Presenting the 2014-15 UMD Disorientation Guide! (color-print version)

Now presenting . . . (drum roll ….wait, drum roll! not “drum circle”) THE 2014-15 UMD Disorientation Guide!

This year’s Guide is the product of the work of dozens of students, workers, activists, artists, writers, poets, collaborators, comrades, and friends – from the University of Maryland and beyond – organized by RadicalRush and students in Co-op Housing University of Maryland, with support of dozens more mentors, housemates, friends, and family.

An extended online version with more articles and original content is coming soon! THANKS SO MUCH to all the people that made this possible and to every contributor who sent content, ideas, love, and support to make this zine great!

Disorientation Guide Cover by Savannah Staubs, 2014

Disorientation Guide Cover by Savannah Staubs, 2014

Click on the image above or click here to read our zine! 2014-15 UMD Disorientation Guide (Color – Print Version) #disorient2K14

Shout-out to all of our amazing people who made donations: Abishek Gopal, Avid Antonelli, Charles Imwold, Cici Bisogno, Corey Rennolds, Tim Dawson, and our anonymous contributors as well! Immortals will appear in the upcoming extended version online guide! 😀
If you would like to contribute to help us print hard-copy zines for incoming students at the First Look Fair or make future disorientation guides possible, please click on our link and make a donation. We have neat personalized prizes for donators too! Have a radical year! – UMD Radical Rush and Disorientation Guide

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Students organizing with If Not Now, When? D.C. to call for Peace in Gaza

University of Maryland students are organizing with students and activists across the D.C. area to call for Peace in Gaza and an end to the occupation of Palestine and oppression of Palestinian people. Today, nearly 1,500 people have been killed and over 7,000 people injured in Israel’s ongoing military operation against Hamas. Most of the dead are civilians, hundreds of children have been killed, and recently, dozens of U.N. schools, hospitals, and shelters have been bombed by Israeli Defense Forces.

D.C. JCC July 30, 2014

D.C. JCC July 30, 2014

If Not Now, When? D.C. is the local branch of a national movement of the Jewish Community harkening the famous questions posed by the first century Jewish sage, Hillel. Across the country Jews are coming together to demand that the American Jewish community support an end to the war on Gaza, an end to the siege, an end to the occupation, and freedom and dignity for all in Israel and Palestine.

They are protesting the Jewish institutions that claim to represent all American Jews when they defend the profound injustice Israel inflicts on Palestinians. It ignores the growing number of voices in this community who are troubled by Israeli aggression and occupation.

Join them next Tuesday August 5, on Tisha B’Av, the traditional day of mourning, as they remember the innocents who have died and call for an end to this senseless war at the Jewish Federations of North America Washington Office. Click this link to see the FB event page -> Mourning Destruction in Israel and Palestine

 

Days of Action! University of Maryland Students Demonstrate for Workers in Bangladesh!

Students DEMAND University of Maryland Brands Sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord – In Coordination with USAS Day of Action 

Post-Action Picture Flyer2

On Wednesday April 23, 2014, UMD students honored the 1,129 Bangledeshi workers who died in the Rana Plaza factory collapse the day before the one-year-anniversary of the disaster on April 24, 2013.  United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) and UMD students are joining together to pay their respects to the families and victims of the collapse and to demand companies like JanSport take action to prevent disasters like this in the future. 150 brands have signed the Accord including American Eagle, H&M, and Adidas, but VF Corporation, owner of JanSport, VF Imagewear, and other affiliates, have thus far evaded responsibility for the safety of their workers. 18 schools across the nation have already required their licensees to sign the Accord, including American University just yesterday!—it’s time for UMD to join them.

USAS organizers and Bangladesh workers met with University of Maryland Administration officials to discuss suspending JanSport licenses in a bid to pressure them to sign the Accord, however university representatives indicated they would not take action on this issue. So students groups Justice at Maryland and Community Roots teamed up to take the message directly to the UMD students and consumers to boycott JanSport products. The event turned out really well and the reception from the UMD community was fantastic. We had so many great conversations, words of support, and got connected to more students and faculty who want to become involved. On Thursday April 24 2014 – the one-year-anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse – we are delivering a letter addressed to University of Maryland President Loh to ask him to suspend the license agreement with JanSport and affiliates if they do not sign the Accord and comply with UMD business ethics standards.  Also, a second demonstration is planned to coincide the the USAS National Day of Action TODAY (Thursday 4/24) at 12:30PM in STAMP Student Union.

