WASHINGTON, March 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Across the country today (Wednesday, March 1), thousands of adjunct professors, students, other working people and allies are gathering on college and university campuses in a national day of action under the banner of #CampusResistance.
From Boston to Seattle and Chicago to St. Louis, on dozens of campuses, faculty, students and others are protesting President Donald Trump's corporate-driven, deeply divisive agenda and uniting to reclaim institutions of higher education as essential to our communities and our democracy.
"We already knew higher education was in crisis: families can't afford college, student debt is skyrocketing, adjunct faculty and graduate workers are underpaid," said Scott Patrick, a Ph.D. student in political science at American University in Washington, D.C. "Now, added to that, there's anti-immigrant rhetoric forcing students to seek sanctuary, and science, the arts and intellectual freedom are under attack. All of this is sparking a resistance movement on campus." Patrick is part of the movement of graduate student workers seeking to join together in a union.
"It's important that we resist and oppose the corporate Trump agenda, but what we are doing is more than protesting Trump," said Jason Grunebaum, who has been a contingent professor of Hindi at the University of Chicago for 12 years. "Faculty and students are rising up to stress that a strong higher education system is essential to the well-being of our nation. Americans deserve—and need—colleges that are gateways to a lifetime of opportunity." Grunebaum and colleagues have joined together in a union through Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73.
Among the actions today:
- A morning rally and speak-out, an afternoon panel and an evening candlelight vigil are taking place at Boston University, revolving around both the Trump administration's threat to higher education and the need for university administrators to respond to the demands of BU faculty.
- There's an all-day walkout at St. Martin's University outside Olympia, Wash. A morning rally will be followed by a panel on and march for working women.
- At the University of Southern California, a teach-in and know-your-rights sessions are happening this afternoon, with three trainings being offered: one on civil rights and Muslim students, another on immigrant student and worker rights and a third on digital rights and cybersecurity.
- Across Chicago, there are actions at the University of Chicago (a panel on the precarious nature of teaching as an adjunct) and Loyola University Chicago (canvassing to call on university administrators to come to the bargaining table).
(For a complete list of actions and more information, visit campusresistance.org.)
With campuses emerging as new centers of resistance, today is seen as only the first step that will merge the energy at colleges and universities with the powerful movement of people in the streets who are demanding not only improvements in higher education, but good jobs, the opportunity for a better life for their families, and a real voice in the system.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is home to more than 120,000 faculty, graduate student employees and other campus workers who believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy. www.seiu.org
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SOURCE Service Employees International Union