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UMN Walkout: Oppose Trump! Oppose Kaler’s Trumped Up Policies | Friday, January 20th | 1:00PM | Humphrey School 

Students for a Democratic Society, in coalition with the Resist from Day One Coalition MN will be organizing a campus walkout. Walkout/meetup @ Humphrey School on the West Bank at 1pm. We will have a short rally and then march to converge with Augsburg Student Groups @ 19th & Riverside at 1:45 – then marching to Franklin & Chicago to meet up with the BLACK SNAKE RESISTANCE MARCH. From there, we will all march to attend the larger Resist From Day One! Mega-March and Rally and then converge on city hall at 5pm.

UMN Student Walkout Endorsed and Organized by:
Students for a Democratic Society at UMN
Feminist Student Activist Collective
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP UMN)
La Raza Student Cultural Center
Minnesota Socialist Students
UMN Medical Students for Choice
U-MIRAC (UMN MN Immigrant Rights Action Committee)
Whose Diversity? – Minnesota
Queer Devil Worshippers for a Better Future @ UMN Morris
15 for Student Workers
Feminists in Action – Students Together Against Rape and Sexual Assault (FIA-STARSA) at Macalester
Al-Madinah Cultural Center

Augsburg Student Orgs:
Augsburg Day Student Government
Brotherhood of Successful Scholars – BOSS
Black Feminist in Media
Students for Racial Justice Ausburg College – SRJ
Hmong Women Together
International Student Organization
Muslim Student Association (Augsburg)
Pan-Afrikan Student Union
Queer Indigenous + People of Color
Augsburg Asian Student Association – AASA
AISA – Augsburg Indigenous Student Association
Augsburg Latin American Students – ALAS
Augsburg’s SMART – Sexual Misconduct Awareness-Raising Team
Augsburg College Queer Pride Alliance

We as students of the University of Minnesota have been dealing with a Trumpster administration for years. While we know that our university’s president, Eric Kaler, is capable of doing the right thing under certain conditions, like firing rape-apologist & Gopher football head coach, Tracy Claeys, we also know that the past few years have been riddled with scandals on Kaler’s watch. And we also know that there is no progress without a demand!
(see full SDS statement on our support of Kaler firing Tracy Claeys here:https://umnsds.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/sds-statement-on-the-minnesota-gophers-football-boycott-and-sexual-assault/)

Under Eric Kaler, we’ve seen known sexual assaulters hired and eventually paid off, we’ve seen racist and xenophobic attacks on campus declaring a need to “build the wall,” calling Muslims “ISIS” and Palestinians terrorists, which all came with the president’s seal of approval of free speech, and, as a contradiction, seen progressive activists arrested and aggressively charged and fined for speaking up. Under President Kaler, we’ve seen intrusions into the student government’s decisions on whether to divest from Israeli Apartheid, investing university money to union bust against faculty and student worker unionization efforts, the valuing of research profits well above the cost of human lives, and allowing the mental health of students to go almost entirely unsupported amidst constant backlash and tragedy. We’ve seen the pockets of overpaid and unneeded administrators growing increasingly thick with the skyrocketing tuition of working class students and students of color who have to bust ass everyday just to be at our university in the first place.

Much like President Kaler, a Trump presidency is the continuation of an anti-people force that has been growing and festering in this country for centuries, and we won’t let it succeed. We’re going to hit these streets and show them what we think of their racism, their xenophobia, their sexism, transphobia, homophobia. We’re going to dare to struggle, and dare to win.

On January 20th, Students for a Democratic Society will send a message to Presidents Kaler and Trump of what we think of them with a student walkout, meeting at the Humphrey school at 1:00pm to demand our university be declared a sanctuary campus, to demand our administration accept radical pay cuts and freeze and lower tuition, to demand our campus reflect the diverse community it’s situated amongst, and that President Kaler step down as president of our university. Marching , we’ll join MIRAC and show President-elect, racist Trump what we think of his administration too.

If you Dare to Struggle, you Dare to Win!

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On Thursday, December 17th, the University of Minnesota’s football team collectively agreed to boycott all football activities, including their upcoming bowl game, in response to allegations that 10 members of their team were connected to a sexual assault investigation. Roughly 24 hours later, the team has rescinded their boycott, provided an obtuse apology for it and have stated conviction to use their status as football players to represent the values and ethics of the University.

While many can agree it is a victory that the football team came to their senses and stopped making, yet another, public blasphemy of our University, what developed in those 24 hours will be a stain on the players, the families, the coaches, and the entire football program for weeks, months and likely years to come.

The values, virtues and truth-seeking of our University were called into question not only by the behavior of the players when they announced the boycott, but also by their families. These students used their status as football players with a bowl game in the near future to attempt to back President Kaler into a corner and demand the Title IX investigation, a federally mandated investigation, be put to an end. They disregarded that they were throwing into the public sphere the real, terrifying possibility that a woman was gang-raped the morning of September 2nd by members of their team. They disregarded the fact that investigations occur because there is an allegation of a criminal offense and that those who are victimized deserve justice too. Instead, they petulantly determined that they were somehow the victims and they did not want anyone snooping around in their business anymore.

To add to this horror is the very fact that their parents and head coach, Tracy Claeys, stood up for them at a time where more understanding of the events were trying to be processed by the public at large. In a tweet, many were shocked to see Tracy Claeys write, “Have never been more proud of our kids. I respect their rights & support their effort to make a better world!” Antoine Winfield Sr., father of one of the teams’ players, also demanded that the investigation cease and that Kaler and and Athletic Director Mark Coyle, lose their jobs or else he is pulling his kid out of the University.

As a campus student organization that has advocated for the replacement of Eric Kaler for a range of reasons, this is NOT one of them. If anything, Students for a Democratic Society sees Eric Kaler’s letter as a firm stance we do not see as often as we’d like from his office regarding issues affecting students. Kaler is able to bring the football team to task and confirm that sexual assault allegations and investigations will not become secondary to the threat of 120 players backing out of a bowl game.

With respect to Tracy Claeys’ decidedly pro-rape stance, we demand that he be fired immediately for supporting students who were attempting to defy the investigation of a sexual assault case. Tracy Claeys has the responsibility to respect the same values of this University that President Kaler discusses in the aforementioned article. Instead, he provided no respect to the investigative process and publicly allowed the football team and its leadership act like a bunch of “good old boys”.

Frankly, we also find it embarrassing that this team, throughout their “boycott”, appeared to not even completely understand the legal proceedings or how the case has gotten to this point. They requested a press conference to promote their boycott and solidarity with their accused teammates without actually reading the chilling EOAA report beforehand. The team’s statements also demonstrate an egregious misunderstanding of the workings of Title IX, a federal act that requires Universities to investigate any alleged sexual misconduct and take actions to correct it. Furthermore, the team’s grievance regarding the 10 players being named with “reckless disregard” is the fault of their own lawyer, who named them publically the evening of Wednesday, December 14th. The initial statement put out by the men’s football team is full of factual inaccuracies. Weirdest of all, however, is Drew Wolitarsky’s bizarre nod to President-Elect Donald Trump that appears to have nothing to do with anything related to the boycott, but instead a paltry cry to “make the program great again”.

In an effort to make the program great again, Students for a Democratic Society demand that all departments of the University respect and abide by the Affirmative Consent Policy that was achieved just recently. We see through the behavior, language and disgusting rhetoric that has come out in support of the Gopher’s football team the absolute need for this policy to not only exist, but to be enforced. Rodrick Williams, a U of M football player, has been quoted on facebook saying that his “team members did not get due process because one female cried wolf because she couldn’t keep her legs closed”. Especially concerning is the attitude espoused by many on the football team, directly blaming the victim in crude, disgusting ways(screenshots are below at the end of this release). Prior to 12/17/16 The men’s football team requested a private meeting with two Regents known to be against the affirmative consent campaign and/or extremely right wing, a move that SDS sees as an attempt to gain biased validation for their “boycott”. This case and it’s subsequent investigation may have seen different results if the Affirmative Consent policy had not passed. We condemn all previous efforts to thwart its passage into U of MN policy and all further efforts to remove it.

As of 12/17/16 the U of M football team has decided to end their “boycott” of all football-related activities and participate in the Holiday Bowl. We think that the football team should be removed from the invitation to play at the game as a consequence of petulantly defending and supporting 10 students accused of sexual assault and publicly shaming the University of Minnesota.

