Open University at UC Berkeley Monday 11/21

20 11 2011

The University is Open!

Monday, November 21: Noon -2pm, Sproul Plaza. (If it is raining, follow the signs and join us in the Multicultural Center (MCC) in MLK.)

Why the Open University at Occupy Cal?: Coalitions and the Open Classroom
How can we think about the classroom and the University as spaces to build coalitional politics? How can we link questions of sexuality, immigration status, age, disability, race, gender, and class in our political actions?

Open University Teachers for the day:
Jeff Chang: Cal alumnus; founding member of CalServe; author of award-winning Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, founding editor of Colorlines magazine; Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts + Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford University.

Juana María Rodríguez: PhD in Ethnic Studies, UC-Berkeley; Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies; Director of the LGBT minor; author of Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces.

Monday’s Schedule:
12:00: Introduction and Welcome to the Open University
12:15: Presentations by Jeff and Juana
12:45-2pm: Open Discussion

2pm: Meeting of the Open University Working Group, all are welcome!

What is the Open University at Occupy Cal?

The Open University of November 15 was a resounding success, a festival of ideas and the enactment of a utopian vision for public education. We re-establish the Open University as an ongoing feature of Occupy Cal!

Every weekday from now through at least the end of Reading/Review/Recitation week, we will organize a daily teach-out from noon to 2pm at Sproul Plaza. The Open University will cover a rotating range of topics, generated as need and interest determines and organized by the Open University Working Group, a collective of faculty, graduate students and undergraduates committed to the right of education for everyone. The Open University is open to all who want to teach and learn, regardless of title, position, age or affiliation.

Other Occupy encampments put in practice a vision of the cities they’d like to inhabit, by feeding, clothing, housing (tenting), and attending to basic medical needs as well as insisting on a horizontal participatory democracy.   The Open University provides an opportunity for us to collectively re-imagine what public education means and what it looks like.

This is a learning process for all of us, and the success of the Open University is contingent upon the inclusion and representation of the many voices and viewpoints here at Cal and in the larger community. We welcome everyone to take an active role in developing the Open University; this includes, but is not limited to, offering suggestions for courses/curriculum, participating in the Open University Working Group, leading and/or facilitating teach-outs, and of course joining in the conversation.

The Open University serves as powerful recourse against the increasing inaccessibility and inequity of the UC under the leadership of the Regents, who are:
– increasingly privatizing the right to education (through tuition and fee hikes, increased emphasis on private donations over public funds, and insistence on student loans)
-attaching price tags to knowledge (through prioritizing athletics and professional degrees over the humanities and many of the social sciences)
-limiting the kinds of people who can sit in our classrooms (through the perpetuation of anti-affirmative action policies, and the abandonment of the California Master Plan)

What kind of university do you want? Join the conversation on Sproul Plaza on weekdays at noon, or email us at




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