2001 Disorientation Guide

Disorientation Cover

(dis) orientation (pdf)

(dis or'e ent' ta shun)

  1. losing one's way;

     

  2. the removal or obscuring of something that has guided a person, group, or society, as customs or moral standards;

     

  3. the loss of perception of time, place, or one's personal identity.

     

(dis)orientation is not meant to be dogmatic or the final word. It is meant to be a work in progress, a continuing critique of ourselves and of an institution that often shows more interest in the status quo than in education and human dignity. (dis)orientation should inspire as much as it angers, question as much as it answers.

We came together out of general discontent with the orienting process that we encounter in our society and at our University. This process is re-enforced every time we are told that the university is diverse and representative of society, every time we are required to obtain a permit for rallying, every time we are told our degree is a stepping stone for high-paying salaries, every time educational space is used for corporate sponsorship, and every time we are treated as a number in an equation.

While creating this booklet, we found ourselves in the midst of our own (dis)orientation process. The order of these pieces, chosen at random, reflects our humble attempt to guard against our own biases. Although we all reject the orientation process, we have differing visions of (dis)orientation. A common no, and many yeses.

This coming together of people, poetry, and ideas is just one among an infinite number of horizons.

Copyleft Copyleft: These ideas belong to no one and everyone.
Freely take from this what you wish.
Alter it, destroy it, rebuild it and make it your own.

The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You...

By Adrian G. Saldaña

With digital camcorder surveillance
And listserv monitors
Speak your mind
Act your conscience
And you too will fall into the files
Make your presence known
Without fear and under constitutional right
And your face becomes another piece of data
"Standard procedure" is paving the way
For little brother to become big
The Eyes of Texas are scared wide open
And when they get scared
We all have something to fear

Do not think you can escape them
At night or early in the morn...

Privileged Liberty
Limited Suffrage
And undermined Civil Rights
Are the dusk of their revolution
We are merely waking to pick up that fight
To progress and fill the gaps
And they want to know our names
Know our causes
Know our thoughts
Know our communiqués
To squelch any dissent
In a more timely manner

The hours ahead are long
For now, the system has you on record
And it waits silently
Behind video cameras that see your Action
As crime
And your Principles as intent
We would sooner sweat humanity
Than bleed burnt orange
The hours ahead are long
For the Eyes of Texas are upon you
And you cannot get away...

 

UT Inc. Snuggles up with Big Business:

The story of privatization, corporatization, and commercialization at the University

Resist! We're Corporate!

Look around: the credit card companies selling debt in exchange for T-Shirts, the Texas Union selling had food and calling it choice, the business school named for a car salesman,. The superficial signs arc everywhere, but the fundamental changes run deeper. The UT Inc. Board of Regents are the "who's who" of the business world, including the same bank executives who voted for tuition increases and then loaned students the money to cover the cost. Business school students are using corporations as case studies and gaining "real" experience by designing marketing campaigns for selected "pro-education" companies. These same companies are no fools, kicking a little money to the business school is much cheaper than paying real wages for marketing professionals.

The zealous privatization of the past 20 years has made the University complicit with companies infamous for their disregard for human rights. The University has been sharply criticized for its multi-million dollar contracts with Nike, a company that refuses to stop using sweatshop labor to produce its products, and Sodexho Marriott, a company heavily tied to the international expansion of private, for-profit prisons. These prisons have come under harsh attack for cutting corners in basic services and for encouraging skyrocketing incarceration rates. In spring 2001, students protested the University's relationships and critiqued the privatization of both UT and the justice system. Students, frustrated with the University's dismissal of concern for the issue, used several direct action techniques including camping for three days on the South Mall and staging a sit-in in the Main Building to reclaim space free of commercial influence.

Degree Factory

Technology transfer legislation of the 1980's strengthened the ties between university administrators and corporate CEO's. Prior to "tech transfer," research topics were geared to better society and no one entity could own the fruits of federally funded research, guaranteeing competition between manufacturers of products stemming from the university. Tech transfer allows universities to hold patents of public knowledge and sell exclusive manufacturing rights to corporations. Departments, receiving a fraction of the royalties from the licensing agreements, are shifting their research from that of the public good to that which is commercially viable.

For people who work at the University, privatization and corporatization can mean losing their job when the University contracts their work to a company that does not pay as well or provide benefits. UT Inc. has stepped up austerity measures in food, custodial and groundskeeping services for the campus. This means there are fewer workers doing more work for less money, not to mention UT Inc.'s callous lack of training and safety for its employees. Both the Custodial Staff and University Staff Association are organizing, crossing borders between workers on campus and getting students involved in a movement for better working conditions, better pay, and more respect.

As the corporate presence on campus grows, the resistance grows louder. The barriers between workers and students are falling fast. Custodial staff and students, two groups of workers, are gaining control of their labor. Custodial workers want dignity and respect returned to their jobs, they want
to be listened to, they want to work in ways that they can be proud of. Students want their labor recognized and do not want to be charged for an education that merely trains them for the professional world. The struggle for better working conditions and for free education is the same fight. We, as students, are rejecting the idea that university is a stepping stone, a mere pre-employment resting place. We are conscience that capital is attempting to transform us into the professional class, a gate keeping class, protecting the interests of business from forces that have a different idea for the world. A world that says no to the logic of the markets, a world that says no to supplanting culture with production and a world that says yes to the infinite number of ways to live, to work, to play without the competition and the endless claim of limited resources.

For every day that the university cultivates and strengthens its role in the corporate world, there is another day that students, staff and faculty succeed at opening the doors of the university a little wider, continuing to provide a space for our use, for our projects, and for our history.

 

FEMINISM:
Not A Radical Idea

This afternoon I asked a friend of mine what she thought of when I said the word "feminist." Without hesitation, she said, "Man-hating, diesel dyke." I am a feminist. I am not man-hating. I am not a lesbian. Am I angry? Sometimes. Most of the time with good reason.

Why are we scared of feminists? Most of us are not armed. Most of us are not irrational people. We would just like equal rights. So why the attacks? Why must we all be lesbians? Why must we all be ugly and angry? It is easier to stereotype than to accept. To confront the gender inequity in our society is hard. It is painful. All of a sudden you start seeing TV, magazines, and movies in a new light. All of a sudden your good ol' boy professor isn't just quaint; he is insulting. It is easier to put feminists in a category of angry, man-hating women. The truth is we are not.

So...who are feminists then? We are simply humans who believe in the principle that women should have equal rights. It is not a radical concept! The feminist movement seeks to establish improved lives for women globally and it covers a broad scope of inequalities. A primary issue that comes to mind is that of unequal pay. In 1994, women only paid $0.74 to every dollar paid to men. Today in various professions there are still discrepancies between women and men's incomes. Female retail cashiers make at least $2000 per year less than their male counterparts. Female computer operators make at least $6000 per year less than their male counterparts. These same discrepancies pervade the fields held almost exclusively by women, such as nurses and elementary school teachers.

Feminist Power

Another feminist issue that often catches our attention is media's depiction of women - the display of unrealistic ideals of beauty. You cannot watch TV, drive down the highway, or read a magazine without being bombarded by several images of attractive, underweight women. These images imbed unrealistic goals of beauty in the minds of adolescent girls, who then become occupied with trying to attain them. Currently, an estimated 20% of college women are battling bulimia. The average weight of a model is 23% lower than that of an average woman, (20 years ago it was only 8% lower). The media is producing women with low self-esteem who are struggling to he thin. In order to address this concern, the National Organization for Women has organized a program called Redefining Liberation, which seeks to educate and activate young women and girls about the unrealistic images that saturate the media.

Unrealistic ideals of beauty and wage discrepancies arc among the many issues prevalent in our country, but there are also many pressing issues abroad that deserve our attention. In Africa, the AIDS epidemic is having devastating effect on its female population - in sub-Saharan Africa, 25% of women ages 20-29 are infected with HIV-AIDS. Also, 55% of HIV positive adults in Africa are women. A global health council conference was organized recently to strengthen efforts of prevention: increase birth control, improved health services to young girls, and increase childhood education.

Another global dilemma, which strikes women disproportionately, is poverty. Seventy percent of impoverished persons are women. Also, some half-billion women are stunted from mal nutrition. In the United States, approximately 80% of women on welfare have suffered, or are currently suffering, from domestic violence. In attempt to solve this problem, women's  rights supporters recently introduced a bill, VESSA, which seeks to provide an economic safety net for battered women.

These are only a handful of the issues which feminism deals with. Once people can overcome the inculcated stereotype of "feminist," they will be able to promote women's rights. After all, feminism is not an image. Feminists cannot be picked out of a line-up. When you identify as a feminist, you are not put through a boot camp where you are issued some hemp jewelry and denied your razor. Feminists exist across sexual orientation, race, class, age, size, and shape. Feminism covers a wide range of political thought, theory, practice, and individuals. Our common bond is the belief that all people were created equal and should be treated as such. What is feminism? Feminism is the not-so-radical notion that women have rights too.

 

Taking to the Streets Against the FTAA

By Brazos Price

The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) is a treaty that would extend a NAFTA-like relaxation of trade "barriers" to economics in countries of the Americas except Cuba. This treaty was negotiated in secret; its text was unavailable to the public at an April 2001 meeting between the leaders of the nations affected. Because it is like NAFTA, this agreement would hurt labor, the environment, consumer safety and national sovereignty across the Americas.

Beginning on April 20, these leaders came to Quebec to hammer out the agreement. Simultaneously, I joined the 30,000 citizens who were gathering to demand alternatives to the FTAA. We met at the People's Summit to offer a new and different vision called the "Alternative Agreement for the Americas." The meeting of the country's leaders took place behind a 10-foot chain-link and concrete blockade. The people's meeting was open. With the citizens on one side of the fence and so-called representatives hiding on the other, the wall became a symbol of the chasm between the people and the global elites.

I wasn't a veteran of protests. I was a curious student disturbed by forces that seemed beyond me. Although globalization is negatively affecting millions of people it is often said to be "inevitable" and a "cure". In fact, the "globalization" touted by the mass media is a form of corporate hegemony that treats the "free market" and consumerism as the cure-all for the people of the world.