Finally, SDS advises that all those with a conscience who were also previously considering attending or watching the Holiday Bowl do not. It is obvious, given the aforementioned reasons, that the U of M football team fosters a culture of rape apologia and does not understand the possible consequences of their split-second actions regarding this case of sexual assault. The head coach of the U of M men’s football team should be immediately fired, the ten suspected students should be expelled, and the football team should have required sexual assault and harassment rectification classes and re-education. It is clear in the EOAA report that the team used gang rape as a recruiting tool for a high-schooler that was a potential incoming football player.

SDS stands in solidarity with all victims and survivors of sexual assault, and we urge President Kaler and the Regents to take a hard look at the investments being made into the football program and move forward with the expulsion of the perpetrators. We will continue to stand up against these violations until it is clear to everyone that rape culture will not be tolerated on campus.

We would also like to let all students know about the resources available on campus and the Minneapolis area if you are feeling especially vulnerable after the events of the last few weeks regarding the treatment and publication of this case.

The Aurora Center : aurora.umn.edu

RAINN: https://www.rainn.org/index.php

Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault: http://www.mncasa.org

RapeHelpMN: http://rapehelpmn.org/find-help/

Walk-In Counseling Center Minneapolis: http://walkin.org

 

Screenshots below:

A cached list of deleted tweets: http://www.forums.gopherhole.com/boards/showthread.php?72488-Rashad-Still-going-off-on-Twitter-quot-justice-will-be-served-when-she-is-in-handcuffs-quot

 

We, the students, are putting forward a resolution to be voted on immediately…Whereas, Eric Kaler is incapable of continuing to lead this university.

Whereas… Eric Kaler’s incoming base salary per year was $610,000 — which is $155,000 MORE than previous U President Robert Bruininks.

Whereas….tuition costs have been doubling each decade with President Kaler approving tuition hikes and doing very little to make our land-grant institution more affordable and eventually free. The University of MN’s charter lays out the clear stipulation in Section 12:  

“The admission fee to the University and the charges for

tuition in the several Departments thereof, shall be regulated and

prescribed by the Board of Regents; and as soon as in their opinion,

the income of the University fund will permit, tuition in all of the

Departments shall be without charge to all students in the same, who

are residents of the Territory.”

Whereas… President Kaler has not considered or spoken upon declaring free tuition for Indigenous students, given that the U of M is built on stolen Dakota land, and has not planned to grow on the free tuition plan for Indigenous students at the Morris

Whereas… President Kaler participated in a cover-up of gross ethical misconduct within the medical school and went as far as to sue the families of the victims, who have died as a direct result of this medical misconduct, in an effort to prevent serious investigations.

Whereas… President Kaler has hired known sexual predators to positions of authority. For example, when Norwood Teague was hired as the athletic director, Kaler explained away Teague’s harassment of his subordinates by saying, “perhaps he was over-served,” and paid out Teague’s contract.

Whereas…. President Kaler approved and protected racist actions on campus by responding to the “Build the Wall” policy by deeming it protected free speech.

Whereas… President Kaler fails to see that hate speech turns into hate action. Such is the case in the vandalism of the Muslim Student Association’s bridge panel with the words “ISIS” scrawled across it, which slanders, not only the student organization, but all Muslim identified persons on this campus as “terrorists.”

Whereas… President Kaler continues his policy of not going the distance to combat the racism on campus as evidenced by his lack of resolve to declare our campus a sanctuary. Instead, impressing that he is only willing to do things deemed “legal” in the face of a U.S. president-elect who ambitions to illegalize half of the population.

Whereas… President Kaler has not declared unconditional support for undocumented and Deferred Action students saying he would only protect them if legally allowed to.

Whereas… President Kaler, as president of the entire University system, has failed to adequately represent the students of the U of M system and has not given adequate time for students from the other campuses.

Whereas… President Kaler has pursued anti-worker policies and refused to bargain in good faith with university workers and their unions for living wages and better workplace conditions.

Whereas… President Kaler approved the use of $550,000, drawn from tuition and state money, in an attempt to sabotage the faculty unionization organizing on the Twin Cities campus.

Whereas…. President Kaler has in effect criminalized dissent at the university by charging some of the most committed and celebrated students at the U with “student code of conduct” charges and criminal charges for their actions on campus. A University administration committed to critical thinking and community engagement would immediately drop the charges against the six students arrested at the June 2016 Board of Regents meeting and instead listen to their demands and voices.

Therefore be it resolved… Eric Kaler should be removed from office immediately. A new leader should be put in place through a process involving genuine input from the campus community and the new president must be accountable to the University community, not just symbolically in verbiage, but in actuality – responsive to student, faculty, and worker power.

