Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Last Day At School

Yesterday, I graduated from college.

I have spent the last 16 years of my life in the American education system, and have nothing but contempt for it. Elementary school numbs the ability to ask questions; High school further deflates the agency of the student; College saps millions of dollars from poor students and funnels it into the military industrial complex. The system of education in this country only serves to desensitize youth to the monotonous reality of American capitalism, and needs to change - or else our generation will regress into the same industrialized homogeneity that we rightfully denounced in Soviet Russia. I'm fucking THRILLED to finally be out of this shit.

The first thing I did upon completing my last class was head over to the Social Research Building on 5th Ave and 14th St. There, last night, more than 60 students blockaded the cafeteria and successfully held it over night. The administration has thus far been soft on us (I spent much of the night chilling and watching Afro-Samurai), but we anticipate a larger response today.

I'm not trying to relive the 60's. In fact, I hate that shit. I would like to sit and chat with my schools administrators, who are taking the outrageous tuition we pay and investing it in private defense contractors - the same people who torture people in the Middle East for profit (specifically L3 Communications) - but they have systematically denied students the right to communicate with them. As a school founded by professors who rejected the unbridled, militarized patriotism of post WWI America, The New School is supposed be a sanctuary for critical thought and analysis. Instead, the school now buttresses large military corporations, thanks to our President Bob Kerrey.

Kerrey is a scumbag, a sly, vicious killer who disgraces all of the honest soldiers who have endured the realities of war. Last week, the faculty voted overwhelmingly "No Confidence". Kerrey's pathetic attempts at reconciliation - like sending out pleasant emails and opening up a highly-monitored blog - have failed to placate the New School Community. So today, many of us are occupying 65 5th Avenue, the building that houses the New School for Social Research - the successor to the "University in Exile" that took in European academics persecuted by the Nazis.

We are holding a rally at 10:30 AM today. It would be great to have the support of students from outside the school. Also, check for more information about the occupation. I very much hope this event - the first of my post-academic life - can have an effect at my school, and ripple through the corrupt university spectrum that reaches every part of this country.

~Robert Eletto

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