student organizing

Is Student Activism Enough?

By Patrick Berkman Freddie DeBoer has a blogpost up at Jacobin, titled “Student Activism Isn’t Enough.” It’s classic Freddie: write an entire essay shitting on student activism, then closing it by saying actually, student activism is pretty great and important, keep it up! DeBoer claims “the university can’t be the key site of left-wing (or any other) […]

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Parkland College Students Resist White Supremacist Police Violence

By Tariq Khan – BRRN On September 7, the police assaulted 19-year-old Parkland College student Oluwatobi Mordi, who goes by the name Toby. According to a statement by the Parkland College Social Justice Club, Toby was in the cafeteria waiting for his ride, when two white Parkland Police officers approached him and proceeded to question […]

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Portland Solidarity Network Demands Phagans Beauty School Stop Exploitation and Sexual Harrassment [VIDEO]

Kaitlin Welch just wanted her education. As an aspiring beautician, Kaitlin enrolled at Phagans’ School of Hair and Design, a franchise of independently owned cosmetology schools around Oregon. She was attending night classes at the Northeast Portland location while working to support herself during the day. Her dream to become a hairdresser was getting within […]

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Now More Than Ever: Lessons for Rebuilding the Student Movement in the U.S. Today

By Pablo

As I seriously consider the prospect of seeking economic asylum from the “Great Recession” in the university, I find myself ruminating more frequently on my experience as a student organizer. The group I helped found at my university, a chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS), is no longer there; even though I only graduated two years ago. It has vanished without a trace; the only sign alerting to our short-lived existence is an infrequently updated student organization website that still list’s our student group’s name as an active organization. It doesn’t come as a surprise to me that the group fell apart after the graduation of a few core members. Despite learning many important lessons near the end of my time as a student organizer, their late implementation greatly hindered our chances of success; as such I think our demise as a group was inevitable. This is a fate suffered by many student organizations in the U.S. The student organizing landscaped is littered with the corpses of militant sounding acronyms, cancelled domain names, and list serves that were deleted due to inactivity. Yet, this dump site could be rehabilitated, and there are plenty of good reasons as to why it must be. In the following analysis I intend to discuss my own experience and trajectory as a student organizer, lay out what I think are the most important lessons, and outline what I believe students need to be doing in order to build a powerful and combative student movement.

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