Taking a Stance

  1. Matthew Renda’s article for The Atlantic, in combination with “After the Fall” and the article by Angus Johnston, bought to light the importance protests play in helping young adults express their disapproval. Renda retells a story that took place at the University of California at Santa Cruz, a historically liberal school set in a historically conservative town, where undergraduate students had formed a blockade on a major highway in protest of tuition increases and financial crisis. The students’ intent was to draw attention, and that they did, as the students had “[shut] down traffic for three hours…spurring response from 85 uniformed personnel and a helicopter” (Renda). The protest sparked support from outside the community, along with emphasizing the power of inconvenience when seeking attention. Since the protest, the university has undergone question in regard to the unfair treatment of these protestors. How efficient is protesting in these situations? Do you believe the outcomes really does more good than harm?
  2. Patrick Harker’s article addresses a topic that seems extremely vital to our lives as of recent; the “ever-rising cost” of tuition at the University of Delaware. Harker explains that though the university’s fees are currently at their lowest, the costs still remain somewhat unbearable. The article examines the flaws in the school’s curriculum, asserting that the manner in which the students select their classes, utilize resources both in and outside the classroom, and conduct the work within their major are askew due to a system which is “teacher-centric” (Harker). From my own perspective, I have been begun to understand the drastic differences that not only schools, but state governments have taken in regard of financial aid in the last 30 years or so. My father, a first-generation American coming from very little money, received a free-ride to Manhattan College in the late 1970’s by simply taking state-conducted test (with no relation to the SATs). To my knowledge, the state has made many budget cuts, and the test are no longer as generous. With this is mind, do you believe universities fairly organize their financial processes? Do you believe you have been “ripped-off” by the university, in any sense of the word?
  3. In an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Angus Johnston reports on not only the importance of protests in advocating for better conditions in general, but to give voice specifically to marginalized groups at universities. Johnston discusses the roles college administrations have had over the years, in which the power of the students has dwindled over time. The author brings up a more recent issue within protests; the universities reaction. Johnston states that students “occupying campus buildings were subjected to mas arrest, serious disciplinary charges, and some physical violence”, not to mention the additional protests regarding Black Lives Matter, sexual violence on campus, feminist movements, and more. In my opinion, the author summarizes these colligate issues my very simply stating that “universities as institutions have failed to adapt to demographic changes in their student populations” (Johnston). Do you believe this is so? Have universities unsuccessfully taken into account the opinions and involvement of their students as both pupils and people?

Intolerable: That cannot be tolerated, borne, or put up with; unendurable, unbearable, insupportable, insufferable

Proposition: Something proposed for discussion or solution; a problem, a riddle; a parable

Provocations: The action of provoking or inciting; incitement, impulse; instigation; (also) an instance of this; an incentive, a stimulus