Student in-activism

Students have failed to advocate on their own behalf with administration.

Last winter, New York University students took over a building to lobby for increased administrative transparency. This year, students at the University of California Santa Cruz protested over budget and administration issues as part of their Occupy California campaign. Fresno State recently had 400 students participate in a walkout and teach-out campaign in which they delivered a list of demands to their president. Among the outrages are assertions that administrations have consistently accepted cuts to state funding rather than fighting for students and faculty, drastic increases in student fees, faculty layoffs, reduced class offerings and tuition hikes âÄî all while no high-paid administrators have taken pay cuts. This should sound familiar. So what are our students doing about it? Last winter, a group of graduate students protested high student fees; shortly afterward, the graduate school was dissolved. Students for a Democratic Society interrupted convocation, but were roundly ignored by administration and students alike. The University of Minnesota has a great tradition of student activism, including the 1969 Morril Hall takeover, but it has been sorely missing as of late. This isnâÄôt to say that a building takeover is necessary or the best way to get the attention of administrators, but students should realize they have the power to affect change âÄî just as other students around the country are doing. Administrators will keep pushing the consequences of their financial decisions and failures onto students until they resist. Students, if youâÄôre unhappy with tuition, fees, course offerings or other issues, it is time to say so.