Student, labor, environmental and numerous other groups all converged for three days in Quebec. We were met by robocops outfitted in weaponry, gassing those they should have been protecting. Rather than perform their duty as public servants, the police safeguarded the globalization agenda.

After Quebec I felt full - of experiences, emotions, and ideas. I felt sadness at a world controlled by channels of money, power, and manipulation. We can no longer blindly accept what is spoon-fed to us. It is our responsibility to reject the notion that we are powerless on the world's stage. It is time to remove the blindfold and refuse the shit we allow ourselves to be fed. No more the passive "think globally, act locally". An empowering method is emerging of acting locally and globally, merging the two so that we can begin to avoid the impending train wreck of corporate globalization. My experience in Quebec City was a transformation that came from taking the initial move away from passivity. To become an activist, one must act.

 

I used to sit in the fields with the workers,
and would watch, from the the solitude of my dreams,
my friends arching their backs towards the sun,
day by day I would sit and wait,
for the time when they would take with their hands what
could not be forced
from their hearts.
-A poem by John Nation

 

In Defense of "Eco terrorism"

Matches

This is a Firing Line published in the Daily Texan, 6/11/01, in response to a column condemning the Earth Liberation Front (www.earthliberationfront.com), an underground group that uses non-violent economic sabotage to defend the environment.

Zach Calel's Guest column on the Earth Liberation Front ("Environmental wackos hurt more than help" June 7) falsely represented the actions, history and philosophy of the organization.

The Earth Liberation Front has used property destruction to inflict over $50 million worth of damage on industries that profit from destruction of the planet, including the fur industry and research on genetically-engineered organisms. This has directly impacted the profit margins of corporations: the only thing, by law, that they pay attention to.

At the same time, it shifts the ideological spectrum. Some called the Sierra Club "terrorists" before Earth First! came along, and now the Sierra Club is mainstream. In all of its existence (nearly two decades), no human or non-human animal has been injured because of an ELF action. Not one.

The current rhetoric used by the FBI is that the ELF are "terrorists." Terrorism is using violence to achieve individual agendas. The question then becomes, is property destruction terrorism? I would like to think that if I stood in front of the gates of Auschwitz, with a wrench in my hand, that I wouldn't be afraid to tear the gas chambers down. Yes, it is violating someone's right to property, but in doing so it is protecting another's right to life.

Calef said the "ELF ranks right up there with the rest of the world's fools who think they can ignore laws in order to push their agenda." I totally agree. Fools like those radicals, the Sons of Liberty, who tossed tea into the Boston harbor, inflicting economic damage on the owners. Our nation's history is rooted in this kind of "terrorism." The ELF is not "destroying the American way of life," as Calef said. They're protecting it.

Will Potter, Journalism senior

 

"Unless you can imagine the world other than it is, you can't make a difference."
-Bernadine Dohrn,
Weather Underground

 

Response to Graglia

Note: This piece was originally written in the Spring of 2000 after an affirmative action debate held at the University. At this event, UT law professor Lino Graglia enraged many people with his insensitive and racist remarks. In recent years, Graglia has repeatedly made divisive and inflammatory comments such as that blacks and hispanics are not as academically competitive as whites and asians.

It isn't about whether Graglia has the right to speak. The question is: does he have the right to racially harass and/or abuse students?

Listening to a professor deem your culture inferior breaks people. It is emotionally abusive and does not allow for an environment for a person, having been deemed inferior by the professor, to succeed. Nor does he have the right to point out a student's race as a means to belittle. When I approached that mic on Wednesday and asked if he felt comfortable with an all-white law school, he responded, "Don't you worry, Indians are dark enough to keep the law school from being all white." Not also did he incorrectly assume my ethnicity (I'm Sri Lankan, not Indian), he was using the color of my skin to belittle and humiliate. At that point he wasn't merely expressing his views. That is racial harassment and that cannot be tolerated.

Yet, I was to remain quiet. Before the panel began the audience was informed that chanting, heckling or protesting would not be tolerated -threatening my free speech with implication of arrest. And as Graglia spoke of how blacks and Hispanics were inferior, lied about people's cultures and used Asian Americans as a pawn to divide people of color- we were to remain silent. And as a safe space for bigoted white men was created and the air weighed upon our hearts and suffocated our lungs - we were to remain silent.

~Marian Thambynayagam, Anti-Racist Organizing Committee, Plan II/theater and dance graduate

 

"like no otha"

by andre lancaster

yo. white gay boy, can you see me?

cause you be turnin' yo head actin' as if i wuz dead. payin' me no mind as if yo white boy ass don't got no time. and this one goes out to all the white boyz skeemin' fo sex toyz, grinnin' and wantin' to get into my colored skin

yo. next time y'all pass by take a good look into this eye an you'll see the beauty of me and my community. and i dare yo ass to stare an become aware of what else lies in there - in these eyes undisguised. 'cause you'll see yo evil history of slavery, the lynching tree, and police brutality.

these eyes might bite or fight or send yo ego on a one way flight tonight, out of sight. my vision words will be loud and proud and knock yo ass down to the ground. you'll be trippin' an slippin' out of town like a tired ass clown. so check this, cause i step tru...

these eyes will blast yo white boy ass fast back befo my people created jazz to the last-past-of-everlast when I'm threw with you.

...so white gay man, us colored brothas understand why yo sexist, racist, classist eyes can't recognize this. so please don't be pissed when we insist to resist, you.

yo colored brotha can you love me like no otha?
i seen yo tired colored ass the otha nite in the club tryin' to look like a tite thug cruzin' for a white boy to rub-a-dub-dub in the tub then suc n fuc.

now don't take this as a demand for you to stop n drop yo white man for me. please understand that, you see, this is just me tryin' to set my brothas free. i want you to be engaged as our collective rage tears down the cage between you and me. cause you see, colored brothas lovin' each otha is revolutionary.

now i don't mean, bed rockin', boots knockin, hands caressin', tongue lickin', lips kissin', toe suckin', dicks jackin', booty slappin' LOVE is revolutionary,

...well maybe...

but you see brotha, you, me, the desi, an all the otha colors must see each otha, as a community.

 

DIVIDE AND CONQUER:

Asian Americans, Women and Affirmative Action

At the 1987 Herman Sweatt Symposium, an annual event hosted at the University, Barbara Solomon, Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Southern California spoke at a lecture entitled "Affirmative Action in Multi-Ethnic Society: Implications for Social Work Practice." During this talk Professor Solomon argued that "1wle should not just generalize affirmative action to all minority groups without looking at the purpose of affirmative action. It must be more group-specific." In this articulation of how affirmative action should work, Solomon clearly delineates an ethnic/gender hierarchy with Blacks and Native Americans at the top and women and Asian Americans at the bottom. The evidence she uses to support her claim for group-specific based affirmative action is rooted in the socio-historical inequalities African Americans and Native Americans have experienced as a result of colonial and state oppression. And it is true that African Americans and Native Americans have endured a disproportionate amount of hostility and repression. To say that these two groups are not owed some form of reparation would be wrong. However, the complicated argument for a more group-specific form of affirmation must be looked at and critiqued very closely.

Within the articulation of this group-specific form of affirmative action lies the implicit dialogue that African Americans and Native Americans are the most oppressed and Asians and women encounter a lesser degree of oppression. While it is possible to argue that white women have historically had more access and privilege than women of color, to use this same argument in discussing people of color can be problematic. Positioning Asian Americans at the bottom of this hierarchy plays into the fallacy that Asian Americans are the "model minority" and somehow escape the plagues of white racism that other people of color face. Also, this myth leads one to gloss over the economic diversity of Asian Americans and it ignores segments of the Asian American community (i.e. Southeast Asians) who have high rates of poverty and low rates of high school graduation. Furthermore, this myth takes no notice of the history of colonial and state oppression against Asian and Asian Americans dating back over a century with the exploitation of Asian labor in the railroad, agricultural, and mining industries as well as racist US laws that explicitly forbade Chinese immigration.

Undoubtedly this ethnic/gender hierarchy that places African Americans and Native Americans at the top and women and Asian American pits people of color and women against each other, creating a dynamic where we find ourselves fighting over the scraps left over (reluctantly) by white men. What we, as organizers and resisters to this machine some call amerika, must push for is a plan that will take all of our oppressions, voices, and histories into consideration. The poor Chicana from southeast Houston should be able to access her education and housing as much as the third generation Cambodian American queer man who comes from a family unable to provide for him. The importance of recognizing our similarities * and * acknowledging our differences is crucial to building movements across lines of race, gender, class, and sexuality.

We must not let the system tear us apart. We must not let them deny our communities. We must not let them divide and conquer us.

 

FREE SPEECH AT UT:

A Long and Continuing Struggle

Resist!

The Supreme Court once famously ruled that students do not "shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate." While many UT students have learned this lesson inside the classroom, they've learned a very different one outside of it. The lesson being taught by the administration today is the same one that they've been teaching for many decades, that the Bill of Rights may stand behind students trying to express themselves, but the University of Texas is not afraid to walk all over both. Throughout the 1960's, activism dominated the UT campus. Students regularly expressed their outrage against the Vietnam War with large demonstrations on campus and marches to the State Capitol. Ugly confrontation became common.

In 1968, UT students protested the shooting of an unarmed Chicano teenager by hanging a police effigy on campus. In order to con

tain and restrict demonstrations the University established three free speech zones, or "designated rally areas." Any gathering that used megaphones or potentially threatened to disturb classes was now subject to harassment from UTPD. Many also believed that these areas were picked because of they were either hard to get to, or were designed in such a way as to keep crowds small. Not content to simply chop rights through diabolical policies, the regents sometimes resorted to simple brute force.

Regent Chairman Frank Erwin, who made many public comments about how he would not let liberals take over his university, went so far as to fire the president of the University for being too nice to protestors. "I'm disturbed that a bunch of dirty nothins can disrupt the workings of a great university in the name of academic freedom," he said. Erwin once visited a protest, pointed at five students, then left. The students designated were all placed on disciplinary probation.

In the 1980's over 160 students protesting UT's business ties to the apartheid South African government were arrested at a single West Mall rally for violating speech ordinances. Ten students were arrested in 1999 for staging a sit-in after the administration had repeatedly lied and misled them about the formation of an Asian American Studies Program. Student groups planning to protest a campus speech by Henry Kissinger were spied on by UTPD and subject to public defamation when Kissinger canceled his visit in fear of public dissent (the administration cited "security reports"). All efforts to find any such report have failed.

