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ERIC Number: EJ877511
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2946
Occupy and Escalate
Bousquet, Marc
Academe, v96 n1 p28-31 Jan-Feb 2010
The academic year began with a bang last fall at the University of California (UC). A series of bangs, actually, featuring a united front of students, staff, and faculty in a coordinated series of walkouts and strikes across the system's ten campuses. The target of their outrage was a series of draconian layoffs, wage cuts, and drastic tuition hikes imposed by UC president Mark G. Yudof shortly after he suspended shared governance and assumed financial emergency powers in midsummer. With more than five thousand marchers packing into UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza, the Bay Area featured the largest and loudest protests. The Bay Area also featured the action of greatest duration, a weeklong building occupation by several dozen undergraduates, unionized campus workers, and graduate students. Proceeding directly from the September 24 walkout rally, protesters peacefully occupied the Graduate Student Commons at the UC Santa Cruz, holding all-night dance parties, Twittering, writing manifestos, and issuing statements frankly acknowledging their intention to escalate the conflict. For the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and all the institutions of the profession, this growing commitment by graduate students to confrontation, to imaginative use of social media, and to direct actions such as building occupations suggests not only a change in tactics but also a changing intellectual and political orientation--toward a more expansive critique of higher education's relationship to the economy and society. If the AAUP exists to preserve and shape the profession and its relationship to society now and in the future, what does it mean that the majority of the profession's members find it hard to envision a future that does not include an ambitious program of struggle? In this article, the author suggests that by joining and studying the petition process for officer candidates, a relatively small number of graduate students could begin a peaceful "occupation" of all the institutions of the profession--especially if they coordinated with students, staff, contingent faculty, and fellow travelers in the tenure stream.
American Association of University Professors. 1012 Fourteenth Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 800-424-2973; Tel: 202-737-5900; Fax: 202-737-5526; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California