Dare To Struggle and We Won! UMKC Tuition Hike Defeated!

May DayThis past week the College of Arts & Sciences Student Council received a plan to increase the A&S Course Fee to $60 per credit hour. They are standing to make $3.1 million from this increase, but at what cost to the students? This change would have impacted more than 9,000 students who would have to pay anywhere from $500-$1000 more in fees each semester. This fee is also recurring from year to year. Each year the fee will increase due to another decision by UMKC administrators. They haven’t informed any of their students of this proposal either, not even so much as a courtesy email or letter in the mail. PYO-KC as an organization flyered and posted information surrounding the town hall and imploring students to be involved to oppose administration and the CSA student council’s proposal.

The financial strain that this proposal puts on students is immense. A large amount of students who go to UMKC already rely on scholarships with many having to take out thousands of dollars in loans on top of those inadequate scholarships. UMKC students are forced to work long hours at local businesses, rely on their family, and sacrifice study time to pay for rising tuition costs. Nevertheless, we have won a concrete victory last night in regards to the proposed tuition hike on behalf of working class and oppressed nationality students. Last night at the University of Missouri-Kansas-City town hall meeting about the recent proposal to increase tuition we mustered up our forces. What we found was the scheduled town hall was to be held in a pathetically small room in the Administration building that could have fit no more than 30 people, our organization composed more than half of those in attendance nevertheless. We voiced our opposition in many ways, which the administration and College of Arts and Sciences student council was ill-prepared for. Continue reading

Working Women: We Have The Power!

March 8th is International Working Women’s Day or International Women’s Day. This is a day of celebration and recognition for the struggles overcame and accomplishments achieved by women, especially working women. We begin on March 8, 1857 when garment workers in New York City march and picket demanding better working conditions, a ten hour work day and equal rights for women. The brave women who had dared to fight for better conditions were dispersed by the police. A full fifty-one years later on the same day on March 8, 1908, women in the needle trades in New York City marched again. The march this time, honoring that historic march on 1857 demanded the right for women to vote, they also demanded an end to child labor. Just as in the past the police were there to disperse them.

In commemoration of these struggles, in 1910 at the Second International, a worldwide socialist party congress, German socialist Clara Zetkin proposed that March 8th be proclaimed as International Working Women’s Day, to commemorate the mobilization of women workers in the US and honor working women the world over. Since then, we recognize all efforts to improve the lives of women, both locally and globally. It is also an occasion to unite, mobilize and struggle for a radical change that is still desperately needed. Continue reading

Wolfe Is Only The Beginning. The Struggle Against Racism In The University of Missouri System Must Continue.

In the wake of growing student protests, the University of Missouri System’s president, Tim Wolfe, has resigned. Students of color, black athletes, and black faculty members stood in solidarity against the inaction of President Wolfe to address racial inequities on the University of Missouri campus. Students like Jonathan Butler, who was on a hunger strike, led the effort by displaying their resolve in the face of the bureaucratic power of the University of Missouri. Faculty members stood with the students, as well as the black athletes on the Mizzou football team, thus forming a powerful bloc against racism on campus that forced a significant concession.

The issues that caused the movement to emerge are numerous and encompass decades of unspoken racism within the University of Missouri System. This year several black student groups reported incidents of racial discrimination on campus through the use of verbal slurs and other discriminatory acts, such as a swastika painted in human feces that appeared on a dormitory wall . On October 10th black students attempted to draw attention to the festering racism on campus by blocking President Wolfe’s car during the homecoming parade. Wolfe proved himself to be unresponsive to the calls for a discussion of race in the University of Missouri community, and the protesters were promptly removed. Continue reading