We should recognize that the same crisis in state funding is still in effect, and the University of California's upper administration is still largely committed to the logic of privatization. The student movement was really the only effective counter-measure to those forces, and most likely, we would have seen much more draconian actions if it hadn't occurred. I am genuinely concerned at what that administration would accomplish if we don't continue to put pressure on them.
At the same time, I don't want to paper over the real problems with the movement, particularly around issues of sexism and racism within its ranks. We have repeatedly gestured towards the need for an intersectional analysis, but that analysis has often been overwhelmed by the nostalgia for the often very problematic master plan, as well the post-war public research university. Our relationship to those institutions differ profoundly depending how we are racialized and gendered as subjects. At the heart of this, is a need to think through the way that the public research university, simultaneously allowed for the inclusion of working class students, as well as its contribution to reinforcement of the logic of white supremacy. (Without a doubt more needs to be written here, and that analysis needs to hold onto a number of intersecting categories to be useful.)
I want to keep this posting brief, so I will end with some questions for the probably not too large group of folks reading this. Do you think that a continued student movement (a very problematic term that stands in for a movement that has included actions by workers, professors, as well as students.)is necessary? If so, how can that process be revived in the UCI context? What are the conversations going on outside of our little cul de sac, in the other UC schools, outside the state? I'm not sure if I will hear from anyone, as that I've just started this blog, but I thought I would toss out the question.
In addition, I want to make it clear that aside from a vague sense that we need confrontational activism on the campus, I'm not sure what the answers are to these questions. They are posed from a position of ignorance, and not that fake ignorance that Socrates takes on in the dialogues.