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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Republicans Shut Down Federal Support for Higher Learning

As you know, the House Republican Leadership has decided to shut down the Federal Government in protest of losing the last Presidential election.  The effects on Higher Education and Research are already appearing.  Some scientific labs have been forced to either close or restrict operations.  NASA has curtailed its activities.  If the closure is short, the larger effects may be minimal.  But if it goes on who knows...

Two younger faculty reflect on the potential impact and significance:

Anonymous A:

Let's talk fucking privilege: A very small minority can do their jobs very fucking poorly, put millions of people, including elderly folks and veterans, at real risk, and not have to give up one dime of their own fucking salary or one ounce of their own fucking comfort, just because they're mad that they're not getting their way?!! Yet, if I and about 30 of my colleagues just stopped doing our fucking jobs and endangered our student constituencies with that stoppage, we'd be out of a job so quickly our fucking heads would be spinning for days. This outrage and status are brought to you by the letter "F" for fuck!!!

Anonymous B: 

I was an undergrad the last time the government shutdown. Under Newt's directive, it was shutdown for 21 days. I was an emancipated minor. I remember being terrified of the implications. I was already trying to pick up extra shifts, along with everyone else I knew, and trying to endgame workarounds to keep me enrolled at CSUF. I showed up the financial aid office early in the morning--6am (like poor people do, go ask a poor person why)--and they said just show up to classes. So that's what we did. At the time, we were either 58% or 68% first generation college students. I honestly can't remember. It rivals the affirmative action for rich people and legacies at elite colleges (though it's never really called affirmative action, is it?) I digress. I remember that as students we didn't know if our profs would show up. Why would they? They're not getting paid and they'll probably not get paid retroactively. We never did, and our people never did when they went on strike. Only it wasn't a strike. But that's where we were wrong. Capital was on strike. Not the workers. Our profs showed up. They taught. And for over two months or thereabouts (when a gov't shuts down, it takes more than an open sign to get it working) all fees and tuition collections were suspended. And they taught. I'm a professor now. I'm at a public school dependent on federal funds. I'll teach for as long as it takes for people to demand some sense. And when I give my diversity week talk on Wednesday, I'm giving it on public education and its vital importance to the democratic project, because where in the hell do you think this kind of jackassery is going to be felt the most? Those that already have the buffer and connections won't feel a thing. Even without the gov't shutdown I'm using the VERY little threat power (and let's be clear, by "threat" I mean "shame") I have to make sure veterans get their tuition paid and their seats secured in classes. Can you imagine if it lasts 21 days? I'm in the state with the third highest rate of unemployment and winter is here. This isn't CA where you can live on shit you steal from CSUF's arboretum (you think CSUF doesn't know this happens? They planted MORE farm/fruit crops because of this). Food doesn't just happen here. Neither does heat.

 Let us know if the Shutdown affects your work.



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