Members of the Philadelphia Student Union perform a zombie flashmob on Tuesday to protest the city’s thirty-seven proposed school closings. (Facebook/Philadelphia Student Union)
In this new biweekly collection of dispatches, we aim to provide a platform for students to share news about the wide range of social and political struggles in which they’re involved. Our goal is to elevate voices of resistance in their many guises, from the high-decibel struggles that command media attention, like this past fall’s occupation of Cooper Union, to pockets of incipient youth organizing that don’t yet have a name, much less a prominent public profile. In the process, we hope to demonstrate the breadth and depth of the US student movement. Please be in touch with questions, tips or proposals by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
—James Cersonsky and Alec Luhn
(Note: These dispatches are not ranked in any particular order.)
1. A New Southern Strategy
In North Carolina, students face the most Republican-dominated government the state has seen in 100 years. With a new governor, backed by millionaire conservative kingmaker Art Pope, everything from cutting the budget for public education to ending the corporate income tax will be on the table. To resist these attacks, the North Carolina Student Power Union is forming a network of young people and convening a statewide conference on February 16, Retaking Our Schools, Remaking Society. One major order of business will be a campaign to secure in-state tuition for undocumented students in the state.
—Matt Hickson and Ana Maria Reichenbach
2. New York Students (Still) Rising
In Buffalo, SUNY students successfully pushed back a transparent attempt to churn out corporate propaganda under the guise of peer-reviewed research. After exposing the so-called research center’s real agenda, a coalition of students and faculty forced the University at Buffalo to close the doors on the Shale Resources and Society Institute, a hydrofracking research institute backed by the natural gas industry. This spring, New York Students Rising, a student-led coalition fighting to build student power, will be working with faculty unions and other allies to push through legislation that would make SUNY’s Research Foundations subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Students are also planning a Northeast Student Power Convergence to bring together allies from across the Northeast to strategize larger fights.