We have exciting news and a lot more work to do. First, our next meeting is this Thursday April 2 at 8:30 p.m. in Hall of Languages 500. Please join us as we continue to gather momentum and take action as we near the end of this semester. Your thoughts will be helpful! We need to continue to work to apply pressure in many ways so that we can continue to work in solidarity to get real, collaborative change at SU.
Things to celebrate:
1. Thanks to dedicated student activism, especially with a combination of Divest-SU/ESF and THE General Body, SU officially announced it is divesting from direct investments in fossil fuel. The New York Times
and Democracy Now
! picked the story up. Obviously, a lot more needs to happen to stop/slow climate change, and the university is still invested in mutual funds which invest in fossil fuel, and still maintains a fairly environmentally unsustainable infrastructure, but it still shows that activism works.
2. We have also noticed that the Chancellor seems to be making tiny steps towards at least talking a good talk about ending sexual assault, relationship violence, and gender-based violence at SU. This is directly related to our hard work, though we need to see A LOT more REAL change, and REAL MONEY going into this. Take Back the Night was incredible this year, as always, but a reminder of how widespread rape and sexual assault are, at SU/ESF, and elsewhere.
3. The ADA Coordinator Hiring Committee is making progress and interviewing final candidates, however, there is some dissent and problems about how this committee has proceeded.
4. The GSO has asked Chancellor Syverud to do an actual, not just a pretend, investigation of how his administration and DPS treated TGB during the sit-in.
Think of all the things the Chancellor is NOT addressing. We have noted again and again, for instance, that he continues to ignore anything to do specifically with students, faculty and staff of color, and/or GLBTQI students.
Yesterday, we contacted the Chancellor to request he meet in a public, open manner, with THE General Body, to continue the dialog and work the administration has claimed to want to work on (see our letter here). We have yet to hear a reply of any kind.
When (if) we do secure a meeting time with the Chancellor and his administration, we will send a call-out email and post on the blog so we can have as many people there as possible. There will likely be other actions this semester, too!
We have begun a “steering committee” to try to keep things as democratic as possible, while keeping a clearer sense of ‘power’ and communication. This steering committee will rotate out who wants to be on it. There’s definitely more room for those who might want to be part of it! Come to a meeting, or email THEgeneralbody@gmail.com, if you want to be on this more nuts and bolts sort of planning work.