This past year UTPD resorted to violence to silence pro-choice demonstrators protesting an anti-abortion display on campus. This included the petty mugging of a longtime faculty member and UTPD spying on pro-choice organizations during meetings. The resulting backlash led many administrators to confess that campus policies need revision. Unfortunately, those confessions have been mere lip service thus far. The University has made no commitments to changing its free speech policy and no commitments to allow student input in the policies that affect them.

First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances

The days of Erwin are back, but in a more covert way. This new era of no restrictions places less focus on overt forms of censorship and more on censoring speech under the rubric of "time, place and manner restrictions."

This Fall, the free speech scene is set to explode. Justice For All, an anti-abortion group who's public education strategy revolves around 15 foot pictures of aborted fetuses and victims of Southern lynchings, has said it will bring back its display. They are sure to encounter several beauracratic impediments to their display. The free speech rights of both groups will be trampled on by the Administration.

So the question becomes: What can I do? The answer: A lot. Several groups will be working to change our free speech policy this upcoming year. Find these groups, join them, and help them! Students must utilize all available resources we have at this University. The Administration will never change its policy until students stand up, demand, and fight for these changes. This battle will be long and fierce, and it won't be easy.

 

for our babies.

- by Jamie Munkatchy

white sisters. women of privilege, professional women, university women, suburban women. we, for too long, aligned our interests with our fathers our brothers and our sons, we have not fulfilled our obligation to all women and men, we have allowed the conscious and unconscious exploitation of women in our homes and in our communities, the women who care for and love our children. have we ever thought about their children? have we ever thought about these women as mothers, as aunts and daughters, have we ever thought of them as anything but maids, as people too undeveloped, too unschooled for the lives we lead, for the lives we want for our own daughters. for too long we have been the willing accomplices of white men and have left women behind. the women who live in another half of the world or on another side of the highway. the women who slave in sweatshops to stitch the clothing on our children's backs, and the daughters of our sisters half a world away and right next door, their bodies, the battle fields on which neoliberalism is waged. we euroamerican, middle class and christian women are waging that battle on her body. we have forgotten her and continue to dance the dance of privilege on her face.

our parents abandoned the inner dties, fled to the suburbs behind gates. we thought we were escaping violence and drugs, butwe use drugs at 5 times the rate of people in the cities and we cannot forget it is our fathers and husbands that own and profit from the sale and distribution of drugs and guns. and we cannot forget that 70 percent of drug profit is deposited and invested by united states banks. can you appreciate that? the chases and the citibanks launder drug money, the private banking industry never asks questions. and rather than stop the flow of money, we fight a war against the poor, the coca farmers, the working people, the non-white people, the women. we cannot forget our husbands and fathers are the politicians who write the racist war on drug policy, five years for 5 grams of crack, five years for 500 grams of powered cocaine. enslaving crack users one hundred times over. and our families build the prisons, housing women and men, extracting money from the sweat on their backs, scarred backs on the same Angola plantations of our father's father.

we university women have privilege, the knowledge conferred by degree above the knowledge given to us by our grandmothers. we have given over our reproductive health to the medical establishment, turned our pregnancies into sicknesses, curable only by birth in a hospital in the care of a "trained medical expert." we celebrate our liberation as the medical establishment gives us the pill, but we do not cry injustice as those same pills are sterilizing native american women, black women, latina women and poor women. we do not cry double injustice when queer women of color are marginalized three times over. once for not being white. once for being poor. once for daring to love. why do we ignore injustice heaped upon women? why? because we have characterized poverty, violence, crime as a cultural deficiency, butte real deficiency is our continued investment in privilege. when we do not demand justice for all women and men and ourselves we contribute to the propagation of white supremacy, and i do not exaggerate.

it is time to cultivate resistance in our own wombs, to give birth to rebellion.

 

7/23/01

A few days ago, over 120,000 people took to the streets in Genoa, Italy, in protest of the meeting of the G8 (leaders of the 8 wealthiest "democratic" countries).

Demonstrators from all over the world converged on Genoa to present alternative visions of the way the world could organize to undo poverty, inequality and environmental disintegration.

On Friday, a Genovese protestor, Carlo Giuliani, was shot in the head, point blank, by police. He was only 23 years old.

The police then backed their armored vehicle over Giuliani's body, and pulled forward again over him, as they fled the scene.

Carlo Giuliani.

He was 23 years old. About the age of most students at this University. He studied history. He probably was involved in similar activist circles as we are, but only in Genoa. Now he's dead.

Carlo Giuliani.

Police barricaded the entire city to silence dissent. They beat, gassed and shot activists and journalists. Carlo Giuliani refused to sit quietly. He raised a clenched fist.

Carlo Giuliani.

We're used to thinking that we have every right to protest, and we expect others to grant us those rights.
Only third-world dictatorships shoot demonstrators, right?

This is representative of more than one isolated incident.
This movement is growing, and gaining power,
and in doing so it is scaring those who wish to maintain their power.
This affects all of us, no matter how involved we are, or for what social struggle.

Look at the photo of him. Look at his face. 23 years old. That could have been any one of us.

Carlo Giuliani.

 

Torture and Tenure:

Student rights and Animal rights at UT

You could spend four years at UT and never even know it was there.

The Animal Resources Center, 27th and Speedway, is set back from the street, There are no windows. Trees shroud the raised entrance. Most students walk and ride by the building without knowing what goes on there. Without knowing what their student fees support. Without knowing what steps UT takes to hide it from them.

Inside this secluded building, nearly 20,000 animals - including primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters and quail - suffer at the hands of nearly 100 UT vivisectors. UT refuses to disclose what experiments are taking place, but students have uncovered a few examples (see opposite page).

Part of the funding for the ARC comes from the vivisectors themselves, who pay to use the facility with grants, The other 35 percent of the funding comes from UT funds: student fees. The UT administration goes to great lengths to hide from students the torture that is done in their name. ARC officials have lied to students about what research takes place, and denied students direct access to funding information, research protocols and housing/breeding information.

Like many other aspects of the University, there is no student representation on the committee that governs the ARC (unlike schools like the University of Oregon). Students must fight to simply find out meeting times and dates.

When students have removed the University's blindfolds, and torn down the red tape, they have been harassed and intimidated. During last year's campaign to free Stampy, one member of SAGA received threatening emails from UT vivisectors. At the end of that campaign, Jerry Fineg, director of the ARC, said to a student "Just so you know, from this point on, students will not be able to tour the facility." The message is clear: passing out fliers is fine, but when students start challenging the financial and institutional structures of UT, the administration intervenes.

As students, we must begin to question our relationship with animals, but also our relationship with the University. The role of a university is to educate and empower students. The ARC does neither. It exists to bring money to UT, and so professors can publish and advance their careers. All of this is done without the consent of the animals or the students.

As long as UT keeps students ignorant and disempowered, animals will continue to die, Animal liberation is dependent on student liberation. It's time to open our cages.

-The Student Liberation Front

 

Inside the UT Animal Resources Center...

Here are a few examples of what animal experimentation takes place at our university, with our fees, in our name:

*Cedra, an Austin corporation, paid UT to house and kill nearly 30 healthy Beagles over a five-year period. Their organs were used to create hundreds of cell cultures, which Cedra sold to pharmaceutical companies for up to $400 each. Cedra argued that killing a few dogs for cell cultures is better than killing hundreds by direct testing. However, testing human diseases on dogs is scientifically flawed, whether the dog is in a cage or petry dish. Only human cell cultures are scientifically recognized as applicable to humans. And they're non-lethal. The reason this took place, though, is because both Cedra and UT profited considerably from the arrangement. In December 2000, Students Against Crueltyto Animals exposed the deal, forced UT to end its contract with Cedra, and release Stampy, the last living Beagle. This has never happened on a college campus.

Liberation: Animal and Human

*Four Lemurs are currently housed in the ARC so anthropology students can learn about "primate behavior." They live in a concrete room, with walls painted to look like trees and a ceiling painted to look like clouds. A tire swing dangles from the ceiling, and a leafless tree dies in a ceramic planter. The Lemurs are an endangered species from Madagascar. Some were bred for this purpose, others were stolen from families in the wild (a practice which further jeopardizes the endangered species). Studying primate behavior in these circumstances is like studying human behavior in Auschwitz.

*UT vivisectors are searching for a "cure" for fetal alcohol syndrome (other than not drinking during pregnancy). Wasting animal lives on these "quick fixes" squanders money that should be used for prevention and counseling.

*Vivisectors will attach "markers" to 13 infant primates- between 2 weeks and 26 weeks old. These infants will be torn from their mothers immediately after birth, and kept in isolation so researchers can study how their gait changes as they develop. Infant primates, like infant humans, suffer psychologically and physically from maternal separation. After such separation, some mothers will refuse to care for them.

 

UT's Infatuation with Virgin Paper Products

UT-Austin buys very little recycled paper, despite a state mandate. Instead, it spends state-appropriated funds to purchase virgin paper products from such ill-reputed companies as Boise Cascade. The purchasing of paper at UT is highly decentralized, and the enormous quantities that are consumed daily have taken a long and twisted road from the tree farm or national forest to the tests, memos, and scratch paper that students use.

Because UT is a public institution, it enjoys the benefit of everything the state has to offer its so-called state agencies, as well as being bound by the state's regulations. Any state agency, including UT, has the option, but is not required, to buy off state contracts. The university usually chooses this option because it is the cheapest way to purchase paper products.

University Services, in particular, deals with huge amounts of paper. Not only do they purchase paper for University Supply, which provides paper to the majority of departments on campus, but they also sell paper to other state agencies, such as the Department of Public Safety. University Services has been doing business with Olmsted-Kirk for many years. In terms of virgin office paper, Olmsted-Kirk sells Hammermill, and this paper trickles down all around campus in great quantities. For example, 10,500 cartons of virgin Hammermill bond paper were purchased in the Spring, 2001.

The gargantuan amounts of virgin paper purchased from paper companies might not be surprising, if not for the recently passed state mandate that requires the university to buy recycled bond paper. The state mandate, known as the First Choice policy, stipulates that anytime the University uses state-appropriated funds it must give preference to recycled bond and printing paper, among other things.

