Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Remarks delivered to the Board of Regents on May 9 by SDS member Chris Getowicz

I am here today to speak as a graduate of this University, a community activist and now educator in North Minneapolis.

 I am here to suggest that there is a growing gap between what the university says and what it does.

First: In regard to the “tuition freeze.”

This “Mad Men” like slogan veils what continues to be a policy of higher education extortion, administrative corruption and bureaucratic racketeering.

The administration only continues to maintain the status quo for what will certainly be the next “bubble” to burst.

The continued increase in student debt in recent years has not in any way equated to an improved education but rather it has served an ever expanding administration and its salaries.

The reality is that while resident undergraduates will continue to be extorted at the same status-quo rate, non-resident and graduate students will see the burden of debts further shifted on to their shoulders.

However. the administration should be commended for its excellent PR efforts to maintain its master of arts in higher education extortion. Hedge fund managers and Wall Street bankers certainly admire your tireless efforts.

When tuition is actually dropped, that will be worth of celebrating.

In the meantime, the cost of education maintains an institution that is still not inclusive for many.

The word “diversity” has been used regularly by administrators,which here means students of a diverse background can sit silently and pose for photographs for U of M brochures but do not dare stand up, speak out and fight for your right for inclusion, equity or a greater representation at this university.

The attempts to silent and punish dissent from "Whose Diversity?" and others is a disgrace.

Crime and safety are two other words with funny administrative definitions.

“Safety” on this campus has come to mean building lock-downs, restricted public access and crime alerts that lead to racial profiling by police and fear of students of color by their peers.

When the University talks about crime it never talks about the criminal conduct committed by the university in collaboration with private corporations doing “medical research” like that which killed Dan Markingson.

Crime alerts also fail to warn students about the arrival of real criminals on campus -- criminals who violate the highest levels of US and international law.
Then again it may seem confusing for the university to put out a crime alert for someone the university invited as a distinguished honored lecturer on a subject in which she has no expertise.  Perhaps next time one of our very own professors could speak better to the fight for civil rights and for much less then $150,000.

We must commend President Kaler though for protecting her freedom of speech so that she could receive her $150,000 stage at Northrup.  We must thank him for his efforts to silent dangerous peaceful protesters who exercise democratic rights. His work to publicly demonize them and wield the full force of university punishments for their practice of free speech is of vital importance to maintain academic freedom and civic dialogue here.

I wonder what independent entities could enforce an administrative code of conduct to hold you all accountable for your indiscretions.

I wonder what boards you go before to face possible expulsion for your crimes?

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