Toronto Taxis for Shame

Toronto Taxis for Shame
Written by 3mienblog

(Jan. 2006)

Moe Dee, The Defiant Little Reindeer Choose a job. Any job. (Jan. 2006)

and more… PEANUT POLITICS (8/15/95)





PEANUT POLITICS:Rusted tinsel of the spirit(Canyon News, 8/13/95)




(Aug. 15, 1995)

ARAB ISMS (Fruitvale Satire, October 1995, p4-9)

ARAB ISMS ALERT (8/24/95) UNIVERSITY POWER STRUGGLE To Visitors to Chapel Back to Home Page LITTLE MORE THAN A week has elapsed since UCSD administrators violated the principles of sharing that govern our university by seizing control of the administration of Campbell Hall, a building that, by a five to three vote of our Associated Students Senate and a near unanimous vote of the AS board of directors, our student government had voted to make the home of the Office of Religious, Spiritual, and International Life. What happened? President DiSilvestro and Provost Michael Young, the latter on leave from UCSD returning to continue his duties in May, squashed the potential for the blossoming of a spiritual center. They got Chancellor Day and his two cabinet members, Provost Young and Dean of Students Pam Braun, to dictate that the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life would not be placed as originally planned in either a freestanding building or in one of our residence halls where students of all faiths would learn more about religion and spirituality from students, staff and faculty on a daily basis through interactions (and through programming), but rather that a mere two rooms inside Campbell Hall were going to be the home for OREL. Also, in the fall, not before Halloween 2005, is the date and place set up to have a search for the office be conducted. They got Margo Safyer and Cathy Kinney to resign from the Christian Student Association, this as part of their on-going effort to keep religious and spiritual life on our campus on a decidedly incoherent and contorted track. Indeed, it is unclear whether the university or any of these officials have in place an actual plan for our Office of Religious, Spiritual and International Life. Can it now be established once and for all that this office at least exists and we have a plan? Hardly. It appears that no discernable purpose has been shared with members of our student government that might be used as a foundation for building such a plan. Constantly, UCSD tries to avoid clarity and veritable plans in favor of developing its own brand of indecisiveness and hurried decision-making. We can be used as fodder for its own initiatives, such as “The Wave,” the search for its Chancellor to replace Chancellor Day when he leaves UCSD for another job. We can be used for its own ends without knowing what ends it might have in mind. Perhaps its cynicism trickles down from DiSilvestro and Safyer, who could be accused of theatrical prevarication, with every seeming intent to upset our student leaders. Or, could it be something as simple as a need to maintain control that leads DiSilvestro and Safyer to baldly act as if they are helpless before the political swashbuckling of the provost and the chancellor? Again, none of us student representatives were notified in advance about developments regarding arrangements for OREL. Once again, we were uniquely trapped into a process that somehow never reached out to students. Nobody outside the university administration apparently asked, “Where are our students?” so clearly felt was a student government that is small and obscure enough in our university that it rarely speaks out — surprisingly small, when contrasted with this huge student body with some 30,000 students on campus to manage! At least our student government is not as small as last semester before student elections provided an infusion of new blood. Student managers at UCSD feel the need silence themselves. They feel the unspoken necessity to somehow get together, to have a voice before this university, so steeped in military heritage and quasi-filial ties of loyalty that can punish unsanctioned questioning. They know too well that this huge student body has been deemed to be invisible by administration consensus and that no one off-campus will stand up for students if students fail to cry out for themselves. Suddenly, students are running from office to office, trying to locate a figure from our student government and none to be found! DiSilvestro does this, too! What is the context of all this? We have spoken about the violence among our students, an unrest that will certainly not end, thanks to our Chancellor Day who has refused to be responsive to students by any known method. Some of our students like to riot and do remind us of how in Iraq people demonstrate as if it were a sport! Clearly, we are less anguished, since for us riots are acts of free speech and are enjoyed and cheered. We have here at UCSD a campus administration that has refused to be fully in touch with our student body. Certainly, they demand that they be in touch with our faculty, and, in particular, they have enforced relations with the Academic Senate and with the Faculty Association when, as recently, they forced through all new tenured faculty on this campus, a move some 80 percent of the faculty at UCSD — forget the officers of the faculty association who are chosen — oppose. Viewed in this context, the secretive process of taking over Campbell Hall appears to reflect the tactics of DiSilvestro and Safyer. The low priority accorded our students, faculty and staff members in making decisions about the operation of OREL might be thought to flow from such an outlook. The impression, then, would seem to be that DiSilvestro and those closest to him look upon students, faculty and staff as mere bystanders. When asked, “What’s this all about?,” along comes a sycophant to tell us that UC might attack us and that DiSilvestro’s and Safyer’s henchmen must watch out for military casualties! Presumably, such administrative behavior on our campus is meant to create the impression that there’s a military threat from management because professors do not care too much, students are thought to be self-interested gamers without principles and no one will go to the battlefield for the “professors and administrators of UCSD.” First, how does any of this approach the critical factor at play here which is the desire of Students for a More Democratic University and Students for a Democratic Society to affirm the principle of education for all at UCSD, raising and showing a flag for the academic freedom and democratic life of the scholarly community? Further, a war might indeed break out if it is thought that one academic labor force at and beyond UCSD is off-limits to itself to raise issues and pursue its politics over classroom designs, grade point averages, admissions and exclusions, registration, etc. How surprised would DiSilvestro be that our academic workers at UCSD might get together and see right through his mirror quality and grasp defeat whenever he tries to do battle with academic freedom? Students and faculty might crush this tiny group of self-appointed imperial destroyers of university life. Such a thought dawns on me while I show the following by way of illustration. Here is the story of DiSilvestro taking over Campbell Hall, the former place where many hundreds of meetings have been held for a host of causes. He won this building for his Office of Religious and Spiritual Life having in his mind a vision of maybe reworking Campbell Hall, having it be more a home for students of religion and spirituality. Santa Fe College wanted it, but Santa Fe wanted it without responsibility for the initial costs. Having won the building from the Santa Fe College Faculty Association, the university central administrators wanted to first use Campbell Hall for new student housing. DiSilvestra was encouraged to move ahead since he had a sympathetic chancellor in David Pugh, who in 1989 had laid the groundwork for using Campbell Hall for faculty offices (isn’t that in the governance charter of what a space like Campbell Hall should house?). Chancellor Day objected to DiSilvestro’s decision to use it for a home for his office. Reasons are given. But this is a farce. Soon, it was Chancellor Day’s turn—he went after our student government by charging to AS senate senate committee as a whole rules that he had enforced in A&S so that students of smaller factions would never ever win a fight. That simple process was swept away by Day. He won this building for DiSilvestro, creating the special home for OREL by reclassifying the space but by doing so had the effect of dashing DiSilvestro’s hopes of having SQ outfitting Campbell Hall in the ways the Chancellor wanted. Who created this mess? Both DiSilvestro and Chancellor Day. What to do further? Transfer all power to DiSilvestro and handle all of the other problems at our university through a cut-rate clerk that DiSilvestro asked Chancellor Day to send out—selecting someone who makes $100,000 a year while our students continue to live in squalid conditions, confronted with inadequate housing and a non-existent

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