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Irvine -- As incoming UC Irvine students converge on campus this week as part of Orientation Week, they will encounter a UCI in turmoil Not only will their fees increase, UCI's faculty and staff are undergoing paycuts, furloughs and in some cases layoffs. Opposing the increasing privatization of the university are local activist groups who will be out in force this week, which starts off with an Anteater Involvement Fair on campus. And on Thursday, faculty plan walkouts and teach-ins, while the UPTE union stages a strike.
UCI's Radical Student Union is premiering a historic first, UCI's Disorientation Guide, aimed at uncovering what is not widely known about the institution, and seeking to provoke students and other readers into action. In its introduction, its anonymous authors state: "Between these covers, you have a guide into the belly of the University. Use it wisely. But don’t let this be your only map of this place, add your own experiences into the mix." It adds, cryptically: "Just remember what you don’t see is probably more interesting and important than what you do."
In the show's first half hour, we talk with members of the Disorientation Guide collective, about why they put out this first Disorientation Guide.
John Bruning is a second-year graduate student in Sociology, and a member of the Radical Student Union and the Disorientation Guide collective. John was first exposed to radical ideas after receiving a Disorientation Guide during Welcome Week as a freshman at the University of Wisconsin, and got involved in campus activism shortly thereafter.
Tim Brown is a second year grad student, studying the art of sound design. He previously lived in Oregon and and sought out the RSU after being immersed for too long in the terribleness that is the home territory of the New Majority.
The paper version of the Disorientation Guide will be distributed at the Radical Student Union table at the Anteater Involvement Fair on Monday, 21 September at UCI, and throughout the week on Ring Road. KUCI is cited in the first Guide as a "voice of freedom" while Subversity is mentioned as follows: "It's like Disorientation on the radio!"
See also other campus disorientation guides: UC Santa Cruz | UC Berkeley | NYU.
Michael Moore speaks on Subversity. Photo © Daniel C. Tsang
In our second hour, we talk with a union leader from UPTE, which will be on strike on September 24 university-wide, to call attention to the misplaced priorities of the current central administration, where administrative salaries have headed skyward even as the university claims it is in a budget crisis.
Michael Moore is UPTE's Leadership Development Coordinator for the past four years.
Active in the labor movement for 14 years, he has worked for various unions throughout the U.S., organizing and representing a cross section or workers. Originally from Georgia, he was mentored by Hose Williams, one of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.'s organizers. His grandmother was one of the first presidents of the Newtown Florist Club, an environmental organization in his home town of Gainesville, Georgia.
The show airs Monday 21 September 2009 on KUCI, 88.9 FM in Orange County, Calif., and is simulcast via kuci.org.
For more on the hidden wealth within the UC's corporate structure, see UC Berkeley Prof. Emeritus Charlie Schwartz's latest analysis, posted at: UniversityProbe.org.
His analysis jibes with that of economist Peter Donohue, who last week held public sessions at UCI providing analysis with documentation on UC's hidden wealth. If the UC were really in an economic crisis, why would bond agencies increase UC's rating? Financial reports submitted by UC show clearly that millions are stashed away in the University's accounts, and are not legally restricted despite what the administration claims. The funds may be "committed" to some projects in some budget projections, but they are not legally restricted. See Donohue's earlier report
September 24, the first day of classes at UC Irvine, is also a day when faculty across the UCs plan to hold "walkouts" and teach-ins about the future of UC education. For more information, including flyers for a noon event at UCI's flagpole, see: Defend UCI.
See also: Remaking the University
And on Monday, 21 September, students protesting the closure of SAAS, which served first-generation, disabled and low-income students, plan to hold the first of two consecutive days of SAAS LOVE events at UCI, starting at 11 a.m. on Monday. See: Facebook page, SAAS Love.