Students talk with President Genshaft and Provost Wilcox

Video of students meeting with President Genshaft: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kn0vP7tFsuY#!

On April 11th, following the USF Student Government Inauguration, students approached USF President Judy Genshaft and Provost Ralph Wilcox to ask why the President has refused to meet with students regarding their demands that no more tuition hikes be implemented. President Genshaft and administrators have continuously ignored students demand that tuition be frozen at its current rate and that cuts are made to the most highly paid USF administrators, rather than on students and workers. President Genshaft’s salary has increased 125% since she was instituted as President of USF in 2000. In the same period tuition has increased rapidly, while workers salaries have been frozen and jobs have been cut. 

The President and Provost did not make a statement on whether they opposed tuition hikes, only saying that students should contact their student “representatives” in Student Government. Students have increasingly grew frustrated with Student Government and other so-called representatives, as they have been at the forefront of approving tuition hikes, with little input from the student body. 

The President and Provost then invited SDS to the Student Government session on April 16th which is open to public comment, where the President will be present. SDS plans to show up in full strength to make sure students are represented in their concerns over tuition, budget cuts, worker layoffs, rape culture, and a lack of democratic process on campus. 

Please join us on Tuesday, April 16th at 5:30 in the MSC chambers (4200) to present concerns to SG representatives and the President herself. 

 

Students for a Democratic Society Stand in Solidarity with Indiana University Student, Staff & Faculty on Strike

From Florida to Canada to Chile to Indiana, students are rising up and pushing back against privatization, austerity, and corporate hegemony over our education and culture. As administrators stuff their coffers with bonuses and exorbitant salaries, students are forced to take out more loans, ensnaring them in a cycle of debt and workers see layoffs and wage cuts. Students and workers represent the broad majority of the University system and without them university presidents and provosts would not have a job. It’s time for the 1% of our universities to chop from the top! No more will students and workers pay for the mistakes of others.

IU on Strike represents an exciting new step in the US student movement: students in conjunction with staff and faculty exerting their collective power in a way that cannot be ignored. The same people that sit on the Board of Trustees of our universities also work for banks and corporations pushing student loans and are the same ones pushing for massive tuition increases each year. Students around the country should look to IU on Strike as a powerful example of what we are capable of when organized around our interests.

Students for a Democratic Society stand in complete solidarity with the IU strikers and call on students around the country to organize protests, rallies, teach-ins, and strikes on their campuses to demand an end to tuition hikes and fees and raise the banner of: Education is a right!

They say cut back, we say fight back!

www.newsds.org

Follow the strike at: http://iuonstrike.tumblr.com/

Article with background info on strike: http://www.thenation.com/blog/173696/what-you-need-know-about-indiana-university-strike

SDS continues sit-in campaign

“Students pay your salary!”

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For the second Friday in a row, and third time within a month, students have sat in at the Patel Center for Global Solutions. SDS and allies are calling on President of USF, Judy Genshaft, to make a commitment to meet with students, who are facing fee, housing, and tuition increases. President Genshaft has made no public statements on the ever increasing burden being placed on students, most vehemently in the form of tuition hikes with her own approval. Students have for a month been attempting to cut through the bureaucratic red tape that exists within the University system, simply to meet with their President on issues of increasing urgency.

The crass refusal to meet with or address students is an insult to all who are facing on average $20,000 in debt; while at the same time the President and other administrators are stuffing their coffers with benefits and bonuses, reminiscent of the Wall Street bankers who have robbed the people.  Students are tired of being shuffled around from one talking head to another: they demand serious action to protect the broad majority of the university system (Students and Workers). SDS continues to raise the call: Chop from the top! 

Students are increasingly aware of lack of true representation on campus. While being told to take it up with our Student Government, because they represent the interests of all students, these same representatives continuously vote for more tuition hikes. Talk to any student struggling with debt, working multiple jobs to afford an education: Does it sound like they are being represented? NO!

Students must take power into their own hands and struggle for their interests against the dominance of corporate-sponsored education and legislatures. A movement of students must be   built, outside of the institutions that have failed us time and time again. No amount of false promises or bread crumbs will be accepted anymore.  

Students must collectively act and dare to break through the barrier that exists between the majority and the same minority that controls a large concentration of power and wealth. We are one of many struggles united in a vision to radically alter how this society is organized and to fashion it into a truly democratic society. 

Students have demanded the following:

  • No more tuition hikes imposed by the Board of Trustees (BOT).
  • Put students and workers first: before raising tuition and implementing mass layoffs, chop from the top and cut administrative salaries and reduce bureaucracy.
  • Tuition payments represent a deep contribution on the part of students. The decision to pay for school will affect us for the rest of our lives. We deserve a proportionate degree of respect. Cultivate a radically democratic relationship between the students and the USF administration. Require a university-wide referendum to pass the student body before allowing the BOT to impose tuition hikes in addition to the hikes imposed by the state.
  • Become an advocate for student interests at the state level, constantly seeking out ways to oppose budget cuts.
  • Stop cutting funds to the Africana and Women’s Studies department.
  • Stand against differential tuition in the form of the “Blue Ribbon Task Force” and their recommendations for higher non-STEM tuition.
  • Challenge the corporatization of our campus by restructuring the BOT to include students,community members, and others affected by the decisions the BOT makes.
  • Conduct an independent audit of the members of the BOT in order to investigate potential conflicts with the interests of students. For example, bankers who profit off of student loans should not decide to raise student tuition.
  • Take a clear stand against the rape culture that persists on campus: introduce a mandatory workshop on the issues of rape and rape culture to all incoming students during orientation and create a “bystander intervention” policy campus-wide.

Join SDS and allies every Friday at 12pm in the Patel Center and show the administration that the students demand to be heard and demand an end to tuition and fee increases.

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Dare to struggle, dare to win.

A new year, a continued struggle

Students in Chile 2012 (photo by http://nimg.sulekha.com)


In moments of great peril it is easy to muster a powerful response to moral stimuli; but for them to retain their effect requires the development of a consciousness in which there is a new priority of values.
 Society as a whole must be converted into a gigantic school.

 Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society is entering its second year and already looks to be a vibrant and powerful one. Students from Canada to Chile are rising up in greater numbers and with bolder demands. The contradictions between the 1% and the 99% are becoming ever clearer to the disillusioned youth. As more and more students graduate and see little in return for the mountain of student debt, students are beginning to realize they have more to gain by fighting back with little to lose.

Matt of Tampa Bay SDS on September 11, 2012 – Marshall Center

 We have no allusions to the easiness of this task. Yet we realize that our movement is maintained through struggle. As the leaders of our schools and government continue to sell us out, more and more join the ranks to fight for a new society. As the attacks on students, workers, and women grow in conjunction with national oppression, there is an ever growing sentiment of dissent spreading. The roots of an American Awakening are beginning to be sown and Students for a Democratic Society are watering the soil.

Our sights are set. Our goals are clear.

People of the world, be courageous, and dare to fight, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave. Then the whole world will belong to the people.