Spread the word!

Blog

5 broken approaches to U.S. student organizing, and why we need real movement infrastructure to build real student power

Thoughts on Bhaskar Sunkara's "Fellow Travelers" in the latest Jacobin.
Roughly 50% of small businesses close shop in their first five years. While not attracting enough customers is a death sentence for a business, not attracting enough members sadly does not have the same effect on leftist parties.

This year's Netroots Nation in San Jose will be a meeting point not just for the larger progressive community, but student activists from all across the country, too. Here's how you can swing a free registration and a free hotel room!

While each campus' particular iteration is different, student government culture is surprisingly consistent across the country. Disdain, in one form or another, for their fellow students can be found among SGA members at universities big and small.

There's been quite a bit of chatter about the latest report on student loan debt out by the New York Federal Reserve Board. All the bad numbers are up: the total amount of student loan debt, the number of students taking out loans, and the number of those who have stopped repayment. But there's one figure that I haven't seen anybody really highlight, and it's the scariest. You can check out a PDF of the findings here.

The annual State of the Union Address is a key aspect of the political spectacle of the modern Presidency. It's in these addresses that Presidents announce new policy goals, attempt to shore up public support, try out new narrative and rhetorical frames to shape the political landscape for the coming year, and in most cases, assiduously avoid going into detail.

When an organization's bureaucracy has become calcified and disconnected from its members over the years, thanks to guaranteed revenue, removal of that guarantee can be a death sentence. Grassroots, direct democracy is like a muscle — when a union all of a sudden faces Right-to-Work, or when a student association has its dues frozen by administrators, we see that muscle has atrophied so much that the organizations often collapse under their own weight.

This is footage from the 2012 National Student Power Convergence, in Columbus, Ohio. I finally got around to offloading and editing it! Apologies for those I didn't get a chance to interview — our caravan had to leave the conference very unexpectedly earlier than we thought!

by Ray Glass:
"In this article I have outlined the problems with student governments, their failure to adequately represent and further the interests of students, the need to develop a new organizational form to serve this purpose, and some of the principles on which that new type of organization should be based. I have defined the problems according to Bundy's watershed theory because student governments have passed their second watershed..."

The Great Chicago Teacher's Strike of 2012, after one week, is over. Or as the business press put it, "finally" over. The way this strike ended must be considered a victory, at least these days.