“Why Aren’t Students Raising Hell?” asks David Masciotra. “Why aren’t American students out on the streets?” Excellent questions. And there’s no single answer.
Masciotra’s article is mostly a lead-up to those queries, explaining why students might want to revolt. First he dwells on New York University as an exemplary case, starting with a review of a recent NYU faculty report from earlier this year, “The Art of the Gouge” (which FTTE readers know well). Next Masciotra touched on another report, “The One Percent at State U,” published this year by the Institute for Policy Studies. The same interlinked themes appear: escalating tuition and student debt, high compensation for upper leadership, the transformation of the faculty from tenure to precarity, all topics familiar to readers of this blog, not to mention anyone paying attention to American higher education in the 21st century.
How do students react in the face of such a transformed experience, “as if Charles Dickens and Franz Kafka collaborated” on its creation?
Unfortunately, students seem like passive participants in their own liquidation. An American student protest timeline for 2014-’15, compiled by historian Angus Johnston, reveals that most demonstrations and rallies focused on police violence, and sexism. Those issues should inspire vigilance and activism, but only 10 out of 160 protests targeted tuition hikes for attack, and only two of those 10 events took place outside the state of California.
So why is this? Continue reading