Thursday, March 5, 2009

Of Budgets and Bureaucrats

“The purpose of the incidental fee is not to save the world.”
- Sam Dotters-Katz

Just before our yearly budget hearing when a committee from the student government decides how it will allocate funding to the various student groups, the Oregon Daily Emerald published an article stating that “committee members” (of the PFC) mentioned that the Insurgent mails off campus and because that “takes money off campus” they “anticipated a contentious meeting”. Let’s cut through the bullshit for a moment, what they are doing there is threatening to cut our funding; presumably the excuse they would give is that this somehow does not benefit the university. With deceptiveness typical of establishment media the Emerald only mentioned that we send to prisoners, failing to mention that we also send to organizations and individuals. The Emerald also put forward no significant effort contact us for comment, presenting only the opinion of anonymous student government bureaucrats. So much for balanced reporting. To begin with we at the Insurgent heartily protest these accusations and threats. First of all our mailings allows us to maintain the Left Alternative Media Project (L.A.M.P.) a radical lending library open to all students (located in the EMU, Suite One). In exchange for receiving our paper we receive the free books, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, zines, newsletters, etc. that allow us to maintain the L.A.M.P. where anyone may enjoy what we have to offer. Second sending to prisoners allows students a unique opportunity to hear the voices of those whose lives and suffering are subject to a blackout in the mainstream media. Nowhere else would UO students be able to find this information, perhaps that is what the authorities find so threatening. Furthermore we reject this logic, which claims that university should exist in a bubble and that it has no duty to the wider community. The university must act not only to enrich itself; it must also act to enrich the communities around it. Sending our paper off campus is part of doing this. In addition to all this the measure of newspapers success is the number of readers it has, obviously institutional blocks to our success are unacceptable. But we at the Insurgent don’t believe for one moment that that this most recent attack on our paper has anything to do with the reasons given. It is nothing more than an attempt by the Dotter-Katz administration to push their right-wing agenda by acting to silence left-wing voices on campus. ( As of the time this goes to print OSPIRG has had it’s funding completely cut). In a phrase, this is censorship disguised as bureaucracy. These suits want to turn you into another cog in machine, a mindless technician for empire. We want to make space where you have enough material comforts and free time to explore your potentials. The lines are drawn. Now the question is: which side are you on?

-SI

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