At first glance, this piece of legislation seems like a win, but The First Choice amendment (to Senate Bill 1127) has a large and gangly loophole: the University can buy virgin paper if it is less expensive than buying recycled paper. The cost preference clause effectively nullifies the very spirit of the amendment, and purchasing departments across campus are jumping through this loophole again and again. The purchaser simply fills out a justification letter that is then processed through the Purchasing Department and signed by UT's president, Larry Faulkner.

Currently, there are certain kinds of paper that are not available through the state, such as bright copy paper. In these cases, each purchasing center has the latitude to use state appropriated funds (most of UT's budget) to buy products from wherever they want. University Supply, for example, buys paper products that the state does not offer from Boise Cascade.

Boise Cascade clearcuts old growth

Boise Cascade has a long and ill-reputed history of old growth logging in national forests. Thu top U.S. PIRG's Timber Industry Hall of Shame list by being the largest logger on federal public lands in the country. From 1994-1998, Boise Cascade was also the number one purchaser of timber from public lands, purchasing a total of 538 million board feet. During this same period of time the Forest Service timber program lost over $1.7 billion dollars. Boise Cascade is shamefully turning a profit off of some of the last ancient forests in the country (clearcutting 2,000-year-old trees) and to add insult to injury, is doing so at the taxpayer's expense.

In addition to its devastating logging of old growth forests. Boise Cascade poses a threat to air quality. The EPA is currently prosecuting the company for two decades of illegal air pollution. They are being cited for unlawful emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter. BC, then, guts old growth forests, dumps toxic chemicals into the air, and is generally unflinching in its pursuit of a buck.
The arcane and destructive practices of Boise Cascade should serve as an alert to the university to closely scrutinize the companies it does business with. The link from forest to syllabus isn't as indirect as it might seem. These products change form and name many times, but in the end we are not only losing our national heritage, we are using it and trashing it everyday. A trip to University Supply will remind you of that.

 

TAKING POWER SERIOUSLY:

Student Syndicalism at UT

By Loren Dent

Organize!

Student movements have always faced difficult but important choices when confronting those people and institutions that claim to represent and embody their interests. Are faculty appropriate individuals to connect with when opposing the University? What about staff, especially those who epitomize the bureaucratic face of the University of Texas? Does student government provide an effective outlet for student voice? These issues have a long history at UT and have played themselves out in the specific battles fought over affirmative action, free speech, corporate involvement, staff wages and the Sodexho campaign, just to name a few.

But at the core of these choices lies the broad-based problem of decision-making and control. Perhaps just as important as specific issues leveled against the University is the larger issue of who provides the answer to questions that affect the daily lives of students. Carl Davidson, one of the more influential members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) organization in the 60s, published an essay that attempted to review the problem of student power and decisions. "The New Radicals in the Multiversity" argued for a "student syndicalism" that modeled itself on labor syndicalism. The basic idea is that instead of fighting for small reforms through the usual channels of representative bodies, students should demand more direct control over decision-making. Universities have always declared themselves to be pillars of democratic societies, where students play a vital role in the formation of social will and the exchange of knowledge. Syndicalism pushes that idea to its necessary conclusion, which would drastically alter the structure of the university and begin to place power in the hands of those who have desired it for a long lime.

Don't be mistaken. This would require quite a fight. The university body and its proxies such as the Board of Regents, Student Government, and some of the faculty and staff will most likely be up in arms (literally!) to defend "right" to represent you. No longer should students settle for bargaining, compromise and temporary reform. The fact that student syndicalism models itself from labor struggles is no coincidence. Davidson and others were right to argue that the university system is not only like a factory, but is a factory that efficiently creates productive workers with little control over their conditions and environment. The absurd and disabling influx of corporate influence on UT is all too apparent. We have departments up for sale to the highest bidder, "applied research" carried out for powerful interests, and-worst of all, perhaps - a Board of Regents that is almost entirely occupied by the wealthy elite in Texas with the same political leanings.

Every student should be concerned with this situation. Demanding more and compromising less does not mean that reforms and concessions should be rejected, but that those steps must be considered in a larger vision of decentralizing authority. At stake is nothing less that the future of democratic participation both at UT and society at large. Once the daily lives of students are decided by the students themselves, there is almost unlimited potential for the creative and powerful force that the student body can seize.

 

"Class War"

By Forrest Wilder

The table is set and
The candles are lit and
The wine has been chilled...
All preparations for the feast are finalized.

But who's been invited?
And who's done the inviting?
The invitations are few
And the people are many.

RSVP
If you want to attend
But you'd better
Know someone who'll let you in.

When there's a knock on the door
The Host startles from his seat
Cocks his head and his gun
And calls out to the door "There's room for no more!"

Outside the gates
The people throw rocks.
Their aim is the feast
Where pigeons flock
To eat the crumbs
That bloated bellies
Couldn't hold.

and inside it's cigars and politics
and how the people must be contained
(AT ANY COST!)
The feast lies rotting in the butler's hands
As he stands stock-still
And listens to the whiz of midnight
Rocks clatter against the gate,
Angry dispatches from the uninvited,
He toasts the sound with
Some stale champagne
Takes off his white gloves
And says amen...

 

the re-imagined land collective

a queer of color statement

we do not separate 2 divide/we separate 2 be specific/we separate 2 affirm ourselves - recuperate from the wounds we take each day/occupied by white supremacist capitalist patriarchy

we are queer people of color at the university of texas at austin. we are native american asian and asian american latina/o and chicana/o and african and african american peoples. we are lesbians gays bisexuals transgendered questioning same gender lovin' and two spirited folk of our communities.

as queers of color, we recognize the hostility toward our race and sexuality by society and the ignorance of our multi-positioned identities by the queer community at large and the uneasiness of our fellow colored brothas and sistas all as calls 2 form our own collective.

the queer of color struggle is one that is deeply connected 2 the struggle 4 the freedom of all oppressed peoples. our fight is one that targets sexism racism and economic injustice as well as homophobia and heterosexism. thus as queers of color at the university we stand in solidarity with other efforts 2 advance social justice: we support the efforts of the custodial staff who demand sale working conditions and living wages - we support the efforts of pro-choice activists who battle regressive attempts 2 control womyn's bodies -we support criminal law reform advocates and death penalty abolitionists who work toward making the criminal justice system free of racial bias and who oppose state-sanctioned murder... our activism is as multi-faceted and complex as our identities.

Safe space providers offer an open and tolerant environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning members of UT community. Some of the providers include:

Richard Lewis - Assistant Professor, RTF
Ragen Chastain - Senior. Social Work
Daniel Ostick - Jester East and West Area Coordinator
Andrea Donzingue - Junior, Mathematics RA, San Jacinto
Roshi Mansouri - Junior, Biology RA, Jester West
David Dominguez - Postdoctoral Fellow; Social Work
Owen Cappleman - Associate Professor, Architecture
Jessica McKennev - Sophomore, pre-Computer Science
Daniel Holland - Sophomore, Liberal Arts

though some call us separatists and condemn our coalition building we maintain that our affirmation of our colored queered bodies is a means 2 physical and psychic survival in a white capitalist heteronormative patriarchal supremacy. our affirmation is not exclusive. we encourage openness interaction and dialogue and we welcome allies from all backgrounds. at a university that historically has been hostile 2 people of color and in communities that have silenced our sexualities and in a city where gay white male hierarchy prevails -the proclamation of our beauty and politics is imperative.

as queers of color, we seek to (dis)cover our past and in so doing we hope to recover the work, art, and lives of our ancestors. it is our hope that this process of reconciling past alienations and remembering present connections will help to transform our desire for public spaces for queers of color into the actual. this re-imagined land will undoubtedly be a space that will be for resistance as much as it will be for love, freedom as much as dance, community as much as desire...

4 centuries we have been erased/from history/we have been voiceless and silenced/andyet throughout that omission and silence and domination we have danced/and created so much arte/so much vida/ so much of our own tradicion

 

STUDENT POWER asks:

"Who were we?"

Resist!

The concept of Student Power had been coming together for a long time. There have always been efforts to bring the various progressive student groups on campus together, to form a coalition that could be relied on for support and constructive criticism. But the idea of
Student Power as a collective whose primary objective was taking over the Student Government was conceived first at a student encuentro held at the University in October 2000 and discussed further at a later meeting in mid-December 2000.

At an early Student Power meeting in mid-January 2001, everyone present was asked to narrate their personal story and explain what drew them to this still-nebulous project. "Who are you?" we asked each other. "Why are you here?" These questions garnered common intersections of our histories as well as complex differences in our identities and activism s. But on this last point we found that we could agree: although some of us were colored, some of us were queer, some of us were women, we all were UT students who wanted to change the fucked-up practices we saw being carried on around us. We saw ourselves as arbiters of change.

But wait: what were our issues? What exactly did we want to change? Speaking all at once, we said we wanted (among other things) more students on faculty hiring committees, fairer treatment of and better working conditions for the custodial staff, a student on the board of regents, bike racks on every shuttle bus, and a letter demanding the reinstatement of affirmative action on campus.

"Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Y - uh...."

A debate politely began concerning the last suggestion. Concerns were politely expressed. We don't agree with how the University dealt with affirmative action, members remarked. Our goals should be realistic, some said. It's not up to SG to reinstate affirmative action, anyway, others noted. And, you know, the word "demand" can be really alienating. We can offer up new approaches, others argued. Maybe saying that this is what we believe is doing something, some said. Maybe, in our hands, SG can do things it never has before. Maybe we should shake people up.

These were the seeds of the most important debates that took place within Student Power. At every meeting before the official campaign season began, there were passionate, turbulent, painful (and often painfully long) discussions about topics we all expected to agree on. Coming to the table, we assumed that our beliefs and strategies would be, if not the same, certainly complimentary.

Student Power

That was a naive assumption, resolved only by asking and arguing over the most essential questions. What did Student Power really want to do with Student Government? Was our primary goal winning the election, or was it to awaken more people to certain important but often ignored campus issues? And, hey, what were we willing to do to win? Did we have to follow rules in the election code that we were opposed to, such as those limiting the use of amplified sound to West Mall? Who were we? Why were we here?