This accountability must be to the larger university community, instead of, as we’ve witnessed under President Kaler, accountability only to wealthy financial donors and the swollen bureaucracy of “yes men” administrators who do nothing to question misguided policies or represent the needs of students, staff, and faculty on campus.

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By Matt Boynton |

November 14, 2016
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“Driven to Disparities” teach-in at U of MN. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

A group of more than 50 students, led by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), took over the first floor of Coffman Memorial Union, the University of Minnesota’s student center, for a public demonstration and teach-in on issues of inequalities in education mid-day on Nov. 9.

The “Driven to Disparities” teach-in was organized by SDS to educate students about the ongoing struggles and campaigns to address misogyny, Islamophobia, xenophobia, racial and national oppression, and economic inequalities on campus, all issues exacerbated by the election of the racist right-wing populist Donald Trump to president of the U.S. the previous day.

In the run up to the election, Muslim students and nonwhite students have been targeted and increasingly harassed by Trump supporters at the U of MN. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) was the target of a smear campaign that labeled them anti-Semitic and terroristic and the Muslim Student Association had its logo on campus vandalized with a spray painted “ISIS.” The Nov. 9 SDS teach-in rallied progressive students to occupy space in Coffman and oppose these local manifestations of the Trump agenda at the U of MN.

Speakers from SDS, the Feminist Student Activist Collective (FSAC), Whose Diversity?, Adelante!, Differences Organized (DO), Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and Student Workers for $15 all addressed the actions they are taking to mobilize students for a progressive agenda.

In particular, students called for the administration of U of MN President Eric Kaler to be replaced, and for him to be fired. Students wore “Fire Kaler” t-shirts and chanted “Chop, chop, chop from the top” and “Fire Kaler” inside the student union during the teach-in. For many in attendance, Kaler’s inability to prevent, or to fully condemn, hate speech on campus by Trump supporters is a line in the sand that shows he cannot govern what the protesters believe should be a politically progressive campus.

Kaler has also been implicated in a number of high-profile scandals in recent years and pushed for expanded corporatization of the University of Minnesota system, leading many other voices, including former Minnesota governor Arne Carlson, to echo the students’ call for Kaler to be fired. Protesters also demanded that tuition be lowered, called for the U of MN to better serve underrepresented communities of color, for the divestment of university funds from corporations profiting off of Palestinian occupation, for the permanent funding and support for cultural centers on campus, for criminal charges against student protesters to be dropped, and for living wages for campus workers.

To continue pressing for these demands, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) asked those in attendance to join them on Dec. 9t for an action at the next U of MN Board of Regents meeting.

Join us for a teach-in in the public space of Coffman concerning student perspectives on the contradictions of campus life and struggle amidst skyrocketing tuition, increasing inaccessability and repression of student voices by Eric Kaler and his bloated, over-paid administration.
Featuring speakers from:
Students for a Democratic Society | Feminist Student Activist Collective | Adelante| Student Workers for $15 | Whose diversity? | Differences organized! Coalition
CALL-IN TO THE MPLS CITY ATTORNEY TO DEMAND: DROP THE CHARGES AGAINST STUDENT ACTIVISTS!

DO! members who were arrested at the BOR meeting on June 10 are awaiting trial set to occur mid-December. We know that we’re in the middle of the semester and things are getting busy, but please take a moment to write or call into the city attorney’s office asking them to drop the charges against the 6 students who were arrested at the Board of Regents meeting on June 10. Please express your support of the right to protest and condemn the criminalization of student protest.

CALL: SUSAN SEGAL, City Hall Room 210, 350 S. 5th Street, Minneapolis MN 55415 | 612-673-2010

Fall 2016 New Members Meeting

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11th Annual National Convention 
We are happy to announce that Students for a Democratic Society (National) will be holding our eleventh National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 8th and 9th.

Registration is now open through this link for anyone who would like to attend, host a workshop, or table as an outside organization: http://www.newsds.org/2016/06/sds-11th-annual-national-convention.html

Since our reorganization in 2006, SDS has grown to be the largest anti-war and education rights student and youth organization active in the US today. In the past nine years SDSers around the country have won major victories on their campuses and in their communities fighting tuition hikes and for the right of all people to a good education. We have built large coalitions with other student and youth organizations not only to fight back against attacks on education but also to land serious blows against racism, patriarchy, and war.

