Monthly Archives: October 1978

1978.10.24: Student Strike Committee Strikes Back (Mass Media, UMass-Boston)

Mass Media (UMass-Boston)
October 24, 1978

Student Strike Committee Strikes Back
[Written By Michael Letwin]

Open Letter to Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Steamer

The Student Strike Committee is outraged, but not surprised, by your ignorant and condescending outburst in last week’s Mass Media. You stated that “faculty who encourage student participation are acting irresponsibly.” You imply that students also acted irresponsibly.

We were not railroaded into this action by the faculty. Our action was a conscious, self-initiated decision made in the light of the fact that students have interests which are supported in the Union demands. If you stepped out from your office at any time during this activity you would have seen signs of this: the many meetings held and attended by hundreds of students, and the persistent hum of students discussing the issues in the halls and initiating them in their classes. The issues themselves were so blatant that they solicited our support.

You also said that we should remain uninvolved because “students are transient.” By this you can only mean that transient people like students should have no rights. Furthermore, while transience is a normal feature of any student body because students graduate and leave, an important issue which must be discussed is why UMass students are more transient than others.

A couple of the many reasons are that child care has always been inadequate (and if the UMass administration has its way will become non-existent) and financial aid is unavailable for many who should receive it and inadequate for those who do. What do you expect when an institution doesn’t come close to meeting the basic needs of its predominantly lower income student body?

Next, you said that the “better students were not involved” in the strike. No doubt you regard “better” students as those who have been molded well by the UMass assembly line, meant more and more to create passive, robot-like followers who have faith in the decisions of their “superiors” in the administration. No matter how many “A’s” such students bring home, we reject that these students are any better than the rest of us — the 85% who didn’t cross the line.

However, students at UMass are much “better” than you realize, as demonstrated by the virtual shutdown of the school as a result of the student strike. This is what we mean by better students those who are conscious of their interests as working class people, understand that the university has little interest in meeting these needs, and who are willing to organize themselves in defense of the attacks on their education. In this way, students at UMass are becoming better and better.

What your statement shows is the degree to which you are removed from and unconcerned with the pressing issues that face students, and the contempt you have for the vast majority of us who have taken a first step towards control over our lives at UMass.

TO THE STUDENTS:

We continue to struggle for a better education. The Student Strike Committee meets on a regular weekly basis, the next being on Tuesday (TODAY) at 2:30 at 1-006. Among the items on the agenda are future issues for our struggle and demonstration at Knapp’s inauguration on Sunday, October 29 in the event of a mediation breakdown. All are welcome to work with us.

The Student Strike Committee

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1978.10.19: Modernization in Mohammed Ali’s Egypt and Mahmud II’s Ottoman Empire (UMass-Boston)

01-1978.10.19 -- Modernization in Mohammed Ali's Egypt and Mahmud II's Ottoman Empire (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_0102-1978.10.19 -- Modernization in Mohammed Ali's Egypt and Mahmud II's Ottoman Empire (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_0203-1978.10.19 -- Modernization in Mohammed Ali's Egypt and Mahmud II's Ottoman Empire (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_0304-1978.10.19 -- Modernization in Mohammed Ali's Egypt and Mahmud II's Ottoman Empire (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_0405-1978.10.19 -- Modernization in Mohammed Ali's Egypt and Mahmud II's Ottoman Empire (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_0506-1978.10.19 -- Modernization in Mohammed Ali's Egypt and Mahmud II's Ottoman Empire (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_0607-1978.10.19 -- Modernization in Mohammed Ali's Egypt and Mahmud II's Ottoman Empire (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_07 08-1978.10.19 -- Modernization in Mohammed Ali's Egypt and Mahmud II's Ottoman Empire (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_0809-1978.10.19 -- Modernization in Mohammed Ali's Egypt and Mahmud II's Ottoman Empire (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_0910-1978.10.19 -- Modernization in Mohammed Ali's Egypt and Mahmud II's Ottoman Empire (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_10

1978.10.08: Wright and Ellison, and Their Application to Cane, and Their Eyes Were Watching God (UMass-Boston)

1-1978.10.08 -- Wright and Ellison, and their Application to Cane and Their Eyes Were Watching God (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_1 2-1978.10.08 -- Wright and Ellison, and their Application to Cane and Their Eyes Were Watching God (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_1-002 3-1978.10.08 -- Wright and Ellison, and their Application to Cane and Their Eyes Were Watching God (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_1-001 4-1978.10.08 -- Wright and Ellison, and their Application to Cane and Their Eyes Were Watching God (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_1-003 5-1978.10.08 -- Wright and Ellison, and their Application to Cane and Their Eyes Were Watching God (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_26-1978.10.08 -- Wright and Ellison, and their Application to Cane and Their Eyes Were Watching God (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_2-001

1978.10.06: Review of Magdoff’s Article on Colonialism (UMass-Boston)

1-1978.10.06 -- Review of Magdoff's Article on Colonialism (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_1 2-1978.10.06 -- Review of Magdoff's Article on Colonialism (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_2 3-1978.10.06 -- Review of Magdoff's Article on Colonialism (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_3 4-1978.10.06 -- Review of Magdoff's Article on Colonialism (Graded) -- ML -- UMB_Page_4

1978.10.03: Student Strike Committee: A Call to Action (Mass Media, UMass-Boston)

Mass Media, UMass-Boston, October 3, 19781978.10.03 Student Strike Committee

Mass Media, UMass-Boston
October 3, 1978

Student Strike Committee: A Call to Action
by Michael Letwin
Ad Hoc Student Strike Committee

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, faculty and staff members and supporters of the Faculty Staff Union will be taking a “job action” to apply pressure on the university administration to meet the union’s demands in the contract negotiations.

Some students see the union’s action as an attack on them, but this is narrow and shortsighted view. Students, however, have a direct stake in the victory of the teachers’ demands, which include smaller class size, maintenance of existing student educational programs and a decently paid and non-­transient faculty and staff who are committed to the university.

If the administration succeeds in denying the unions’ demands, it will have a free reign in the future to continue its oft-stated direction: to attack faculty and programs on the basis of a policy of financial cuts rather than an expansion of student services and educational quality which students as UMass/Boston so badly need.

So all of us, as students, are faced with a choice. We can pretend that the union action has nothing to do with us, or we can become aware of our common interests with the union and do our part in safeguarding and improving conditions of education at UMass/Boston

The Student Strike Committee, which has met over the last few days to organize student support for the union’s demands, believes that there is only one real alternative: to support the Faculty Staff Union in its fight. It is for this reason that we are calling for a student strike in conjunction with the faculty sickout on Wednesday and Thursday.

We ask all students not to attend classes and to make their support visible by joining the Union/Student picket lines of the 4th and 5th, making clear to the administration where we stand. We can no longer afford to stand by in silence.