On the first day of campaigning, after so much struggle, we had an answer. We were STUDENT POWER, an army fighting against the status quo, reaching out to the progressive community and beyond. Student Government's power was not limited to seeking better stadium seating or impotent promises for more on-campus parking. SG's precedent would not restrict our vision because we knew that our power was with us long before we were labeled as President or Representative. Our power was intrinsic. We were self-mandated, and were out to blow up the constructs that were slowing progress instead of spurring it on. Regardless of the election results, armed with our new self-awareness and purposeful momentum, we knew we had succeeded.

That is why STUDENT POWER did not die on election night. Its members continue lighting for the causes that first brought them together - both within SG and without it.

 

Reparations Key to Justice for Past Wrongs

by Robyn Citizen

(The following first appeared as an opinion piece in the Daily Texan on 7/27/2000)

The debate on reparations for African Americans is in the headlines, but the debate is hardly new. U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has introduced reparation bills that have tailed to gain support in Congress every year since 1989. In addition, a controversial new book, The Debby the president of TransAfrica, Randall Robinson, makes a convincing argument for why the black community should organize around this issue.

Those who see race as a zero-sum game, mostly whites, are afraid that admitting that compensation is overdue is equivalent to volunteering themselves to be held responsible for that debt.

However, most supporters of reparations realize that direct cash payments would be ineffective. Reparations in the form of compensation for social injustice is best accomplished through new social programs created to address the effects of long-term discrimination.

Although traditional programs like affirmative action have been helpful, they don't go far enough in either addressing past discrimination or eliminating the wealth gap between blacks and whites. Also, the article Reparations by William Darity Jr. shows that the benefits of affirmative action have fallen disproportionately on middle-class blacks. Yet, since race and class often go hand in hand, any race-based program that ignores the lower class and their problems inferior public education, occupational experience, etc. clearly misses its mark. Therefore, reparations should be used as an opportunity to aggressively remedy the existing economic gap between blacks and whites that began with slavery.

Furthermore, 40 to 60 percent of the gap in the black-white median income can be traced to the cumulative effects of discrimination. Economists note that white Americans receive the same proportion of their income and wealth today that slave owners received in 1860, providing evidence that whites continue to profit from slave labor. The inability of slaves to pass down wealth continues to hurt blacks over 175 years after emancipation post-slavery de jure discrimination.

Precedents based on the international law of unjust enrichment have laid the foundation for the reparations movement. The principle behind this law is if a party unlawfully enriches himself by wrongful acts against another, then the party so wronged is entitled to compensations. Holocaust survivors have used this legislation to receive compensation from the governments of Germany and Austria, and from private industries that profited from Nazi forced labor policies. The International Court has decided in favor of reparations even in cases of the massacre or displacement of Native American tribes that occurred in the early 1800's.

Therefore, opponents' claims that it's too late for reparations are silly, considering that bills requesting restitution have been turned down by the government since 1865, only two years after slavery ended. In terms of severity, the enslavement of Africans surely qualifies as something that should be atoned for.

Historians estimate that more than 10 million died in middle passage alone. Slaves were separated from their families, language, religion, even their names. The result is an entire race of people whose sense of identity begins at the point where they were separated from their history. It's impossible to quantify the psychological effects of slavery on contemporary black Americans.

One argument against reparations is that they would place an unfair burden on the almost 100 million people who have immigrated to the United States after slavery ended. This argument misunderstands the purpose of reparations, which concentrates on the history of discrimination as an institutional phenomenon. Unfortunately, when people immigrate to the United States they enter into a racialized system. Those of European descent benefit from a system where people like them hold political and economic power, and immigrants of African descent suffer in a country where non-whites have been denied access to this power.

Similarly, although the congressmen who initially supported slavery are long gone, the federal government, as an institution, is still responsible for compensation since the will of those members continue to be enforced and perpetuated by the system.

The next step in the reparations movement is the process of cementing these concepts into public policy. First, the government should form a commission to work out the logistics of where the money would come from and how it would be made available to the black community trust funds, scholarships, etc. It's also important to determine who would qualify as African American, lest some people suddenly "rediscover" their roots. Mainstream support for reparations will probably never exist. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the black community to sift through the misinformation about ourselves and our history.

Slavery was a crime against humanity and the lingering effects on black Americans warrant extensive and immediate compensation. As Robinson explains in The Debt, "the issue here is not whether or not we can or will win reparations. The issue is whether we will fight for reparations because we have decided for ourselves that they are due."

 


Sure, it's all about your Education
(In Thousands. Source Daily Texan, 8/4/2000)

Paychecks

 

DIGNITY AND RESPECT:

UT CUSTODIAL STAFF

Beginning in the summer of 2000, members of the UT Custodial Night staff began to independently organize for better working conditions, the elimination of TEAM CLEANING, an increase in staffing, and respect and dignity at work.

Since the beginning, UT students and other staff members have worked side by side with the custodial staff. Planning press conferences, organizing informational meetings, and initiating a petition drive that was supported of some 3,000 students, staff and faculty, the university community successfully worked together to bring the issues of cleanliness, hygiene and dignity to light.

During the months of August and September 2000, the custodial workers came together with other employees on campus to make public their concerns about working conditions in a three day "sick out". A letter signed collectively by the UT Custodial Staff circulated on campus highlighting the workers' main complaints of the exploitative, abusive and unsafe conditions that they work in everyday. Most deplorable was the forced use of CSP and chlorine at the swimming center, chemicals that when mixed cause a noxious gas and long term respiratory and vision problems.

From the beginning, Physical Plant administration, the Office of Human Resources, and the office of the Vice President for Campus and Student Services have denied all of the concerns and accusations that the custodians have brought forth. They claimed that a person's testimony and a dirty university was not sufficient proof.

What is Team Cleaning?: It has nothing to do with winning (or cleaning)

Team Cleaning makes every custodial task a race. These types of guidelines dehumanize the persons performing the task. No longer is their job about cleaning, but about get things done at record time in machine-like fashions. UT Is the largest public university In the nation. More buildings, MORE WORK, FEWER WORKERS. Consolidating tasks to save money amounts to physical abuse as one person has to do the work of 3 or 4. All of these tasks are measured by the speed they are completed, not the quality of the work.

Team Cleaning does not work!!! Instead, it creates division among workers and unequal work assignments, which hinder complete and proper sanitization of University facilities in turn, creating unhealthy study and work environments. Combined with chronic understaffing, Team Cleaning has only succeeded in exploiting and marginalizing a group of valuable employees and wonderful people.

Happy Valentine's Day Larry

On February 14, 2001 the custodial staff, with the help of some 100 students, staff, and faculty delivered the petition and an eight-foot Valentine entitled a "Labor of Love" to UT president Larry Faulkner. They requested a meeting with president Faulkner to discuss how these problems could begin to be solved.

On March 27, the meeting took place and president Faulkner gave his word that he would respond to the staff's recommendations. After more than two months of waiting, the custodial staff received a response that was less that inspiring. Faulkner - unsurprisingly - stood by the side of PP1 and washed his hands of the issue.

Recent events

In a Physical Plant report released on December 18, 2000 (but not made public until mid-May 2001), UT crunches some numbers and "discovers" the reasons why the University is so dirty: team cleaning had not been implemented correctly or completely. Wow, PP1 administration is really smart!

If from December 2000 until May of 2001, PP1 administration knew of the existence of this report why did they continue to publicly deny that there were problems with team cleaning or that the specific timing guidelines even existed? Instead of listening to the analysis and solutions that the staff offered based on their everyday experiences and supported by thousands of members of the UT community, the Physical Plant administration turned to the alchemy of econometrics to ''prove" that if implemented correctly and completely, team cleaning would work. No one wants to work at LIT Inc. because of the exploitative and disrespectful working conditions.

The question is, how is PP1 administration measuring success: Efficiency or cleanliness? And what is revealed by their arrogant, disrespectful and dismissive tone to the custodial staff and the entire university community? And what about all the employees who have been written up, reprimanded, and fired not by any fault of their own, but, as PP1 admits, due to a system that was "implemented incompletely? Where is their apology? Where is their reward?

If team cleaning is such a great idea, why does the Tower not use the same system? The Pickle Research Center? If team cleaning realty works, why is the university not clean? It's not the staff's fault!

Since the custodial staff is the most experienced in maintaining a University of this magnitude, they should be a part of all aspects of the design and implementation of cleaning methods. When input is received at all levels, it creates a more dignified environment for all. What they want is the administration to sit down and listen in order to solve these problems together, instead of relying on a math formula to determine "appropriate" work loads and assignments. As the staff writes in a recent collective letter, "We are people. We are not numbers in an equation!"

UT (not UT Inc.) is a community made up of many members. We have a responsibility to each other. Instead of posting UT police officers outside of a custodial staff meeting where a main theme is first class treatment, spending thousands of dollars on experts and studies, and vilifying student supporters, the PP1 administration should respect all its staff members by sitting down listening to their solutions!

The staff takes pride in providing a clean, safe and hygienic environment for us to work, think, play and create in. Our responsibility to the custodial staff is to recognize that they form part of the UT community and should be treated with the same respect and dignity that all staff demands.

As of this writing the "new" team cleaning pilot team has yet to be formed as no one is volunteering. Will UT Physical Plant make it mandatory that the system work? How is that fair? The UT community will be watching.

 

Crafting the Hammock
in the Educational Commons

When I first arrived at UT in the history department I remember a pamphlet entitled "Learning to Love the Rope." I heard about this pamphlet, like most things of use in graduate programs, through the informal networks of students and staff. However, I was told that it no longer existed. After insisting that a copy could be found, which of course it could, I learned a critical lesson (one incidentally not contained in the pamphlet itself) that is that when they say it doesn't exist or that it cannot be found it means that it is available and can be reproduced.

This pamphlet was written by a graduate student who after finishing his dissertation was ready to leave the program. He was motivated to write it because he wanted to share important information that would make the life of graduate students in the history department a little bit easier. The type of information he provided was underground intelligence about the mean streets of Austin, critical strategies to negotiate the Byzantine corridors of power in the department's graduate office and the Tower, and tips to negotiate the stacks and archival depositories of the jealously guarded libraries of an elite institution. Concerned about the obstacles built into graduate programs, the author attempted to ameliorate the plight of novitiates and share crucial information that might ensure the success of prospective students, underscoring that education can always be made collective and cooperative rather than competitive and individualistic.

