting challenges left unresolved by the previous generation.
— 

The introduction of a letter written by SUNY New Paltz students, a collaboration between student senators and the larger student body, that was sent to the college president. The 13 page letter outlines issues and concerns these students feel are not being discussed, as well as “immediate steps that can be taken on this campus and by your administration”. The letter has sections on the international student movement, women’s studies, gender neutral housing, decline in PoC admissions (as well as in the faculty), the campus marijuana policy, sustainability, local foods, class size and adjuncts, and transparency from the administration.

Click here for a downloadable version of the letter for free

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Free speech at Stony Brook.
“We were told that we would be charged with disorderly conduct if we walk the length of the Wang building with our signs to make sure Gov. Cuomo and company heard our message.
This was the only way we were allowed remotely close, and even with the tape over our mouths we were not allowed within the building. 
We stood outside the entrance as all the suits were leaving the building. When President Stanley walked byJohn curtseyed and I gave him a salute - he looked down at his feet and shook his head.”

New York Students Rising is launching a statewide tour!

Who Says

  • A college education should cost an arm and leg?
  • Corporations should have a place on our campus?
  • Students should have no say in what goes on in our universities?

We Say

  • Education is a universal human right
  • Public Education should be free
  • There is no place on our campus for corporations more interested in fracking and exploiting student resources

Who are we?

We are New York Students Rising, a statewide coalition of students dedicated to defending public higher education in New York State.  We are coming to take back our education.  But first, NYSR is coming to YOU, to talk about how we can take back our education together.  

This is not a lecture, this is the beginning of a movement.  We are not here to educate you, to give you something, we are coming to ask you to join us, to work and build student power across the state together.  

Students have played a key role in social movements all over the world, and these days are no different.  It is time for us to realize our power , and to unify towards a common goal of free emancipatory education for all.

When education is under attack, what do we do? Stand up! Fight Back!


Tour Timetable
Western NY - Feb 25th - March 1st
Central NY  - March 4th- March 8th
Hudson Valley -  March 11-15th
NYC/Long Island -  March 18th-22nd

Want us to come to your campus? Email us at 
administrator@nystudentsrising.org

More details to come.


oracle.newpaltz.edu
Are We Who We Saw We Are?

“It is not enough to rest on the lofty liberal reputation we have crafted for ourselves and then spit in its face when supporting the social change isn’t trendy any more. Social change takes work. True progress requires us to take a consistent stand against bigotry in the myriad of small opportunities we are presented with.

It is not enough to have a supportive attitude, you need to couple that with supportive action. How can we call ourselves supportive when basic human dignity is thrown into the wind and the well being of so many parts of our campus is threatened?”

SUNY New Paltz campus newspaper article on the effect of ‘New Paltz Secrets’ on students.

youtube

A video from last year’s (2012) Capital Convergence

#NYSRTour Starts Tomorrow!!

Here’s the updated and most recent schedule for New York Students Rising’s statewide tour:

1 SUNY Purchase 3/11 at 7 pm 2 Albany (Capital Building) 3/12 for Education Lobby Day 3 SUNY Stony Brook 3/13 at 7 pm 4 SUNY New Paltz 3/14 at 7 pm 5 SUNY Board of Trustees Meeting (SUNY Purchase) 3/19 at 3 pm 6 Medgar Evers College 3/20 at 11:30 am 7 City Collgee 3/21 at 12:30 pm 8 SUNY Buffalo 3/25 or 3/26 9 SUNY Cortland 3/27 at 7 pm See you soon!
My Testimony to the SUNY Board of Trustees

3/19 - 3:00 pm at SUNY Purchase- SUNY Board of Trustees Public Hearing

I did not come here as Bob Marley would say, “to fight flesh and blood but spiritual wickedness in high and low places”.  I speak now against the wickedness and unjust detachment that leaves our society chilled for a higher profits.

 Education is the only way to a future for the youth of New York State, that is unless your parents are rich.  But that is by far not the majority of New York State students.  Students see less and less reason to go to school as prices for it rise higher and higher.  We are seeing our dreams slip out of reach, the promises of a nation of equality and a fair chance seem dim notions in these trying times.

Our SUNY system is in great danger.  Students are losing faith in those that administer the system.  Why? 

$17,000 bar tabs by Nancy Zimpher.  Zimpher’s bar tab shows high levels of corruption and the inability to see the ramifications of her own actions. 

All over the SUNY system- Albany, New Paltz, Buffalo, Stony Brook, and more, there is less and less diversity in the faculty. StonyBrook just got rid of the only full time professor of Asian decent in the Asian Studies Program. The students are more than upset.

Students are being repressed and physically harassed. New Paltz has had multiple racist and transphobic signs up on campus throughout the past year.  There has been no closing of the school or canceling of classes.  Recently the administration there had said (repeatedly) that it was a myth that students of color were decreasing on campus, which is a direct and conscious misuse of data and statistics.

SUNY needs a change; SUNY needs real and meaningful leadership.

We don’t need finance and business people pushing for technology and engineering making decisions about our lives, our futures, our very dreams. Unrestricted growth is the ideology of a cancer cell. Where are your priorities at with a track record like this?

Our board has chosen to increase our tuition each year for the next four years, while knowing that New Yorkers have less and less to pay for education. What are we going to do to get New York students to trust SUNY again?

The administrators in this “public” system are taking a disproportionate share of the “public” dollar. SUNY ends up with a type of caste system- where those on the bottom have no meaningful way to exert our influence over the movers and the shakers.  And I bet you all like it that way.  You become the new royalty, entitled to benefits and privileges that the rest of us hardly know exists.  And all this as if we students are supposed to put down our jackets for you to cross a puddle.

Let me close with a quotation from William Butler Yeats:

 I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.