How will signing the Accord prevent this catastrophe from happening again?

While no legislation can guarantee this could never happen again as long as sweatshops exist, the Accord requires collaboration with workers’ protection groups, rigorous inspections and public transparency, and it’s legally binding to the companies that sign it.

What can you do to help?

  • BOYCOTT JANSPORT PRODUCTS
  • sign our online petition at change.org
  • Share information about the Accord and talk to other people about it!
  • Demand that University of Maryland President Wallace Loh cut ties with VF Corporation, owner of JanSport and VF Imagewear, and its affiliates.
  • Demand that President Loh require current and future licensees at the University of Maryland to sign onto the Bangladesh Safety Accord.

Candlelight Vigil in memory of Dr. Gaurav Gopalan, Sept 27

Dr. Guarav Gopalan was found dead September 10 at 5:20 AM in Columbia Heights, Washington, DC. On September 20, the DC Medical Examiner ruled Dr. Gopalan’s death a homicide. He was 35.  He was wearing women’s clothing at the time of the homicide, linking his death to a harrowing pattern of violence against trans women in DC.

Dr. Gopalan graduated from the University of Maryland with a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering in 2004. At the time of his death, he was employed as an Assistant Research Scientist in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. He worked with Professor Fredric Schmitz.

Dr. Gaurav Gopalan

Many on campus may have known Dr. Gopalan from contexts outside of Engineering. He participated with the Graduate Lambda Coalition while he was a graduate student. He also adored Shakespeare and asked to sit in on classes about Shakespeare taught by Professor Maynard Mack of the Department of English. See the comments section of an article in the Washington Post on September 13.  They reported on his death being ruled as a homicide on September 20.  Additionally, see the Post’s article about Dr. Gopalan’s work in the Theatre, especially with the company WSC Avant Bard on September 14. Some have reported that Dr. Gopalan was preparing to play a female role in one of Shakespeare’s comedies.

“There is no judgment… only light and dark, only truth and ignorance. What is true is good; evil is quite simply ignorance.”
– Gaurav Gopalan, program notes for Constellation Theatre’s THE RAMAYAN

When: Tuesday, September 27, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Where: West Chapel of Memorial Chapel, UMD

WE ARE TROY DAVIS: TWO PART VIGIL, Sept 21

WHO IS TROY DAVIS? WE ARE.

Troy Davis is set to be lethally injected at 7 PM tomorrow. The University of Maryland campus will not stand idle; we will stand in solidarity with Davis, his family and all those who have been victims of injustice.

At 2 PM tomorrow, we will all meet in the Nyumburu amphitheater to listen to the powerful words of several leaders on campus. Please let us know if you would like to speak.

At 6:30 PM, we will congregate once more in the Nyumburu multipurpose room to hold a candlelight vigil, and then to join BMI for their event.

WEAR BLACK ALL DAY! WE ARE ONE!

Protestors with "I am Troy Davis" t-shirts and "Innocence Matters: Save Troy Davis" signs (march in Salem, GA)

Troy Anthony Davis was convicted of the August 19, 1989, murder of white police officer Mark MacPhail. In 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that an evidentiary hearing be conducted to examine alleged recantations by trial witnesses and determine if clear and convincing evidence existed to prove Davis’ innocence.

On August 24, 2010, the conviction was upheld, with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia declaring, “Davis is not innocent.” Davis has been on death row in Georgia since 1991.

On September 19, 2011, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles heard appeals from the defendant in a final attempt to gain clemency in Davis’ case. Despite hours of testimonies, the Board denied Davis’ appeal and plan to follow through with his execution.

Click here for the UMD facebook event.

When: Wednesday, September 21, 2pm, campus leaders speak

Where: Nyumburu amphitheater

When: Wednesday, September 21, 6:30pm, candle-light vigil

Where: Nyumburu multi-purpose room