This pamphlet symbolizes the fundamental contradictions in graduate education at UT, and for most graduate programs in the US, for that matter. For the graduate student author the rope is a metaphor for overcoming the expected, and by some welcomed, hurdles of graduate training. As metaphor the rope morphs into representing other types of disciplinarian apparatuses, such as a cordon and ultimately a noose, symbols that betray the disciplining that takes place in the hallowed halls of academe. The rope can work as a leash policing modes of inquiry, or a tether preventing the exploration and adoption of innovative methodologies. Certainly, the rope can be made to crack like a whip when students are discouraged from proposing curricular reform, faculty hires, and new programs.

More importantly, the pamphlets production and its circulation in the history department reveal a number of critical issues regarding the pedagogy that drives graduate programs. Overall, graduate programs suffer from educational Darwinism. Ifs a variation of the sink-or-swim approach: throw as many students in the pool as possible and wait to see who sinks or who desperately paddles for the rail. Not content with an overcrowded pool of students, they drain the pool and watch to see who survives in the shallows. Practically, this means that the procedures and practices for obtaining funding, designating a dissertation advisor, mapping out course work, selecting major and minor fields, preparing for exams, and securing paying gigs were all mysteries unless one was able to ingratiate oneself with an attentive and committed mentor. Everyone else is left to wander the halls nervously in search of intellectual succor or the wisdom from gossip, chit-chat, and the hustles that take place in the hallway.

Even if this document is designed to support students, ultimately, learning to Love the Rope' suggests that we should be grateful for being infantalized by indifferent scholars and the suits in the Tower. We are also supposed to accept that for five to ten years we will be happy to be impoverished, overjoyed by a penury that is imposed for the sake of making a commitment to scholarship appear rewarding. Scholarship not sulked by ideological contamination has its own rewards in the authority one can claim for having survived the intellectual hazing, or as the ''common sense" phrase that runs through graduate school puts it, "having jumped through all the hoops." This underscores the notion that nearly everyone accepts-including "progressive" scholars - that graduate school is political (politics here a euphemism for sycophancy and an ideological ploy to minimize more serious and tangible political questions such as minority recruitment and retention, representation in the curriculum, and the development of subaltern histories and themes). "Loving the rope' also quietly proposes that the hazing should continue and that scholars who don their caps and gowns have a license to abuse their own prospective students with the same mechanisms of indifference and neglect.

As minorities it can never be that we "learn to love the rope." Given our marginality and the paucity of our numbers, our survival in graduate programs requires that our pursuit of educational achievement be a collective endeavor. We can't afford the ideologies, rituals, and arcane academic rites that celebrate individual achievement and competition. The rope for us must simply be one of many ropes that together can be intertwined to produce a hammock, a support system that can expand to serve a great many people who reject self-aggrandizement. In "Learning to Love the Rope," the author suggests that students consider participating in reading groups as a strategy for each individual to arrive to the seminar prepared. However, reading groups don't fundamentally challenge the intellectual competition that defines the seminar demonstrate your brilliance and commitment by dominating the discussion of the seminar and win the favor of the professor. This type of educational Darwinism in which the survival of the fittest is played out in the seminar as battlefield underscores the competition and individualism being validated and masked as "higher education," but it also reveals how impoverished the commitment is to learning and letters.

The hammock suggests that learning is cooperative and maintained through dialogue. When the hammock is opened it can accommodate an increasingly larger number of people. Once expanded it can take many forms as it has in the UT-Austin graduate community. For example, it can function as a virtual center, a "temporary autonomous zone" that takes advantage of public spaces (usually local watering holes or cantinas) and transforms them into spaces for students, staff, faculty, and community activists to meet in order to share information, distribute resources, provide mutual support, develop strategies of resistance and build community. The virtual center also operates as a bulwark to the minority research center, which, although structurally under-funded and marginalized by the Tower, arrogantly presumes to represent and mediate all the interests of a diverse "minority" community. The virtual center, on the other hand, is a space for encounter that functions as a bridge between sectors and communities.

Although underground (or off-campus) spaces are vital to any student movement, UT student activists have also launched strategies that sought to limit the privatization of the campus and that produced institutional spaces for democratic representation. In the process we insisted on engaging the suits in the Tower, as well as participated in faculty and administrative meetings, in order to gather information and insist on our inclusion in decision-making processes. In our efforts to reclaim our university commons we successfully created projects and spaces that attained funding as line items in the budget, thus insuring their continuity for new generations of student activists. By actively reclaiming our commons and promoting the traffic and intercourse that would make the university a democratic place of learning and not a speed-up factory of privilege, we hoped to offer community as an alternative to competition.

 

The Failure of the University

By Forrest Wilder

The University of Texas began on the simple premise that it "should place within the reach of our people, whether rich or poor...a thorough education. .to male or female on equal terms, without charge for admission." UT's founders were hardly radicals, much less educated men. Largely, they were cut from the same cloth as modem Texas bigwigs: moneyed from oil, land, and the good ol' boy system. But as Ronnie Dugger wrote in Our Invaded Universities, "The theory of the university was straightforward democracy. The people would give the place more than two million acres of public land, pay its bills, and control it through regents..." Our ancestors would hardly recognize the ugly behemoth that UT has become. Its myopic identity as a handpuppet for the Economy, its sprawling constellation of student-commuters, its grad student drones, the underpaid staff and faculty, the racially-skewed student body, its continuing self-perception as a corporate training facility, its implicit disrespect for departments who don't produce "skilled labor" - what does all this mean for students? Are we nothing more than "intellectual capital" to feed the needs of the economy and the corporations, bodies to sustain consumerism and capitalism?

"Our state will need increased intellectual capital to sustain economic growth in the 21st century."

-Larry Faulkner,
UT President

As students, we resent this "education" that seems so distant from the one we had envisioned. We try to reconcile our preconceived idea of the University with the one that we actively experience. For 21% of UT students, this process of adjustment fails by the end of their second year: they drop out. According to UT's official statistics, a full 35% of students haven't graduated after 6 years. For the rest of us, we cope with the disappointment of the University in many different ways. Some fall in love with college life: that bubble-world of parties, people, sex, beer, drugs, etc. Others embrace the ponderous "learning" process of study, regurgitate, and forget. Some even learn to enjoy being a part of the "knowledge factory," finding solace in that most arbitrary of rewards: the "A".

It is the greatest crime that we do not have more control over our education. As legal adults, we are recognized under the law as responsible for our actions, but at the same time are allowed only a modicum of decision-making power in our socialization and education process. Although students are fodder for the machinations of state and corporate existence, we are generally deluded into thinking the University exists independent of these power structures. Even when these odious relationships are elucidated, many refuse to bite the hands that feed them. Through scholarships, corporate subsidies, advertising, and other instruments of socialization we are invited to acquiesce to a tempting future of security, wealth, and power. The failure of the university, then, is that it does not truly serve the needs of the students.

This ancient and rotten system can only be broken by a collective awakening. This means that we must find methods of resistance to the current system of drill, train, and homogenize within the UT knowledge factory. Students need to escape the current modes of cynical acquiescence to the "way things are." The student revolts of the 60s serve as a historical model, but we must remember that they ultimately failed. An open, day-to-day debate about the nature of student existence should override the circuitry of administrative control.

 

The Media Are Only As Liberal
As The Corporations That Own Them

Smash your TV

Disorientation takes effort and struggle, because mass media reinforce traditional institutions. It is impossible to critique our culture, and our ourselves, without critiquing our sources of information.

There's nothing wrong with reading corporate media, as long as we critique it, instead of consuming it. For detailed critiques of media ownership, operation and history, check out Rich Media, Poor Democracy by Robert W. McChesney and Manufacturing Consent by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky.

Since the first Independent Media Center was created to cover the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle, over 50 IMCs have sprouted around the world, including Austin. They expose and report what corporate media ignores. They are not censored, and anyone can publish. Check out the Global Independent Media Center (www.indymedia.org).

Also check out Z Magazine (www.zmag.org) for in-depth reporting on a variety of issues and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (www.fairorg) for media analysis.

Austin has a growing list of independent publications. Most are available free around town, at places like Wheatsville Co-Op. Look for The Austin Javelina (www.austinjavelina.org), The Texas Observer (www.texasobserver.org), The Texas Triangle, Nokoa and Southwest Cycling News.

To keep up with progressive events around town, subscribe to the NoWar List- a low-frequency email listsery sent to over four thousand people. Email Rahul, rahul@peaches.ph.utexas.edu to sign up.

 

Chicana in the 21st: A Coming-Out Story

-Elise Diana Huerta

I'm currently in "negotiations" with my queer-self. It wasn't until three years after I was with my first partner that I really tried to deal with that part of my fife. It literally took me three years to introduce the Chicana-me to the Queer-me. They didn't get along at first, but negotiations are going well now. Hey, if I can deal with being a Chicana, no, no, being a Queer Chicana, I figure that it won't kill anyone else to deal with it. I guess that remains to be seen.

One of the most difficult things I've ever had to do was tell my girlfriend that I was a Chicana. Ella fue mi primera y mi Ultima amor for the entire three months and ten days that we were together. Our relationship was one of the most challenging and dynamic times of change in my young life.

Through her strangely supportive questionings of my past, my politics and my innermost pensamientos, she encouraged the exploration of my Chicana-self. It was these conversations that created the foundation of our relationship's eventual (and dramatic) demise. While I fought and argued with my queer, brown, female-self, she stayed in a cushioned comfort zone. I was the "other" that needed to be dissected.

Come to find out, that's exactly what Chicanas do everyday of our lives. We are expected to break down 'browns and 'female* experiences into digestible sound bites in order to appease the inquisitive and 'Well-meaning." See, the real challenge is to do this without falling into the traps of exoticism and romanticism that are now deemed desirable. Not only are we educators, like it or not, we better have a smile on our faces and all traces of sarcasm and frustration wiped from our voices. Or, is the challenge to refuse giving the explanations, refuse breaking-down or reducing Chicane realities into easily understood pedasitos, because, there's really nothing easy about it. Every Chicana has her individual battles. In my eyes, being a Chicana is a state of mind, a way of life, a framework for movimiento. It is the impetus for action, cariffo y revolucibn. Chicanisma is about navigating those thin lines that exist entre comunidad and self, mother and lover, virgencita y malinche. 11 is realizing that those lines don't always exist, allowing for the holy and the profane to interact entre un cuerpo.

As revolutionary as we claim to be, sometimes we are blinded to our own prejudice. Some of us are so busy living by the checklist that we forget to think for ourselves. Some of us do not and will never fit into the checklists. Some of us don't want to. I had a hell of a time coming out to a lot those progressive, radical young people just a few years ago. I have the privilege and challenge of knowing, learning from and loving a vibrant community of Chicanas and Chicanos. I've grown because (and in spite) of them. We are all different. Some of us are writers, others are musicians, actors, bookworms and social butterflies. We are queer and straight, young and old. In truth, there is no one way to sum-up the totality of Chicanisma, and in the end, I can live with that.

 

a bridge, a hammock, the poetry of revolution

how do we do this? how do we create change? how do we learn to respect and listen to each other? how do we seek out and then embrace all the varied and complex ways of organizing, identifying and communicating? how do we create new ways of doing politics? ways that dissolve borders; geographical, political, cultural, social. we write as an attempt to create new friendships, new forms of trust and imaginative political alliances. we also write to tell you what inspires us and what frustrates us. and through this process of sharing and listening we move, we create,change in ourselves, we are revolution,

we think of (dis)orientation as an impulse, that is a verb, a noun, and an adjective, a wrecking ball, a paintbrush, a musical instrument, a revolutionary document. we are giving our name to power, shouting our language, our words, our inspirations. we are queer, we are men, we are women, we are artists and activists, we are workers in the academy, we are people of color and we are white, we are parents, we are young and we are old. we have come together to change and to be changed.

we identify as anti-racists, as zapatistas, as environmentalists, as womyn loving womyn, as animal rights activists, as teachers, as anarchists, as queer activists, as people who can imagine a different kind of globalization - one that has room for many worlds. but, we only begin here, we are so much more than this. we are laughter, liberation, we are creativity and inspiration, we are spirit, truth, hope, and love. but even this is only the surface of who we are. we are cultural beings, complex and contradictory, tense and creative, conscious and deserving of respect. we are you, asking, listening and walking together.

are we changing? are we seeing our privileges? are we challenging ourselves? are we listening? how do we talk about power within our organizing spaces? how do we not replicate what we are trying to undo? it is not our fault, our cultural curriculum, since birth, is infused with ideas of the individual, of privilege based on one's position - class, sexuality, race, gender. competition permeates everything. even deciding the order of writings is difficult, as we play oppression olympics, pitting one discrimination against another injustice, failed attempts at quantifying exclusion and suffering. how do we transcend the binaries, undergraduate/graduate, communityfuniversity, radical/liberal, that limit our creativity and Imagination. and yet how do we transcend and at the same time recognize how deep some wounds run. when we use the word fag, are we conscience of how deep that wound runs? are we conscience of how those words tear at a space, create barbed wire in a space dominated by men who do not identify as queer? and what does it mean when people of color collaborate to write queer works and those works are labeled inaccessible by a non queer identifying folks? is it possible that queer voices of color are often silenced and the inaccesslL.ility is a reaction to reading that voice for the first time? and did the white and non queer identifying folks, stop to think that maybe they were not the audience, that maybe they could not hear, not because the piece wasn't speaking to them, but because they were not listening? what allows us to ask that the language be changed instead of asking how do we change ourselves to identify with a collective that is diverse and writes in a language with new hues, rhythms, and embraces?

how do we begin to listen and embrace the story, the experiences of people we organize with? how do we begin to understand how deep privilege and oppression runs? we are creating new language: inclusive, diverse, revolutionary - a prose, a music of organizing that is ours! we can not confine ourselves to the language of power, privilege, and institutions; or afford to compromise for closure. we have to talk, agree and disagree. we have to contribute by being silent and learn to listen with words. we are redefining politics, culture, community, our university, our relationships, our world. we are asking of others only what we have asked of ourselves. to go beyond, to begin to heal, to seek out, to cherish everyone's experience. weave our differences into a bridge, a hammock, the poetry of revolution.

 

DIY Glory Hole: Why is this in this guide?

 

 


Digging, digging,
A hole
When I was nine I thought I fell
into this hole because there was a drop
And then a stop
And I stretched to touch walls
without windows
And endless corners
But really I had fell into myself
Darkness permeating skin
Corners morphing into the folds of
my brain
Walls into sinewy flesh
I stared at my insides
Climbing, climbing
Out of a box
Filled with suffocating expectations
And fake ass friends
And well-meant rhetoric
Schoolgirl crushes
Slipping, slipping
A slope
My sexuality
Fluid

 

 

 

 

 

Learning to appreciate a woman's
curve
Where a man has angles
Fighting, fighting
The system
Stomping just enough to disturb
The people next to her
Because 1 million feet stomping
Can shatter a glass ceiling
I million feet marching
Can crumble the pillars of injustice
And 1 million minds remembering
Can make an innocent man
Immortal
I remember Shaka
We will not forget him
But in the meantime
I'm still digging, digging
This hole
Never moving out
Just further in
Handfuls of dirt raining on me
Handfuls of light becoming
increasingly dim
As digging, digging
This grave

-- by Robin Citizen

 

Resisting masculinity: The importance of feminism to men

Feminists hate men. How do we know this? Because it is repeated over and over in the media and by right-wing politicians and other so-called guardians of the moral values of the society.

If feminists hate men, then it stands to reason that men should stay clear of - or do their best to attack - feminism and feminists.

I have been involved in feminist politics and scholarship for more than a dozen years. I have known a lot of feminists, many of them radical and many of them lesbians. One thing is true of all the feminists I have known:

None of them hated men.

These women want to hold men accountable for their behavior. They often are critical of patterns in male behavior, especially sexual behavior. They want to change society to eliminate men's violence. But
none of them hated me. None of them hated men.

Why not? Because feminism is about the liberation of women, not hating men. And in the liberation of women, feminism offers men a shot at being human beings.

Although men often talk tough and try to be masculine in the way that culture defines it - competitive, aggressive, dominant. But underneath all that, I believe that most men yearn for something less masculine and more human, for a different way to connect to others and be in the world.

I believe the best route to abandoning masculinity and claiming our humanity is feminism. Men can start by reading what feminists say about feminism. Marilyn Frye's essays and "Oppression" and "Sexism" in The Politics of Reality are a good place to begin.

Read also what feminists have to say about men. Andrea Dworkin, a radical feminist writer and activist who has spent her life working against sexual violence, is often portrayed as the most man-hating of feminists. But listen to what she said to, and about, men when she addressed a men's conference and asked them to work for 24 hours without rape. In her: book Letters From a War Zone, she writes:

"I don't believe rape is inevitable or natural. If I did, I would have no reason to be here. If I did, my political practice would be different than it is. Have you ever wondered why we are not just in armed combat against you? It's not because there's a shortage of kitchen knives in this country. It is because we believe in your humanity, against all the evidence."

Dworkin is called a man-hater not because she hates men but because such slurs are a way to marginalize her work. In that same speech, she went on to challenge men to take responsibility for themselves:

"[Women] do not want to do the work of helping you to believe in your humanity. We cannot do it anymore. We have always tried. We have been repaid with systematic exploitation and systematic abuse. You are going to have to do this yourselves from now on and you know it."

We do know it, and it is time to act on that knowledge, not just for women but for ourselves.

Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism. He can be reached at rjensen at uts dot cc dot utexas dot edu.

 

Get Active!

Acción Zapatista
Email: nzsaustin@hotmail.com
Listserv: action-zapatista@mcfeeley.cc.utexas.edu

Acción Zapatista (AZ) is an organization committed to responding to the unique invitation of the Zapatistas, which has asked diverse communities, constituencies and sectors around the globe to share their own local struggles, strategies of resistance, and histories; to intensify their local struggles against neo-liberalism; and to discover commonalities and differences within and between communities through sustained democratic spaces for dialogue and coordinated action.

Currently, we are working on benefits for purchasing a brailler to have access for our blind brothers and sisters to read Zapatista communiqués from the Mexican southeast and raise money for our delegation to the School of Americas protest in November.

We are also planning a coyuntura in early September for a critical community gathering to prepare for the increased fight against globalization and neo-liberal tactics and institutions.

Alliance for Media Reform
website: http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~resist/

Alliance for Media Reform is dedicated to promoting discussion of all forms of media and empowering students to take an active role in media restructuring. This includes bringing guest lecturers (such as Edward Herman and Jim Hightower) and running a film series each semester to encourage radical critique of mainstream media and its alternatives. Visit our website for more information on the organization, and media issues.

American Civil Liberties Union, Student Chapter
email: ACLUatUT@hotmail.com
website: http://www.StudentACLU.org

The ACLU is a nationwide, non-partisan organization dedicated to defending the liberties guaranteed to each individual by the Constitution. Right now, we are working with the Undergraduate Student Association to change UT's unconstitutional speech policy. UT regulations include content censorship and unreasonable time, place and manner restrictions that place an undue burden on students and chill public discourse.

Also, as volunteers in the ACLU Observer Corp, we record police infractions on First Amendment rights. And as part of the ACLU National Campus Campaign, we will work on reproductive rights issues, including abortion rights, access to contraception, and a woman's fundamental right to privacy.

Asian American Relations Group (AARG!)
contact: 512-476-8814
email: aarg@justice.com
website: http://www.cp1593h.net/aarg/

The Asian American Relations Group (AARG!) is a campus group dedicated to the political empowerment of Asian Americans. In our efforts to build a movement of social justice, AARG! has been at the forefront of the push for a progressive Asian American Studies program. AARG! is dedicated to forging a radical Asian American presence locally and nationally.

Austin Peace and Justice Community Calendar

A once a week calendar of progressive political events around Austin. It also list organizations promoting social change, direct action and people power. Submissions are accepted from any group proposing actions that will promote political awareness and activism. SUBSCRIBE yourself to the weekly APJC Community Calendar! Write an email to: lists@tao.ca In the message write: subscribe apjc

To have your events listed in the APJC Calendar, please send information about Austin area activities to: Austin_pjc@yahao.com

Beta Iota
email: 101a58@hotmail.com
website: http://www.homestead.com/betaiota/

Beta Iota is a Bisexual organization focused on Women dedicated to creating a support network of Women who already identify as bisexual, who are questioning their sexuality, or who just want to learn more about the issues that bisexual women face. Although we only recently started in April of this year, we hope to be involved this coming school year in not only creating a bisexual community, but also becoming united with the already strong GLBT community that exists at UT and in Austin.

