I WILL NOT accept institutional hypocrisy.
Here at The New School we like to hold ourselves up as a radical social justice university. But if we’re the national model of what a social justice university looks like, then we’re in big trouble.
The New School should have been declared a sanctuary campus back in November, as soon as Donald Trump was elected. Instead, New School President David Van Zandt had the audacity to write an article in the Huffington Post talking about our commitments to social justice and our history as the University in Exile. For those of you who don’t know our history, The New School for Social Research was founded as the University in Exile as a haven for persecuted academics fleeing fascism in Europe. Right now is our time to set a new standard and show the country what a social justice university really looks like. And yet the New School has failed to take real steps towards protecting targeted faculty, students, and workers.
It’s one thing to talk about struggle in the abstract, to talk about organizing for a new feminism, to talk about building a student movement. It’s another thing to put these words into practice. Right now, The New School is sending students a very strong message that social justice only exists in theory. If we set the standard for how a social justice university functions, with all of our contradictions – the reluctance to declare ourselves a sanctuary, the refusal to recognize the union, the outrageous tuition and debt burdening New School students — does it come as any surprise that Betsy DeVos is our current Secretary of Education?
We should set the bar much higher. We must take responsibility to ensure that the fight does not stop at the Women’s Strike. So on March 8th, strike class. Do everything you can and get everyone you know to join us in our strike. But remember, after March 8th we still are not a sanctuary campus. We must hold the administration accountable to the principles they say they stand for.