We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I would like to urge you to not become frustrated with the process, and to keep in mind what brought you to the table to begin with. We are fighting for access to quality education for all, and a part of this struggle is bound to be intrinsically personal and emotional. I urge you to remain mindful of these values in the coming months as we move forward in organizing against disproportionate cuts to our centers and towards a more democratic university!
We have many plans for the coming months and hope you will be a part of changing the priorities of our university. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, March 22nd at 7:00p.m. in WEL 2.304. Below you can find out what we have been up to and read about future plans.
Thank you for all of your hard work so far & we hope to see you soon,
The Students Speak
What we have been up to:
February 17th, Abriendo Brecha Activism and Scholarship Conference at UT – This conference was sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE), Center for Asian American Studies (CAAS), Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS), Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), Center for Women’s and Gender Studies (CWGS), Department of Anthropology, Department of History, John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (CAAAS), School of Social Work, South Asia Institute (SAI), Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS), most of which are slated for devastating budget cuts this coming semester. TSS member, Carina Souflée presented on the, “Save Ethnic Studies & Students Organizing Against Budget Cuts” panel moderated by Dr. Edmund T. Gordon. We hope to soon post footage of this panel on our website. [thestudentsspeak.com]
March 2nd, National Day of Action, March & Rally – I encourage you to watch President Powers’s presentation and the student testimony presented here: [http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/commit/c540/c540.htm] You will need RealPlayer to watch the video, and you can download this player easily (and for free) at [http://www.real.com/realplayer/search]. Then click “March 2nd” on the Senate Committee on Finance page. First, you will see Powers speak and then beginning at 00:49:00 you can watch student testimony. Additionally, another TSS member spoke at the House Committee meeting on Higher Education: [http://www.house.state.tx.us/video-audio/committee-broadcasts/committee-archives/player/?session=82&committee=290&ram=11030214290] beginning at 03:43:00.
March 11th, TSS on KOOP Radio’s “People United” w/ Alan Campbell – Carina Souflée and Caitlin Eaves joined ¡ella pelea! member Courtney M. to discuss budget cuts to UT ethnic, identity, and gender studies centers. Check the archive for the full hour discussion: [http://www.koop.org/?page=schedule§ion=peopleunited]
March 12th, Save Texas Schools Rally – The Students Speak joined forces with Save Texas Schools last Saturday, marching from the tower to join the rally at the Capitol where over 12,000 teachers, students, legislators, and community members gathered from all over the state to demand no funding cuts to Texas schools. Check out photos and video here: [http://savetxschools.org/2011/03/rally-storybook/]
March 15th, Planning Meeting Synopsis –
*Tuesday, March 22nd @ 7p.m. -WEL 2.304
*Tuesday, April 5th @ 7p.m. – Room TBA
Future Plans (ideas)
Plan a social/meet and greet, at a community center or cafe’ (based on Gentle Thursdays)
Testimonials & video from Senate Finance Hearing
West Mall Demo and Tabling
South Mall activities – to be expanded upon in March 22nd meeting.
Future TSS events/meetings and other ways to fight budget cuts:
Now & Anytime, CTBAK Survey- The Liberal Arts College Tuition and Budget Advisory Committee (CTBAC) has distributed a survey to “get student opinion” and after reading their most recent list of recommendations to Dean Diehl, it is clear they need far more input from students to make any further recommendations (only 222 have taken it so far). You can find that recommendation here: [http://utsenate.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/CoLA-CTBAC-Recommendations1.pdf] PLEASE SPEND FIVE MINUTES OF YOUR TIME to take the survey and let them know how important quality education is to you and how the centers are an integral part in that story. —-> https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dEtqLWtiem1wS1dwU2dnYTNyVk1qT3c6MQ
March 22nd, Invest in Texas Lobby Day – 11:00a.m. – 5:00p.m. – Meet at noon in SAC 2.302 to march to Capitol for a press conference. The entire Legislative Day 2011 will last from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will include a briefing and meetings with lawmakers. If you would like to participate in the entire Legislative Day 2011 please register by completing the following form:
[https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dG13aFQ3b2RsS01xcUVITnd0YkVhNWc6MQ] and completing legislative lobby training. For additional info: [http://utsenate.org/investintexas/]
April 1st – 3rd and 8th – Conference Panel Discussions
Feeding the Hunger: Budget Cuts, Sweet Potato Curry and Feminist Action at UT-Austin…………………..April 1st-2nd (time/date/room TBA) keep updated at http://feministactionproject.blogspot.com/
Through creative performance and critical self-reflection, this panel explores recent organizing efforts on behalf of three feminist organizers from the Students Speak (TSS), a student and community-centered organization at UT-Austin. Currently slated for disproportionate budget reductions, ethnic, gender and identity centers at UT-Austin brace for unprecedented financial attacks. This panel gives commentary on these attacks, providing critical perspective to administrative mandates, including details on the Academic Planning and Advisory Committee’s (APAC) proposal to reduce funding for ethnic, gender and identity centers at the university, and student and community responses against these actions. Using sweet potato curry as a metaphor, panelists describe the ongoing process of feminist organizing and the difficult work of tethering seemingly disjointed perspectives, experiences and ideologies to common points of unity against proposed budget cuts and the infrastructural power paradigms that sustain them.
The Students Speak: Responses to Liberal Arts Centers Budget Cuts and Reflections on Feminist Organizing……………………………. April 8th, 10:30 a.m. – Lone Star Room, 3.208
In the fall of 2010, UT‟s Academic Planning Advisory Committee (APAC) provided recommendations for cuts to centers in the College of Liberal Arts, including but not limited to: the Center for African and African-American Studies, the Center for Women‟s and Gender Studies, the Center for Mexican American Studies, and the Center for European Studies. Through critical self-reflection, this panel explores recent organizing efforts on behalf of three feminist organizers from The Students Speak (TSS), a student and community-centered organization at UT-Austin working against the administration‟s proposed budget cuts on campus and legislative cuts in the greater Texas community. This panel provides commentary on the disproportionate budget reductions and unprecedented financial adversity faced by ethnic, gender and identity centers at UT-Austin, and describes the ongoing process of tethering differences for organizational unity both on- and off- campus.