Please support our project to publish and print the 2015-16 UMD Disorientation Guide. This zine holds the keys to information about our campus and our communities that university-directed orientations don’t want students to see. Help students get the information that really counts by making a small contribution or sharing our fundraising link with friends. All $$$ collected will go to printing costs for the guide which will be handed out free!
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!
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
The following is an excerpt from an article in the 2014-15 UMD Disorientation Guide on the nature of the relationship between Students and the University…
The Student Worker – Challenging the Concept of the Student Consumer
In a wave of recession-era austerity measures, many states across the country dramatically reduced funding for education resulting in a disturbing increase in the privatization of our education system. Under this model, education becomes a commodity, just another thing to be bought and sold, where students are nothing more than consumers. The thing sold? Education? Universities offer students the promise of a livable future, luring young hopefuls with the institution’s credibility and bourgeois amenities before saddling students, their parents, and our country with crushing debt; a financial burden that weakens the economy and causes significant social strife.
Thinking of students as debtors makes invisible the ways students are actually workers. We are told that our education comes handed down to us by our professors, but we know better. We teach each other and ourselves, often learning as much on our own time than in lecture. Perhaps most important – through research, thesis papers, and schoolwork – students develop a body of academic knowledge that feeds the institution and raises the university’s credibility and standing.
For example, what do you call what you do at school? Work, right? It’s called “Schoolwork” or “Homework” because it IS work. Alongside professors, adjunct faculty, TA’s, and janitors, students ARE the university. Portraying students as consumers rather than the engine that powers the university legitimizes student apathy and complacency. Many of us are also workers in the traditional sense too, using our wages to pay for living expenses, tuition, and books, often to the very university that employs us.
Students propel human knowledge forward!!! That’s some important shit that many like to ignore.
Furthermore, education is not merely an investment in one’s own self-interest, but also a public good. After graduation, students are going to go on to add value to the whole economy and help their communities in ways they might not have been capable of before. Students are ambassadors for the future workforce and voting population. Just like the research we produce, our educated selves are sold on the labor market. Universities serve as sites of production for the skills our future employers need to continue functioning. Our educations are a commodity we make and sell, and yet only the university and their corporate partners truly profit.
What does it mean when students are paying exorbitant prices to produce their own education, the fabric of the institution, and the public good of education? It means we are getting ripped off. We should be getting paid! It means society is getting ripped off. Students should be paid for the work they do! While such ideals may be at home in a more enlightened future, lets at the very least demand an end to tuition hikes and the commodification of an educated society.
Yeah, the radical femme on the right is pissed and they’re going to get even more pissed if we have another tuition hike. Get ready for our zine which will drop September 17th at the University of Maryland College Park, First Look Fair!!! In the meantime, check out our old disorientation guide here -> 2013-14 UMD Disorientation Guide
PG County police are planning to live-tweet a sex worker sting in the upcoming days. Their plan is essentially intended to publicly shame and dehumanize sex workers under the guise of violence prevention (on the contrary, this tactic directly promotes violence). This voyeuristic practice has sparked a backlash that has provided an opportunity to engage with county law enforcement over policing practices of sex work. Call on PG County police to end their plan to live-tweet sex worker stings and replace such practices with dignity, respect, and increased healthcare access for sex workers!
Students DEMAND University of Maryland Brands Sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord – In Coordination with USAS Day of Action
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.
FIRST FRIDAY EVENING EVENT AT UMD COLLEGE PARK
University of Maryland Student Government (UMDSGA) Diversity Committee, UMD Office of Diversity and Inclusion (UMD ODI),Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy (MICA), and the Nyumburu Cultural Center are co-hosting a DIVERSITY SUMMIT starting 2PM FRIDAY APRIL 18th in the STAMP Student Union Colony Ballroom. The goal of the Diversity Summit is to promote solidarity, cooperation, and support between students of diverse backgrounds by providing a platform for students to connect, inspire, educate, organize, and demonstrate their abilities to enhance the campus community and motivate others to take reciprocal action. This will be a rewarding opportunity for students from all aspects of campus life to come together and build towards a basis of mutual understanding and inclusion.
Some of the challenges that they hope to address include:
- Communication breakdown that draws attention to our differences
- Unwillingness to speak out and ignoring the issues at hand
- Divided campus with only the appearance of diversity
- An apathetic campus
By creating avenues for communication and a safe space for open dialogue the purpose of the Diversity Summit is to:
[C]onnect with one another
[R]espond to an issue
[E]mpower ourselves and others
[D]iversify our campus community
Everyone is welcome!
This is a FREE event including LUNCH courtesy of the Office of Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy (MICA) and many special performances and presentations!
See the facebook page bellow to RSVP, get directions, or get more details on the event:
SECOND FRIDAY EVENING EVENT AT UMD COLLEG PARK
Looking to bring social into the world of social change, Community Roots – a University of Maryland College Park student group that hosts student led discussion on contemporary civil rights and social justice issues – is hosting it’s annual celebration of hip hop, resistance, and social justice – Move The Movement 2014!!!
FREE LIVE Performances by a wide range of socially conscious artists -> 18+ SHOW, OPEN TO PUBLIC -> MOVE-THE-MOVEMENT -> Friday April 18, From 6-9PM in the Nyumburu Cultural Center in College Park, Maryland (right next to the STAMP Student Union). See the facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/137395876431087/
NEW STUDENT GROUP SET TO LAUNCH CAMPAIGN ON STUDENT DEBT AND FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY AT UMD
We are demanding (1) the University of Maryland Administration publicly support a 3- year tuition freeze, and (2) make public the financial relationship to CAPITAL ONE FINANCIAL CORPORATION to ensure financial transparency and accountability, particularly as it pertains to student loans.
Their FIRST DIRECT ACTION is 11AM FRIDAY APRIL 25th in front of the Administration Building!
Come out and SLAP the hikes!
See their facebook link for more information:
Justice at Maryland – a student coalition advocating for fair treatment and fair pay of campus workers – and the Maryland Food Cooperative are co-hosting a Workers’ Rights Movie Night, screening of the labor organizing documentary “The Take.” The film documents the efforts of factory workers in Argentina who take reclaim closed down factories and restart them as worker-owned cooperatives!
The Movie starts at 5PM Friday, April 4th 2014 inside the Maryland Food CoOp in the basement of STAMP Student Union at the University of Maryland College Park campus. FREE Popcorn and Beverages will be provided!
The Facebook event page link is below:
Maquilapolis: City of Factories (2006, 60 min), by Vicky Funari and Sergio de la Torre – Filmed in the Free Trade Zones in Tijuana, where filmmakers taught women workers – Carmen and Lourdes, to film their work and their lives, to document the labor violations, environmental devastation and urban chaos, they confront everyday.
Just over the border in Mexico is an area peppered with maquiladoras: massive sweatshops often owned by the world’s largest multinational corporations. Carmen and Lourdes work at maquiladora in Tijuana, where they confront labor violations, environmental devastation and urban chaos. In this lyrical documentary, the women reach beyond the daily struggle for survival to organize for change, taking on both the Mexican and U.S. governments and a major television manufacturer.
*Suggested Donation: $10 to support BloomBars. Free popcorn and refreshments provided.
BloomScreen Indie Film Night – is a weekly series of independent and foreign films, accompanied by discussions with filmmakers and other experts.
Volunteers wanted! Have a suggestion for a film? Know a local filmmaker who wants to screen their work? Want to lend a hand? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas.