LSU Disorientation Guide 2002 (Louisiana State University)

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LSU Disorientation Guide 2002 (Louisiana State University)

Date

2002

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Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Disorientation Guide
Louisiana State University
Spring 2002

Why Disorientation?
You don’t have to come to college as an “activist” in order to see
something is wrong. You don’t have to accept the wrong in order to continue
your life.
We take our lives at LSU to mean more than the drone and rote
shuffling from class to class, from work to home. Our families, leaders, and
society oriented us to believe in college as a center of education and learning,
and we expected the camaraderie of learning and acceptance as we grow into
adults to be cardinal directions in our years here. But along the way we have
found events, Administrative decisions, and politics on campus that are
glaringly against the learning and the paths of community we thought were
charted for us. Instead some of us became lost and upset, thrashing about,
disoriented.
Luckily enough, this “lapse of faith” was not lost on others, and instead
of continuing to our classes, sickened and defeated by the injustices
committed by members of the campus community, we found each other and
organized. Instead of letting homophobia go unabated, students resisted, at
first privately, then publicly and politically, involving campus staff and faculty in
the fight. Instead of allowing tons of campus waste to continue polluting the
natural wonders of Louisiana, students strove to make campus bureaucrats
and politicians realize the values of conservation and recycling. Rather than let
the University continue to profit from the abuse of impoverished women and
children in sweatshops worldwide, students rallied and supported these
working people, making the Administration agree to labor standards that
respect their dignity and rights on the job. Students still rally and organize to
correct these and other wrongs, other “disorientations”. Students and
community members recognize the shortcomings in campus housing,
deficiencies in the campus environment, and injustices committed in the
relationship of the University with corporations that adversely impact the poor,
their communities, and the environment of Louisiana and around the world.
Students are fighting the vestiges of racism and classism in campus politics
and in the segregation of residence halls that defeat our common well-being
and quality of life.

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This booklet is a portrait of our disorientations. Each section is a
sample of students realizing that the orientation given them of a kind,
accepting, just, and wise community is tarnished within. They show that
students and community members stood up in dynamic and various ways to
re-orient the campus community, to re-orient the path their community was
heading, to set it better according to the original visions they had.
We relay these messages to you, so once the orientation is over,
and once the cracks begin to surface, you won’t thrash around defeated for
too long but will find solace in the fact that there are others willing to change
this community with you and that it is entirely fruitful to move from
disorientation to action.

Table of Contents
Why Disorientation ------------------------------------------------- 01
Table of Contents -------------------------------------------------- 02
Inside Out of Campus Recycling ------------------------------- 03
LSU Sweatshop Campaign -------------------------------------- 04
Hill Farm Campaign ----------------------------------------------- 05
LSU Womyn Center --------------------------------------------- 06
Freshman Residency ---------------------------------------------- 07
Campaign for Tampons at LSU --------------------------------- 09
Bookstore Anti-Privatization Struggle ------------------------- 09
School Of the Americas (SOA) --------------------------------- 10
Feminist Movement at LSU -------------------------------------- 11
Queer Issues at LSU ---------------------------------------------- 12
Critical Mass --------------------------------------------------------- 13
Third Party Politics ------------------------------------------------- 14
Liberation Theology ------------------------------------------------ 16
How do you help ?? ------------------------------------------------ 16
Progressive Student Alliance (PSA) --------------------------- 17
LSU SEAC ----------------------------------------------------------- 18
Contacts -------------------------------------------------------------- 19

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Inside Out of Campus Recycling
Over the last five years, the LSU chapter of Student Environmental
Action Coalition (SEAC) has worked on expanding current campus-wide
recycling accessibility at LSU. SEAC has worked with and maintains contact
with LSU Facility Services and Residential Life in attempts to increase
amounts of recycling on campus. In the spring of 2001, SEAC presented
Chancellor Emmeret with a proposal to expand recycling on campus. The
proposal showed how LSU actually saves money by recycling as opposed to
using land fills and how eventually the program pays for itself, decreasing the
environmental impact that LSU has on the Baton Rouge landfill. While the
chancellor seemed supportive recycling on campus, he has yet to take action
on expansion of the program. After presenting the proposal to several
members of the LSU staff, a pilot-recycling program is being implemented in
seven dorms on the east side of campus. These seven dorms now have
recycling pickup locations inside the buildings. On the east side of campus the
following dorms offer glass, plastic, aluminum, and paper recycling on the first
floor: East and West Laville, Blake, Acadian, and Mcvoy. While the lobby-only
approach is being used, it would be more successful if it were floor-by-floor.
Miller and Herget, the two dorms that do offer a floor-by-floor program have
bins in every floor kitchen. A lack of floor-by-floor programs in each of the
nineteen dorms on campus is what keeps the program from reaching its full
potential. According to Chancellor Emmeret, the expansion of campus
recycling depends on the success of the pilot program in the dorms. Without
this success, the program cannot reach its full potential and no further
expansion of campus recycling will be pursued. In the fall of 2001 SEAC did
teach-ins in the dorms to help students learn about recycling and how to do so
correctly. The teach-ins were not well attended by the students in the dorms,
conveying a message of unconcern on the student’s behalf.
Along with the new facilities available to campus residents, there are
also pre-existing pickup locations across the campus. Students, faculty, staff,
and visitors to the campus can use the recycling receptacles. On the north side
of campus at the Ed Gay Apartment Complex there is an all-encompassing
recycling receptacle where you can drop off clean glass, tin, aluminum, and
plastics number 1 and 2. This is the only location on the north side that offers
such facilities, as the dorms on this side of campus are not included in the pilot
program. Also on the north side beside the Pentagon dining unit there is a
corrugated cardboard bin for broken down cardboard. There is paper recycling
in Middleton Library computer labs, and also beside Lockett Hall. Behind
Middleton library there is a newspaper bin and beside the student union there
is an unlabeled recycling
bin commonly used for both paper and newspaper recycling. Corrugated
cardboard recycling on the east side of campus can be found behind the
Laville Food Emporium. There are more recycling bins for paper, newspaper,
and corrugated cardboard across campus. The bins are either green or blue
and should be clearly labeled, but often are not. However, the current amount
of access to recycling bins is not sufficient to serve the needs of this campus.

Heavily populated buildings such as Coates and CEBA lack any recycling
pickup locations. The student union does not offer any receptacles for plastics
that they sell. (This may be because they use so much Styrofoam that they
feel recycling is not necessary.)
The lack of concern for environmental issues on campus runs
throughout the administration and the student body. While the Chancellor
could increase recycling, he chooses to overlook the issue. Why don’t you see
more recycling bins on campus? Because LSU’s priorities lie elsewhere, like
privatizing our union. Environmental concerns have taken a backseat to issues
that the administration feel are more important, such as searching for sources
of income and profit for the university. Activists are needed to continue to push
the administration to take action now for their lack of environmental concern.

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LSU Sweatshop Campaign
Check the tag of your coat, the label on your LSU t-shirt. Most likely it
was made in Bangladesh, or maybe Guatamala or Honduras. American
universities license their names and logos to many top sport companies to
make jackets, sports gear, t-shirts, baseball caps, etc. Those companies, such
as Nike and New Era Cap, contract out the actual manufacturing of the apparel
to independent textile factories, found throughout the third-world and also the
United States. These factories, operating beyond oversight and regulation,
either underground or in “free trade zones,” are typically sweatshops,
workplaces that consistently violate workers’ personal and collective rights.
When the Kathie Lee Gifford scandal blew open the horrid use of exploitive
labor to make America’s top of the line clothing, government and industry
moved to control the damage, creating the Fair Labor Association. Students
and human rights activists later formed the Workers Rights Consortium,
pointing out the serious deficiencies and ineffectiveness of the FLA.
The campaign to get LSU to sign onto the Workers Rights Consortium
(WRC), an effective code of conduct monitoring factories that produce college
apparel, has been going on since spring of 2001. Two PSA student
government senators introduced a bill urging LSU to join WRC rather than the
Fair Labor Association (FLA), as the administration wanted to do. The bill
passed unanimously with only one abstention. However, four days after the
SG bill passed, the LSU administration secretly signed onto
the FLA without informing students or faculty. This contradicted a statement
made by our vice-provost at the SG meeting saying, "LSU is not close to
making a decision about which labor code to sign on to." That summer, two
LSU students traveled to Chicago to attend the United Students Against
Sweatshops national conference to learn about strategy.
In fall 2001, PSA regrouped and organized, passing a second bill
calling for the same action. We decided to focus its efforts on getting a
National Labor Committee (NLC) speaking tour of women factory workers to
LSU with the help of our local AFL-CIO office, the Baton Rouge Society of
Friends, the Bienville House of Peace and Justice, LSU Muslim Student

Association, Amnesty LSU, SEAC, the Bangladeshi Student Association, and
the LSU Student Senate. After much work, the tour was set to visit LSU
November 14, 2001. In order to encourage attendance to the event, we
networked with sympathetic faculty in the poli-sci, geography/anthropology,
WGS, and human ecology departments and encouraged them to tell their
classes about the event and offer extra credit to attend it.
In addition to this event, PSA members wrote and distributed a report
about sweatshops with the generous assistance of our SEIU Local 100 office.
For a copy of this report, e-mail <bmarks1@lsu.edu>. LSU Sweatshop
Committee (a SEAC committee) members were interviewed on a local radio
station about sweatshops, WTO, and the global economy. For a taped copy, email <cgraba1@lsu.edu>.
Around September 2001, PSA students attended a meeting with LSU
administration urging them to join onto the WRC. We also demanded that they
disclose the names and addresses of factories where LSU licensees make
products. We indexed a list of factories in Bangladesh with a NLC report and
found that six of our licensees operated sweatshops. We also found out that a
member of the LSU administration was a former high-ranking employee of the
AFL-CIO and got in contact with him. He applied pressure within the
administration to sign onto the WRC. On November 13th, LSU announced its
decision to sign onto the WRC.
The night before and the day of the event, the Bangladeshi Student
Association gave the speakers a home-cooked dinner and helped to organize
other meals for them. One of their members spent time talking with the women
and helped translate for us. Their efforts made the speakers feel more at
home.
The NLC speakers spoke to two hundred students in Professor Binet’s
Geography 1003 class. That evening for the actual event, three hundred
people showed up along with members of the local media. The event was
videotaped. For a taped copy, e-mail <cgraba1@lsu.edu>.
Now that the event is over and LSU has joined onto the WRC, we can
focus our energy onto pressuring our university to deal with the six licensees in
Bangladesh. We plan to continue outreach and education to the LSU
community and encourage others to become activists in our campaign.

The 1960’s started Hill Farm’s contraction, with Sorority and Fraternity
houses being built. The fruit-breeding program was relocated to other research
stations in Louisiana. Then the Student Recreational Sports Complex was
built, and the All-American Roses moved to LSU’s own off-campus research
station, Burden Plantation. The Lod Cook Alumni Center, SRSC playing fields,
and Lod Cook Conference Center and Hotel have sprung up also, taking more
land the Hill Farm will never get back. Of the original forty, only four acres
remain. And that could have gone the way of the roses.
The Horticulture Department should be commended for holding its
own against administrative proposals of how ‘best’ to use the land. The name
was changed to Horticulture Hill Farm Teaching Facility and transformation
began. A classroom building, complete with wet lab and mixing room, was
built, giving the Hill Farm permanence. There is a shade house, two
greenhouses, a can yard, an orchard, and organic vegetable gardening, all to
teach students first hand about horticulture. Landscaping is being developed
and a small community garden is growing.
The danger to Hill Farm was tangible, despite its obvious importance
on campus. With the completion of the Lod Cook Conference Center and
Hotel, there was speculation that the adjacent Hill Farm would be a perfect
parking lot. Student initiative sent many email messages protesting.
Conversation with Lod Cook himself revealed that he liked the idea of green
space next to the hotel. Letters were written to The Reveille, stirring campuswide visibility. Hill Farm was saved, not paved. There was another speculation
that Hill Farm land may have been needed to provide roadway in the new
Campus Master Plan, specifically an entrance to a parking garage. With the
mobilization of the Horticulture department and concerned students continuing,
the Master Plan developers soon realized they had little chance of paving over
the Hill Farm. A Student Government Bill calling for the administration to never
again take land from the Hill Farm was passed, making clear the student
body’s opinion.
The continued existence of the Hill Farm on campus is not
guaranteed, though for now it is protected. Administration may have other
future plans for this peaceful patch of land but not if concerned students and
faculty have any say in the matter. Wait, aren’t students and faculty the heart
of any university? Yeah, we thought so too. The website for Horticulture at
LSU: <http://www.agctr.lsu.edu/wwwac/dept/horticulture>

Hill Farm Campaign
The Horticulture Hill Farm Teaching Facility was once known only as
the Hill Farm. Set on a rise of land next to the newly dredged University Lake,
in 1934 it consisted of forty acres, Julian C. Miller (a Cornell Ph.D.), and a
foreman, plus mule. The Hill Farm conducted research in plant breeding.
Extensive programs existed for vegetables, flowers, and fruit trees. The
American Rose Society held its All-American Rose Selection tests at Hill Farm.
Overall, the goal of a land grant university was accomplished on this land, set
a good walking distance from original campus buildings.

LSU Womyn’s Center: The Best Kept Secret On Campus
Been searching high and low for a place to chill and hang out with cool
people and a fun atmosphere that is all-inclusive and right in the middle of
campus? Well the search is over; cause the LSU womyn’s center is just what
you’ve been looking for. Located on Raphael Semmes right next door to the
African American Cultural Center, the Womyn’s Center is open Monday
through Friday from 9 to 4:30. The staff and director can help you get
resources on a wide variety of subjects from womyn’s health to GBLT issues.

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There is a Womyn’s Center Library with lots of great books, which is open to
all students, faculty, and staff. In the student organization room clubs can
store their stuff and have meetings. The Family Resource Room is great for
families. You can bring your children to play, breastfeed, or just hang out with
other families who are also at the Center. The staff is available for support
services and has great resources from campus and community organizations
like Friends For Life and the Spectrum Safe Space campaign. Even though
the Womyn’s Center offers all these really cool resources for everyone on
campus, you don’t need a reason to go. Stop by between classes to study,
relax, or just chat with the totally awesome staff and supporters of the center.
As cool as the center is, it still has a far ways to go. The center has
had to fight for years to get where it is today. Now in its permanent home, the
Womyn’s center spend its first five years in two different condemned buildings,
which were poorly located and highly undesirable. Its last home, on the third
floor of Hatcher hall, came complete with a broken elevator and Ladies
Restroom sign that read, “Please do not dispose of your needles in the
bathroom garbage”. Concerned students fought long and hard with thousands
of petition signatures and meeting with the administration to get the Helen M.
Carter House, its current home. Now that the center has the home that it
deserves, it is still in need of adequate funding and staff. The Womyn’s Center
needs to be funded comparatively to other like centers on campus if it is going
to fulfill its mission and purpose on this campus. The center should be allotted
the same budget as like centers with a full time director and a budget that
covers their expenses. Other comparative centers on campus have operating
budgets of $50,000 per year with another $20,000 per year for the salary of a
full time director. The Womyn’s Center however, runs on a budget of $5,500
per year and with a part time director. Why the glaring inconsistencies? Why
does the center only have a part-time director? How can the center be
expected to run on such funds while lacking a full time director? These
questions can be answered by the administration that decides the budget and
staffing accommodations. If you feel that this is unreasonable you can let your
voice be heard. Your Student Government is there to voice your concerns to
the administration, or join a group such as WOW or PSA.
Freshman Residency
In the fall of 2000 Dr. Daniel Fogel, Executive Vice-Chancellor and
Provost <evcp@lsu.edu>, made a proposal to require all freshman under the
age of twenty one to be required to live in on-campus housing. The rationale
behind the proposal is that it would enhance the academic experience for all
students and would make our campus more of a living campus rather than the
commuter campus that it is and always will be.
This proposal, which would take effect for the incoming class of 2003 if
enacted, was met with stiff resistance by Student Government and the student
body. Dr. Fogel made his proposal before the Student Senate, which voted
unanimously to not support such a move. The Senate also placed on the
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Spring 2001 election ballot a referendum question asking the student body if
they support a freshman residency requirement. A lop-sided 70% of the
student body cast a vote against such a proposal. Also, if the freshman
residency requirement were put into place, we would be in dire straights in
trying to house all of the freshman plus the upperclassman that want to live on
campus. Currently there are 5,500 spaces to live on campus. Of that number
about 2,200 are upper classman. If all freshmen were required to live on
campus (about 5,000 students), this would leave only a handful of spaces for
all the international students, out-of-state students, and others who need to live
on campus.
Overcrowding would reach new levels of headache, which would lead
to housing students in kitchenettes and lounges as the Department of
Residential Life has done in the past due to their "over-booking" the dorms.
The local business community also voiced outrage about such a proposal.
Many locally owned apartment complexes said they would be forced out of
business if such a plan took effect because a majority of their tenants are
freshman.
Another thing to consider is the cost involved to students for such a
plan. Housing rates are currently $1,210 per semester. This rate has increased
steadily over the past four years and will continue to do so in the future. By
requiring freshman to live on campus, the university is
essentially guaranteeing Residential Life a demand for rooms, which would
enable them to charge whatever they please. The Department would have no
outside competition from apartment complexes, which would allow them free
reign to not upgrade existing facilities, etc. On top of housing costs, freshman
would have to buy a meal plan. Because of a contract the University has with
Chartwells, all on-campus freshmen are required to buy a meal plan. The
majority of the time freshmen are conned into buying the most expensive meal
plan, which runs well over $900 per semester. This would put the cost of living
on campus for one semester above $2,100, which is a price many cannot
afford. By doing this we would shut out the poor and underprivileged from the
learning process here at LSU, ultimately affecting minority enrollment.
Finally, the real reason for the freshman residency requirement
proposal must be heard. Our university has moved more and more in the
direction of privatization of everything on our campus. Should the
residency requirement pass, Residential Life would have guaranteed profits
(students). They would then be able to sell to the highest bidder the rights
to the buildings--be it Marriott, Hilton, or Embassy. One can imagine the price
for dorms then!
If you want to do something about this, we encourage you to contact
our Executive Vice-Chancellor of Privatization <evcp@lsu.edu> and tell him
NO to the Freshman Residency Requirement.

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Campaign for Tampons at LSU
Women menstruate, including women at LSU. A handy convenience
(and a nod to the fact that over half of students here at LSU are female) would
be tampon and pad dispensers in the restrooms. Yet there are none, with the
exception of in the Union.
Over the centuries women have menstruated again and again. It has
been seen as a blessed sign of fertility and a curse of inconvenience. Most of
the time, though, it hasn’t been seen at all, societies having been very negative
towards manifestations of this natural function. No one has to know, with the
help of discreet ‘feminine hygiene’ products, when women are having ‘female
troubles.’ This aversion would seem to be reenacted here at LSU, when
tampon and pad supply is called, again and again, a ‘personal matter,’ as in
‘take care of it yourself.’
The dispensers in the Union were installed with a recent renovation,
and were not the idea of the Union itself. Facility Services is the office that
controls such matters on campus as a whole. When contacted, besides the
phrase ‘personal matter’ being uttered, there is inevitably the phrase ‘not cost
effective.’ Yet another issue at LSU is boiled down to money. It’s not cost
effective to keep putting toilet paper in the stalls, but they do.
Spring 2002 should see an increased focus on this campaign.
Graduate Student Senators Donald Hodge and Wendy Bourg have been
investigating this issue, and should introduce legislation encouraging the
University to have at least some bathrooms equipped with tampon and pad
dispensers, as well as disposable paper toilet seat covers. Look for WOW to
support this campaign strongly, as well as PSA.
Bookstore Anti-Privatization Struggle
A year before the founding of the PSA (c. 1999), many students and
members of the faculty and staff fought against the privatization of the LSU
Bookstore. Student opposition had culminated in a rally during the school year
and soon after, a loose support committee was created to table and petition for
retaining the publicly owned LSU Bookstore instead of the proposed Barnes
and Noble Booksellers. While student support remained strongly in favor of our
public bookstore, elected student leaders did not reflect this opinion. Many
instances of opposition to the public bookstore where quoted in The Reveille
from the Student Body President and Vice-President, and the Speaker of the
Student Senate. Promises of student input in the situation never materialized
until students, through the petitioning and public discourse of editorials moved
the President to call a public input meeting that revealed their ignorance of the
effects that Barnes and Noble would hold over student customers, workers,
and the University. When the RFP’s of Barnes and Noble was matched with
the LSU Bookstore’s own proposal, it was clear that even with renovations and
repairs, the public bookstore would profit significantly more than the private
bookseller. Also, with Barnes and Noble, course packets, an increasingly
common addition to student expenses, would be contracted out-of-state,
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instead of being made in the store itself, further driving up costs. More
disturbing, the university Administration, led by Provost Fogel, deliberately
prevented the LSU Bookstore from making technological improvements that
were entirely affordable, while promoting privatization because of those very
lack of improvements. The administration operated in a very clandestine and
secretive way, deciding to defy student, customer, and popular opinion. At the
Board of Supervisors meeting to approve the privatization, the Chancellor and
Student Body President both testified to the acceptance and willingness of the
University community to the act of privatization, though activists had collected
over 10,000 signatures against such action. Two Board members abstained
from the vote, citing that they themselves questioned the information brought
to them by the Administration.
What we learned from this: We learned the necessity of building
strong, focused, and regularly-meeting organizations and coalitions to lobby
and table for a cause, as well as to enlist the help of individuals and groups
that can spread information and provide pressure on the Administration (i.e.
faculty, staff, alumni, city community, magazines, etc). We also glimpsed the
operations of Student Government, and were infuriated that only a few
senators (two in particular) actually spoke against the privatization and that the
SG President received very little internal opposition or collateral for his
obsequious endorsement of the Administration’s position, which denied open
debate or questioning of the issues, and belittled any difference of opinion.
We lost this fight, as there is both a Barnes and Noble Booksellers and
a Starbucks in our Union. But students continue to question the wisdom of the
decision, and The Reveille has written wonderful articles comparing prices at
Barnes and Noble and other local textbook retailers, showing B&N most often
with higher prices on books and materials. Along with consumer issues are
also the concerns of workers in these establishments and how their positions
and working conditions (change of management, wages, work rules, dignity
and respect on the job) have changed with the privatization. The way the
university acted against public opinions and interests, and the blatant losses to
be incurred upon privatization, suggest that public review and examination of
all campus privatizations (Chartwells, McDonald’s, and even prison labor)
should be implemented.
School Of the Americas (SOA)
For the past three years, LSU students have traveled to Fort Benning,
Georgia each November to protest the Western Hemispheric Institute for
Security Cooperation (WHISC), known by most people as the School of the
Americans or SOA. Some students committed acts of civil disobedience by
entering the base in a funeral procession. Victims killed by graduates of the
U.S.-based training facility for Latin American soldiers include the
assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero, four churchwomen who were raped
and murdered in El Salvador, and the El Mozote massacre of hundreds of
peasants, including many children and infants. While these three incidents are
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the most infamous, they are but a small fraction of incidents involving rape,
torture, and murder by SOA alumni. In 1996, the Department of Defense
uncovered a CIA training manual used by SOA instructors that advocated the
use of blackmail, torture, false imprisonment, and other forms of terrorism as a
means of controlling civilian populations.
In defense of their institute, SOA supporters claim that the hundreds of
graduates cited for human rights abuses are merely “a few bad apples” and
not representative of the values and mission of the school. SOA protesters
counter this argument by pointing to the case of Guatemala’s Hector Gramajo,
who was invited by the SOA to give the commencement address after his
indictment for organizing the brutal kidnapping, rape, and torture of a United
States nun named Diana Ortiz. The SOA’s decision to invite Gramajo coupled
with its display of a portrait of Bolivia’s dictator Hugo Banzer (a serious human
rights abuser known for having ties with nazi war criminals) in their “hall of
fame” indicates that the instructors encourage undemocratic practices by
promoting known human rights abusers as “role models” for their students.
The movement to close the school is not simply an attempt to shut
down one training base, but also a means of expressing wide-spread criticism
of U.S. foreign policy in Central and South America and how it has affected the
poor majority of the civilian populations of those countries. By giving training
and military aid to repressive governments who use brutal force to protect their
power, financial resources can be transferred from civilians to wealthy elite
groups and corporations. Good resources for learning more about specific
SOA graduates as well as the risks involved with the annual protest include
SOA Watch’s website <www.soaw.org> and Jack Nelson Pallmeyer’s book
School of Assassins: Guns, Greed, and Globalization.
THE FEMINIST MOVEMENT AT LSU
What Feminist movement?

activism, and radicalism/empowerment/education. WGS was created by
students and faculty who saw the need to have a center for academic courses
addressing women’s and gender issues, and going further to establish basic
courses in the issues and building a minor, concentration, and now an
undergraduate major in the subject. This was heavily informed by many other
universities having such programs, and was allowed to happen, if not greatly
embraced by the administration. Many professors had been trained to teach
these subjects, why not add to the university’s range or coursework? (Perhaps
because the subject was not accepted as a legitimate academic pursuit, but
that’s another campaign.) WOW is a student organization, so the university
could not have major qualms with it existing. The most controversial addition to
the university was the Women’s Center. While WOW had no trouble forming,
they gained notoriety by working for the Center’s existence. It took much
agitation, and about a hundred students visiting the Chancellor’s office one
afternoon, to ensure the proposal for the Center was taken seriously. The
Center squeezed precious (few) resources from the university, enough to
‘maintain’ two rooms in a condemned building. The Center relied on student
workers to stay open, but support continued to walk in the doors. These three
entities continue to thrive at LSU. WGS is establishing a major, the Women’s
Center has a part-time director and non-condemned building, and WOW
continues to agitate for the f-word: feminism. The Center has a director and
space because of WOW activism, WGS support and funding for the director, a
petition with thousands of signatures, and an eventful trip to Provost Fogel’s
office. Student activism has continued to accomplish goals on campus. Still,
the f-word is considered dirty, and most women don’t or won’t identify with it.
For more information, contact WGS at 578-4807, the Women’s Center
at 578-1714, or call the center and ask when the next meeting of WOW is.

Many Universities, in response to the strong resurgence of the
Feminist movement in 1970’s America, have had Women’s Studies
departments for multiple decades. Many have also had Women’s Centers,
places for consciousness-raising and activist organizing, for equal amounts of
time. But good old LSU just had to buck that trend by not having either until the
mid-nineties. Like many other higher educational institutions, LSU had once
been only men, only whites. While those rules have changed, the university is
still very conservative, and did not embrace all the progressive actions others
did.
It is unfortunate that the struggles women at LSU went through to be
allowed to wear pants or not have to take home economics classes are not
widely known. What is more widely known is the recent feminist activity of
campus, specifically of WOW, the Women’s Center, and the Office of
Women’s and Gender Studies. All were formed in the mid-nineties at LSU,
despite resistance, and provide an interconnected web for academics,

Queer Issues at LSU
There are currently two student organizations for LGBTQ (Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning) persons on the LSU Campus:
Spectrum Alliance and GBLSU. GBLSU has a great deal of history. It has been
around for roughly a quarter of a century, begun in the fall of 1977. Its original
name was GLSA - Gay and Lesbian Student Association. A handful of people
met off-campus at an undisclosed location only known to them, then after a
couple of years passed, they finally felt safe enough to move their meetings to
an on-campus location. In 1997, GLSA changed its name to include bisexuals,
to GBLSU – Gays, Bisexuals, Lesbians and Supporters United. The group was
and is primarily a social organization, a close-knit group of individuals who
care deeply about the social well being of LGBTQ persons.
In 1999, history repeated itself. A handful of individuals were
disconcerted with the non-public nature of the LGBTQ movement at LSU, and
while not wanting to disrupt the continuity of the organization that already
existed, strove to create something different that would meet the needs of
students who wanted to be more involved in public activism and an outward

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social change movement on-campus. Spectrum Alliance was born. From the
outset, Spectrum Alliance has been committed to diversity, education, and
activism on the LSU Campus. It seemed at first that the existence of the two
groups would form a rift in the LGBTQ community at LSU, as emotions rose
and worries that they could not coexist surfaced. It was found, however, that
the two organizations are able to coexist in different niches within the LSU
community, both bringing something completely different yet both equally
important to the Queer community here at LSU. In the spring of 2001, they
worked together to organize the Louisiana LGBT Conference on campus,
which brought nearly two hundred participants from all over the state.
As far as the current status of LGBTQ welfare on campus is
concerned, Spectrum Alliance has developed its own Safe Space Campaign,
which is a program that trains faculty, staff, and administration to successfully
interact with troubled LGBTQ students/colleagues that may seek their help.
The Safe Space Campaign sticker on an office door signals that the owner of
that office is a Safe Space Host and willing to help meet the needs of LGBTQ
persons. LGBTQ activism and visibility have been great with the help of nonbiased media coverage of large events, thanks to the current liberal nature of
The Reveille. GBLSU offers multiple outlets for social interaction. Recently,
sexual orientation was added to the LSU non-discrimination policy, although
gender identity is still not included. The Women’s Center, the Office of
Multicultural Affairs, and the Wellness Department are LGBTQ-friendly.
Although things are looking up for Queer issues at LSU, some major
problems still exist on campus: Lack of queer-focused courses, dorm
harassment of LGBTQ students, non-inclusive language in the classrooms,
general harassment by both students and professors, and even the ability to
work successfully with other progressives who may harbor anti-gay
sentiments. The Queer/LGBTQ movement at LSU has grown substantially in
recent years, even becoming a force to be reckoned with on-campus. Is our
movement sustainable? As with any other progressive movement, we need the
help of any and all who are willing to give their time to the cause of building
equality. Many who lead the movement now will graduate soon, and as
always, we need new brave souls to step forward and sustain this important
movement. If you are interested in joining either organization, please contact:
Spectrum Alliance at <rainbow@lsu.edu> or GBLSU at <gblsu25@aol.com>.

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Critical Mass
What is it? Ultimately, Critical Mass is just a bunch of cyclists riding
around together. Someone coined the descriptive phrase "organized
coincidence." The ride is not narrowly seen as an attempt to lobby for more
bike lanes (although that goal exists) or to protest this or that aspect of the
social order (although such sentiments are often expressed). Rather, each
person is free to invent his or her own reasons for participating and is also free
to share those ideas with others. Some people are there to promote human
powered transportation as a viable alternative, others seek the respect of
motorists and city planners, and some take part simply because they like riding
bikes and feeling a sense of community with all the other cyclists on the
Critical Mass ride.
The idea started in San Francisco in September 1992, and has spread
to cities all over the world. There are 141 rides in North America and another
146 beyond. Critical mass is not affiliated with any club or organization on
campus, nor is it a club at all. It's simply a group of people who like to ride
bikes.
While most of us would like to see an end to the car culture, there is
no specific agenda. That being said, most cyclists would agree that WE NEED
BICYCLE LANES IN BATON ROUGE. At the moment, cyclists are forced to
choose between running over pedestrians or being run down by autos on the
way to class. Critical Mass is a good way to increase visibility/ awareness for
bicycle use. <http://danenet.wicip.org/bcp/cm.html>, <http://www.criticalmass.org/>, <http://world.care2.com/brcriticalmass/>. Join us the last Friday
of every month at the base of the LSU clock tower at 5:30 PM.
Third Party Politics
There have been third parties since the advent of politics. Without third
parties, many important issues would have gone largely unadvocated such as:
Women's Right to Vote, Child Labor Laws, Reduction of Working Hours,
Income Tax, and Social Security. These issues were almost all taken up by
both the Populist Party and the Socialist Party. Currently third parties face
opposition not just at the polls but also through complex sets of laws enacted
by the two main parties to maintain their duelopoly. This denies citizens the
right to a true democracy in order to maintain the outdated federalist
government we have been oppressed under for over 225 years. There are six
major third parties and scores of others.
“George Wallace won 46 electoral votes in the 1968 election. This was
the highest number of electoral votes collected by a third party candidate since
Teddy Roosevelt, running for the Progressive Party in 1912, won 88 votes.
Perot won 19 percent of the vote in November [1992], the best result for a third
party candidate in 80 years.” Abraham Lincoln was the last third party
candidate to become elected.

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“The Socialist Party strives to establish a radical democracy that
places people's lives under their own control -- a non-racist, classless,
feminist, socialist society in which people cooperate at work, at home, and in
the community. Socialism is not mere government ownership, a welfare state,
or a repressive bureaucracy. Socialism is a new social and economic order in
which workers and consumers control production and community residents
control their neighborhoods, homes, and schools. The production of society is
used for the benefit of all humanity, not for the private profit of a few. Socialism
produces a constantly renewed future by not plundering the resources of the
earth.” (http://www.sp-usa.org/)
Have you ever heard of the Labor Party? No, well it is no wonder in
the U.S. as to why. Its very existence is in direct conflict of interest for the
corporate elite that controls this country. So why does every other
industrialized nation aside from the U.S. have a labor party then? Well some
countries do believe in democracy and its principals, unfortunately ours does
not. See either <www.igc.org/lpa> or <http://www.aflcio.org/home.htm> for
more information.
“Libertarians believe the federal government should play a minimal
role in the day-to-day affairs of the people. They believe that the only
appropriate role of government is to protect the citizens from acts of physical
force or fraud. A libertarian-style government would therefore limit itself to a
police, court, prison system and military. Members support free market
economy and are dedicated to protection of civil liberties and individual
freedom.” See <www.lp.org> for more information.
“As its name implies, Reform Party members are dedicated to
reforming the American political system. They support candidates they feel will
‘re-establish trust’ in government by displaying high ethical standards coupled
with fiscal responsibility and accountability.” See <www.reformparty.com> for
more info.
The American Green Party's platform is based on 10 Key Values. See
<www.greenparties.org> for more info.
For information on the Natural Law Party see <www.natural-lawparty.org>.
All quotes from:
http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa041600a.htm?once=true& unless
otherwise stated.

Liberation Theology
In 1965, the Second Vatican Council decided that in order for the
Church to fulfill its task of caring forward the work of Christ, it had “the duty of
scrutinizing the signs of the time and of interpreting them in the light of the
Gospel.” The Latin American Bishops, meeting at Medellín in 1968, identified
the existence of massive dehumanizing poverty in a world of so much wealth
and power as the “sign of the times” that the Church had to scrutinize and
interpret in the light of the Gospel. In language since echoed by Pope John
Paul II and the U.S. Catholic Bishops, the Latin American Bishops asserted
that the Church must make a “preferential option for the poor.” This means that
all of the Church’s actions and institutions (including its Universities!) should be
measured by the degree to which they help the poor to understand themselves
as precious children of God. This requires denouncing economic and political
policies and institutions that treat the poor as less than fully human, as
dispensable whenever the needs of “nation security” of “the market” require it.
It also requires announcing, in word and in way of life, a new
possibility to the world: The possibility of living together as brothers and
sisters, sitting down together at the great banquet-table of the Lord (as slain
Salvadoran priest, Rutilio Grande liked to say).
Liberation theology attempts to serve Gospel work by reading the
Scriptures and Catholic traditions as absolutely relevant to the challenge
posed today by poverty and injustice that cry out to heaven. Yet understanding
this poverty and injustice and responding decisively and creatively to them
requires more than just theology. It requires all the disciplines in all the
colleges of a modern university: arts and letters, science, engineering, law,
and business. Finally, liberation theology urges us not just work “for “ the poor
and oppressed, but acompañamiento, to walk with them in a spirit of prayer
and celebration, because that is what Jesus did. Thus, as one would expect
from any Christian way of life, the option for the poor is a total way of life that
can touch every person in every profession, and in every dimension of her or
his life.
More than three decades after liberation theology’s beginnings we
have only just begun to realize its challenge to us, particularly in the wealthiest
nation in the world. It has, however, the capacity to animate lives of courage,
joy, and beauty, as the lives of the four American churchwomen martyred
twenty years ago in El Salvador attest. Let us remember them: Dorothy Kazel,
Ita Ford, Maura Clark, and Jean Donovan.
How do you help ??
There are many things you can do. Get involved, educate yourself, or
educate others. You may join one of several clubs already on campus or go to
Johnson Hall and find out how to form a group of your own. Above, you have
read about some “disoriented” organizations. Below are some of the other
progressive groups on-campus and what they are about.

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Progressive Student Alliance (PSA)
< http://groups.yahoo.com/group/progressivenet/>
The Progressive Student Alliance was founded in the Fall 2000, when
an alliance of SEAC, ACLU, United College Democrats (now just the Young
Democrats), the Vegetarian Society, Spectrum Alliance, Amnesty International,
Women Organizing Women, the Unitarian Universalists of LSU, and the
Cannabis Action Network of Louisiana pulled together a student government
ticket and challenged the established power structure that continues to repeat
and duplicate itself every election. We ran eleven candidates, nominated by all
the clubs and assisted by energetic volunteers from every progressive
organization. After the election we established our constitution, making the
PSA a bottom-up umbrella organization of progressive clubs, each electing a
representative to PSA’s governing body, the Council of Representatives. The
representatives vote for their club on PSA policy and issues, on nominations
for candidates on the PSA SG ticket, and elect administrative officers to run
the day-to-day business of the alliance. The Council, the officers, the PSA
senators, and activists work to promote cross-club projects and events,
combining resources and communication for campaigns in which we share
common interests.
Through the alliance, progressives have made gains in fighting
homophobia with Spectrum Alliance’s Safe Space campaign, moved the
Women’s Center out of a condemned building, gotten LSU to take a strong
position against sweatshop labor in the making of its apparel, and fought for
access to all University buildings for those with disabilities. Through Student
Government, we open up our elected body to regular students who seek
progressive changes on campus. We have been on the forefront of equally
distributing student fee money to clubs and events that before our arrival never
would receive funds or recognition. We set the tone and agenda of SG,
moving it to take stands against paternalism, racism, homophobia, sexism,
classism, and complacency. We moved the Senate to endorse the Workers
Rights Consortium (www.workersrights.org) to fight sweatshops, to bring
sweatshop workers from Bangladesh to LSU, and to oppose the Higher
Education Act of 1998, which adversely affects students who are poor or
minorities. We are providing liberals and progressives with valuable coalition,
political, and electoral experience so we can improve BR, LA, our country(-ies)
and world when we move on from LSU.
The PSA now includes the Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics of LSU
(AHA) and the Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). We have seated
over fourteen members of the Student Senate and currently promote a caucus
of senators in the Senate to push through the issues we were elected on. PSA
is continuing to build alliances and expand membership in the member clubs of
the alliance, get progressive legislation passed, and move LSU’s
administration to accept our proposals and demands.

LSU SEAC
LSU Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) is an
organization devoted to protecting the environment. SEAC defines
environment not only in terms of nature and natural resources: its members
view the environment in a social context as well. We recognize that
environmental degradation is deeply connected with poverty, war, and social
inequality. While SEAC members engage in campaigns to protect old growth
forests and wetlands, they also actively fight forces of racism, sexism, and
homophobia. LSU's branch is part of a national network of student grassroots
organizations seeking to enact progressive change in the world around us
through outreach and action. We participate in national SEAC campaigns in
addition to focusing on local concerns on our campus and in our community.
Ongoing campaigns include getting a campus-wide recycling program
at LSU, fighting sweatshop labor in products using the LSU logo, taking action
to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and organizing Critical Mass
bicycle rides around the city to illustrate the need for bike lanes. SEAC has
worked with Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN)
<http://www.leanweb.org/> on environmental justice campaigns to fight the
practice of chemical companies moving polluting plants into poor and minority
communities.
SEAC has organized demonstrations such as protests and street
theater against corporations that engage in practices that are detrimental to
the environment. SEAC members have sung "sweatshop carols" in front of the
GAP, protested McDonald’s, infiltrated an energy conference to inform
shareholders about Unocal's complicity in slavery and oppression of people in
Burma, and organized colorful demonstrations against the Louisiana
Department of Economic Development's attempts to enhance corporate power
in the state. SEAC is engaged in an ongoing struggle to educate Louisiana
residents about the dangers of corporate "green-washing" in Baton Rouge
Earth Day, an annual festival funded by some of the world's worst polluters
(Exxon-Mobil, McDonald’s, Georgia Pacific, International Paper, Wal-Mart) by
setting up our own Alternative Earth Day event.
If you're interested in learning more about LSU SEAC, e-mail
<lsuseac@yahoo.com> for more information or check out the national website
at <www.seac.org>.

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Contacts
If you are enticed, excited, or interested in creating social change,
here are some useful contacts for you:
Progressive Student Alliance (PSA): Multi-issue, multi-club grassroots political
organization.
Facilitator Caitlin Grabarek (2001-2002) <cgraba1@lsu.edu>
Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC): Multi-issue, environmentally
conscious, and social justice oriented activist organization. Meetings every
Wednesday, 5 PM, 210 Williams Hall.
LSU SEAC <lsuseac@yahoo.com>
Women Organizing Women (WOW): Feminist and women’s issues political
and activist group.
Co-Chairs Kayla Bourg <kbourg7@lsu.edu>
& Sara Gore <babycrust@hotmail.com>
Men Against Violence: Campus group dedicated to educating people about
violence and how to combat violence in our lives.
Spectrum Alliance: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning,
Straight, and supporters activist and educational organization. Meets every
other Monday at 6pm in the Union. <spectrumalliance.org>
Spectrum <rainbow@lsu.edu>
Co-chairs Lacey All <laceya11@aol.com>
& Jen Coig <freefenix@aol.com>
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP): LSU
campus chapter of the NAACP. Largest Afro-American club on campus.
Meets every other Thursdays at 5 PM in the African-American Culture Center
(AACC).
LSU NAACP <lsu_naacp@yahoo.com>
Vegetarian Society: Pretty self-explanatory. Educates and informs students as
to the benefits of vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.
President Cat Cole <ccole3@lsu.edu>
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): Campus chapter of the state civil rights
group. Focuses on defending free speech on campus and the rights of
students to express themselves freely despite majority opinion.
President Charles Pipes (2001-2002) <lsuaclu@hotmail.com>
Amnesty: LSU campus chapter of Amnesty International.
<www.amnesty.org/>
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Cannabis Action Network of Louisiana (CANoLa): An active organization for
the legalization of marijuana for medicinal, agricultural, and recreational
purposes. Meetings every Wednesday at 5 in the Union.
LSU CANoLa <canolalsu@yahoo.com>
Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP): Group formed as a response to
the passing of the federal bill which bans people with any type of drug charges
from recieving financial aid. However, non-drug offenders (rapists, murderers.
etc...) still recieve full funding! They want changes in the way drug policy is
enacted and administered in the United States. SSDP is not pro-drug, but
rather anti-drug war.
President (2001-2002) Jeff Landrum <jeffrobro@inorbit.com>
Atheists, Humanists, & Agnostics: Created to be a forum for free inquiry and
debate, to provide a social community for those with nontraditional religious
views, and to support the idea of Godless Goodness through service projects.
Website: <www.lsu.edu/student_organizations/lsuaha>
President Misti Schmidt <lsuaha@hotmail.com>
Unitarian Universalists (UU): Campus community of Unitarians. Social justice
spirituality group. Unitarians meet every Tuesday at 8 in the Caddo Room,
Union
President George Juge <jjuge1@lsu.edu>
Green Party: Club formed mainly to promote Ralph Nader and demonstrate a
third party presence at LSU. To find out what is going on or help check out the
following links:
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LouisianaGreens/>
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/black_greens/>
<http://www.greens.org/> or < http://www.greenparty.org/>
Young Democrats: Campus political organization that works with local
Democratic organization and hosts forums, events, and speakers. They
meet every Monday at 7:30 in the Union.
President (2001-2002) Jessica Downey <jdowne1@lsu.edu>

Sites to See
<www.care2.com/takeaction/> <www.adbusters.org> <www.subvertise.org>
<www.thehungersite.com> <www.burningman.com> <www.vote.com>
<www.npr.org/>
Note: Please do not destroy, but rather pass on to friends and neighbors.
Many trees gave their lives for this publication. Don’t let it be in vain.
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