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student syndicalism

Quebec Student Unions: History, Structure, and Strategy

Simon Gosselin, François Carbonneau, Richard Huot & Caroline Bourbonnais came to the Students for a Democratic Society 2009 Northeast Convention to speak about radical student unionism in Québéc.

They make important distinctions between the situations in Québéc and the U.S. - but just as important are the commonalities we all face as students in universities, and it's those commonalities that demand we learn what we can from their past and current struggles (especially because they have a much better knack at winning). Below is the first of 8 segments: you can view them all in a row here on YouTube.

"Alternatives to Traditional Student Government"

I was recently forwarded this article. It was written in '75 by a Dean of Students, but I think it deserves a hard look. As we craft what our future universities will look like, we should be open to the lessons and advice of the past. I also got a kick out of him mentioning student syndicalism -- to think that a Dean would even mention such a concept, even in the '70s! -- Patrick

Alternatives to Traditional Student Government

(DON CREAMER is dean of students, El Centro College, Dallas, Texas.)

What is the future of student government? One does not need to be a mystic nor a soothsayer to predict with frightening accuracy the essential work of most student government organizations. Likely, sporadic tinkering with local issues of some inane nature will occur, but three things almost universally will come to pass. These things happen almost everywhere, and they happen with tiring regularity.

First, students will attempt to re-write the constitution. Unfortunately, this venture likely will succeed, thus giving next year's junta all the more reason to re-write it again. Second, students will quarrel about quorums. Are enough of us here (according to the current constitution, of course) to decide on whatever issue has bubbled to the surface? Third, students will argue about "territorial rights" and exclusive domain prerogatives. This argument usually boils down to the question, "When are we ever going to get our own sandbox to play in around here?" When these symptoms become apparent to the leadership of an institution concerned with education, then it is time for a change.


UCLA Student Workers Fight for Unionization

According to The Daily Bruin, UCLA student workers are staging demonstrations to force the UCLA administration to recognize their union rights. The students cite that they do the same kind of work that other employees do, but without the benefits or job protection that the unionized school workers get.

Specifically, the students are employees of "Associated Students UCLA," a non-profit that operates places like cafeterias, book & gift shops, and also covers licensing of official UCLA merchandise.

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