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actions & protests | economic justice

Budget Cuts at The Evergreen State College - Fight Back!

The Evergreen administration are planning devastating budget cuts. Let's fight back!
February 27, 2009
Time and Location TBA

A document that the administration doesn't want you to know about has been leaked to the Evergreen Committee for Full Funding. This is the only proposed "scenario"; an itemized list of which programs are recommended for "elimination" as of July 1, 2009. Though they assure us that "nothing has been decided for certain", we will find no comfort in this, the only proposal from the administration.

The following are to be "eliminated":
Evergreen Tacoma
The Longhouse
some or all Reservation-Based Programs
The Labor Center
The Washington Center
Evergreen Center for Educational Improvement
NW Indian Research Center
Beginning the Journey
The Computer Applications Lab

Folks, this is less than half of the list! There are severe cuts proposed for many programs such as study abroad, performing arts, etc. I think many students believe that programs such as these are absolutely integral parts of the Evergreen experience.

This message is not intended to demonize TESC administration; they are clearly between a rock and a hard place. They are being forced to make tough decisions. This document also mentions that one Dean is to be "eliminated". Also, Les Purce (our president) says that he will be taking a voluntary pay cut. I don't believe that the administration is behaving maliciously, but their claims of transparency and student inclusion obviously cannot be taken in good-faith, considering this revelation. Also, we can't help but notice that people who are underrepresented in our society will suffer from this "scenario" disproportionately. The administration is calling for "prioritizing" programs rather than distributing the cuts more evenly. What about the students' perspectives? They say they want our input, but how can we participate in a dialogue if we are being deliberately and systematically denied access to critical information? My own opinions aside, maybe they should be informing the students of the situation in some concrete manner, instead of the vague, placating statements they have issued.

As our economy slips into the Greater Depression, we will see more and more cuts like this. The (Democratic) governor is not just cutting higher education this year. She is calling for the closure of 13 state parks, the lay-off of thousands of State employees, cutting programs for the homeless, devastating Washington Basic Health, and more. The programs we need will be sacrificed at the altar of the Market. The struggle for full funding of society's needs will not end with this fiscal year. (Of course, there will plenty of cash for war and bankers) Our enemy is not TESC administration. The source of these problems is much larger and systemic, but we have to struggle for our interests in any way we can now.

The purpose of this message is to call students into action. The Evergreen Committee for Full Funding is calling for students to come together in a rally/speak-out on February 27, to express ourselves collectively, calling for change and developing our ability to exercise our collective will.

In Germany, a national student strike was held by 100,000 people protesting education funding cuts. In Rome, Italy, 500,000 students protested cuts to higher education, yelling "If they block our future, we'll block the city!" In Ireland, 100,000 people (out of their population of just 3 million) came out in protest against education cuts. In 2006, 100,000 Greek students went on strike to protest education cuts, holding occupations of 90% of the universities. In France, as thousands of students came out in protest against education cuts, Sarkozy backed off his plans in fear of "Greek syndrome". And at Evergreen State College...?

We will not draw 500,000 people, nor will there be a coup d'état at the State capitol, but we are powerful if we come together as a community. The February 27 day of action will be coordinated with folks in Seattle and Tacoma. Stay tuned for time and location.

To get involved:  EvergreenCFF@gmail.com
To get informed:  http://evergreencommitteeforfullfunding.blogspot.com/

Also, look for Evergreen Committee for Full Funding on facebook.


The Evergreen Committee for Full Funding