Campaign To End The Death Penalty
contact: Lily at 512-494-0667

The Campaign To End The Death Penalty is a group dedicated to ending the flawed, racist, and anti-poor system of capital punishment in the U.S. and here in Texas, the death penalty capital of the world. Our recent activities have included forums featuring death row inmates calling in via speaker phone, protests on and off campus against executions, and campaigns around individual cases. This fall we're planning for a second huge march on the Governor's Mansion here in Austin, and much more. This movement is winning, with attitudes about the death penalty changing every day, so get involved!

The Campus Vegetarian Network
Email: vegigrl@msn.com

Our purpose is to serve as an educational and social organization for vegetarians, and those interested in becoming vegetarians. It will also serve to educate both the campus and the community about the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. Major activities will include bimonthly meetings, monthly potlucks, monthly restaurant outings, and other vegetarian related activities throughout the year. Two major projects that we plan are to keep Veggie Fair alive (since the recent demise of the Environmental Committee) and a campaign to help veganize the dorms. We also hope to forge an alliance between other like-minded groups so that our presence may be known on campus.

Critical Mass

Critical Mass is a monthly bicycle ride to take back the streets. It began in San Francisco in 1992, and quickly spread all over the world. Critical Mass first appeared in Austin in October 1993 and meets on the last Friday of every month (holiday or not, rain or shine) at 5:00pm on the UT West Mall where it meets Guadalupe. "Typical" participation numbers 50. Some see Critical Mass as a fun bike ride, but others see it as a protest of car culture. After being menaced every day by cars, many of us find it exhilarating to ride with 50-100 other cyclists in a fun, supportive atmosphere, but Critical Mass doesn't have any specific agenda, goals or leaders.

Environmental Outreach
email: eo@hogspace.org
website: http://www.hogspace.org/eo/

Environmental Outreach is a moderate UT environmental group focused on informed activism. Our goal is to help others learn about and develop opinions on environmental issues. We explore all sides of an issue before advocating a position, and we seek to present our message in a way that non-environmentalists will understand. We're also focused on helping beginning activists learn environmental tactics and leadership skills.

Last year, members held a debate on genetically modified foods and a forum on environmental activism. They also gathered 400 messages of support for the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and 800 pledges against companies trying to drill in the Arctic Refuge.

Join Environmental Outreach to learn about environmental issues from all viewpoints, meet other environmentally-minded students, build leadership skills, and (of course) have fun. Anyone can join.

Hemp Advocates of Texas
contact: 512-293-5894
email: hemp@www.utexas.edu
website: http://www.utexas.edu/students/hemp/

HAT began in the fall of 1998 as a environmental and public/political special interest organization. We set out to clearly define the distinction between non-psychoactive industrial hemp and it's psychoactive botanical relative marijuana. We also advocate the use of hemp as an environmental and economic solution for our local, national, and world problems. This

 

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Revolution
email: coloredrevolution@justice.com
website: http://www.main.org/revolution/

Founded in Fall 2000, Revolution was created to establish a much needed space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning, and transgendered people of African descent. Over the course of last year Revolution worked closely with Trikone Tejas, a Pan Asian and Pan Sexual/Straight Alliance. In the fall, both groups co-sponsored "Rest of the Rainbow", a poetry and performance event. Then in April 2001, Revolution organized an interactive panel discussion entitled "To Be Young Queer Revolutionary and Colored" and brought down Marcus Harvey from the University of North Carolina to perform his one man show "Are We Not Men?" which explored blackness, gay identity, religion, and AIDS. Our goal is to strengthen our community, while creating links to allies and other marginalized groups.

Safe Space

Safe Space is an organization dedicated to promoting awareness and understanding about sexual orientation by providing education and training to the residence halls, university community, and surrounding community and staying informed of political developments to create better Safe Space providers. Safe Space provides educational trainings on 3 levels that cover topics such as challenging stereotypes, heterosexism and homophobia, the coming out process, GLBT issues in the residence halls, religion and homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender issues, and ally development. Level 3 Trainings also encourage members who have completed the first two levels to research a topic of their own and present it to a group.

Safe Space also presents programs and provides resources throughout the year on various more specific topics, often bringing guest speakers, showing films, or having interactive discussions arguing various sides of a question. In the residence halls, Safe Space provides resources and offers help with programming to RAs who are looking for help approaching GLBT issues or simply would like help finding more information.The organization also often has members that stay active politically through volunteer work supporting GLBT rights.

Spill it, Girl, Spill it!
email: Lystn2Rayn@aol.com

We have discovered each other as activists, artists, teachers, poets and women. At our simplest and most profound we are a group of women that decided to start meeting in order to break down the massive, though often invisible, barriers that stand between us. We are committed to our struggles and celebrations in all their variations, truths and embodiments. We come from all walks of life but realize that our paths cross in significant ways. Spillit_Girl_Spillit is an attempt to solidify these intersections.

Students Against Cruelty to Animals
email: info@utanimalrights.com
website: http://www.utanimalrights.com/

SACA is the student-run animal rights organization at UT. We work to educate the UT community of the health, environmental and ethical consequences of using animals for food, clothing, entertainment and experimentation. For example, we: table, hold teach-ins, give away vegan food and use direct action. Our primary campaign is against the UT Animal Resources Center, which houses 20,000 animals ON CAMPUS for testing. Last December, SACA negotiated the release of Stampy, the last beagle housed at the ARC. This was a major, national victory. If you are interested in animal protection, or would like to learn more, email us and conic to a meeting.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy
email: ssdp@justice.com

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) directly fights the causes and effects of the War on Drugs through education, direct action, and lobbying for drug reform. In Spring 2001, SSDP spearheaded the campaign against UT's contract renewal with Sodexho Marriott Services because of its relationship to the private prison industry - an industry built around incarceration of non-violent drug offenders. SSDP will continue campaigning against prison expansion while also targeting the HEA drug provision which denies financial aid to students with drug convictions, and Plan Columbia - America's devastating war on South America in the name of stopping the drug trade. Meetings every Thursday at 8 p.m. on the South Mall.

Tree Free / Buise-Cascade Off Our Campus Campaign
email: katerossocean@hotmail.com

We are dedicated to defending our national forests by promoting ecologically-wise paper-purchasing practices at UT. Tree Free is moving from an initial research phase, in which we discovered UT's nasty habit of buying virgin paper from ill-reputed companies like Boise-Cascade, into a campaign of action. This corning year, we hope to inform the students, faculty, staff, and administration on about the University's contribution to the destruction of some of the last old-growth forests in the U.S. We need help in making our University a component of an environmentally-sane world.

Trikone-Tejas
(pronounced tree-cone tey-haas)
email: trikonetejas@my-deja.com
website: http://www.main.org/trikonetejas/

We are a progressive queer-straight alliance of students and faculty of Asian heritage at UT Austin. We have been in existence since the fail of 1996. We serve as an informal social and support group for les-bi-gay-trans Asian-Americans and international students/staff of Asian origin and their straight allies. Our political goals are to end sexism, racism and homophobia, and to raise awareness of these issues through educational workshops, panel-discussions and film-screenings. Our principal 'audiences' are the mainstream (white) gay communities and the mainstream (straight) Asian-American communities on campus. Our events are open to all, including those not associated with UT. We are committed to building coalitions with other progressive groups and communities of color both on- and off-campus. Our major annual event - the Rest of the Rainbow - features performance and poetry by queers of color and their allies, and is designed to provide a space for creative expression of those who remain excluded or invisibilized in mainstream "gay pride" events.

Undergraduate Student Association
email: ugsa@hotmail.com
website: http://www.utexas.edu/students/ugsa/

The Undergraduate Student Association is the University's only political consulting group. UGSA members seek to supplement other group's efforts by providing strategic advice and research to progressive campus organizations seeking to increase student rights at the University of Texas.

Last year, UGSA members were active in the Dump Sodexho campaign. The UT campaign was critical to Sodexho's eventual divestment from the Corrections Corporation of America. This next year will be a big year for the UGSA. In addtion to helping progressive organizations, the UGSA will pursue its own free speech campaign on campus. The UGSA effort will yield a more open free speech policy on campus.

The UGSA meets every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Students Unite!

University Green Party
email: utgreens@www.utexas.edu
website: www.utexas.edu/students/utgreens

The University Green Party works to promote progressive democratic change, based on the values of grassroots democracy, social justice, ecological wisdom, and non-violence, in the University community. Last year, University Greens were instrumental in Ralph Nader's 30% share of the presidential vote in central Austin. This year, Greens are working on a number of initiatives to promote democracy, including a campaign finance reform initiative for the city of Austin and Instant Runoff Voting for both City Council and Student Government elections. In addition, University Greens are organizing a week-long series of speeches and film critiquing corporate globalization and its affect on educational institutions.

Voices For Choice
Website: http://www.utexas.edu/sludents/vfc/index.htm

Voices for Choice, the University of Texas's pro-choice organization, educates students about contraceptives and abortion procedures, allows students to become politically involved, and creates a network of similarly minded people. In the past year, VFC has been actively involved with TARAL in efforts to keep the Texas legislature from infringing on women's rights, pushing such bills as contraceptive equity through. This next year, VFC will continue to celebrate milestones like Roe v. Wade with greats like Sarah Weddington. Furthermore, VFC will try to create awareness about recent issues: stem cell research and the Seton/ Brackenridge conflict. For those interested in preserving choice, please drop by the VFC A-frame on Speedway for up-to-date information on meetings or browse the VFC website for a calender of events.

 

This publication could not have been produced without the financial support of these individuals, local businesses and organizations:

Austin Latina/o Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered Organization

Mia Carter

J. Robert Constantine

Barbara Harlow

Robert Jensen

Metro Espresso Bar

Bill Medialle

And the 400 people who came to the (dis)orientation party.

Thank you.

~(dis)orientation

disorientation grenade