Students from around the country will converge to discuss the future of the student and youth movement in the US. Workshops at the convention will cover topics including anti-war, education rights, LGBTQ liberation, anti-racism, immigrant rights, national liberation, and more.

Whether you’re in SDS or not, we want you at the convention. Meals will be provided, housing will be provided and travel stipends may be available depending on need and cost. You can also contact your nearest SDS chapter for rides to the convention by searching this link on our website:http://www.newsds.org/p/chapter.html

Register now!
If you dare to struggle, you dare to win!

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Thursday, March 10 | 5:30pm | Ford Hall 110 – UMN E. Bank

Speakers featuring SDS, Black Student Union, Students for Justice in Palestine, Whose Diversity?, Adelanté, Council of Graduate Students, and others!

On March 3rd, 2016 President Kaler will be giving his administration’s State of the University address in Coffman Memorial Union sure to discuss the ‘achievements’ of the University. However, there are many basic things that need to be improved at our University that are very simple demands that students have been fighting for, such as: lowering tuition, increasing diversity and having our urban university reflect its urban population, sexual assault/harrassment scandals that have been ongoing at an executive level and the list goes on.

On March 10th, SDS and others are hosting an event meant to highlight a different narrative to the one he will likely be describing: a Student, Staff and Faculty perspective on the state of the University.

While we see tuition at an all-time high, we also see top-adminstrators’ CEO-like salaries are bloated.

While front-line staff and faculty either get cut or are not offered long-term employment, class sizes or increasing and student services are decreasing.

While we hear Kaler talk about wanting to “increase diversity”, we have seen no real efforts going towards getting higher representation of MN black and brown youth at our University.

We want to pose the question and have a dialogue about whose state of the University is Kaler going to speak about? We have our own stories that are worth hearing.

Please join SDS and other groups to engage in a report-back on the real issues that are affecting our campus community and hear your ideas for what needs to be done!

FREE PIZZA
FREE BEVVIES.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information, contact:

Skyler Dorr: 612-360-5371, SDorr13@gmail.com

Steph Taylor: 612-248-0998, Taylo574@gmail.com

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – On February 17, 2016, students, staff, faculty, and community members will protest a speech being delivered by journalist Milo Yiannopoulos. The protest is being organized by Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Minnesota (SDS) and will take place outside of Yiannopoulos’s speech, which is being hosted by Students for a Conservative Voice and the Minnesota Republic in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Milo Yiannopoulos is being protested for his work on breitbart.com as well as for his work as a social commentator. Yiannopoulos grew in fame chiefly for his response to Gamergate, a controversy in which a group of men referring to themselves as Gamergate began harassing women within the video game industry in response to many women demanding a change in the overwhelmingly sexist industry. The instances of harassment included doxing, threats of rape, and death threats. Yiannopoulos became a major figure of the controversy with his 2014 online essay defending men’s rights to harass and threaten the lives of women and claimed the video game industry to be under attack by an “army of sociopathic feminist programmers and campaigners” who are “lying, bullying and manipulating their way around the Internet for profit and attention.” Students for a Democratic Society sees his violent speech against women and in defense of violent acts against them as hate speech, which has no place on our campus.

Milo Yiannopoulos was invited to speak at the University of Minnesota by the Minnesota Republic, a far-right periodical that has been in trouble with the University multiple times for insensitive content, including multiple overtly racist and Islamophobic depictions of Muslims and calling for a white history month with a cover reading, “We *heart* White People.” Students for a Conservative Voice, the student group printing the paper, received an outrageous sum of roughly $104,000 in student service fees from the University, allowing it to hire staffers for their paper as well as to invite speakers like Milo Yiannopoulos.

By allowing for student service fees to be used to invite violent, misogynistic and transphobic hate speech onto our campus, the University of Minnesota is condoning this dangerous speech with its inaction in the interests of the student body.

For these reasons, protestors at Rutgers University protested Milo Yiannopoulos’s presence on their campus earlier this month. Students for a Democratic Society stand in solidarity with the organizers at Rutgers.

SDS is a national, multi-issue organization that works to build power in schools and communities. Entirely student and youth-led, SDS has over 100 active chapters in high schools, colleges, universities and cities across the country. SDS at UMN was founded in 2006 and has organized many anti-war campaigns and events since then. This year, SDS at UMN has been organizing an education rights campaign centered around rising tuition, diversity on campus, and administrative bloat.

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