Thursday, May 7, 2009

Response: May 7, 2009

We received an email from a concerned dance student (who wished to remain anonymous) to inform us that they witnessed the dance program specialist removing the protest postings on the glass walls of the Barker even before the building officially opened. On multiple occasions the program specialist has confirmed this verbally as well, explaining that she is doing her job by enforcing the university policy on indoor posting.

Since the wholescale removal of the protest on April 5, protest postings have been removed five times, each time before or within minutes of the building officially opening at 8am. To date, there is still no administrative acknowledgment of any involvement in the removal of the protest materials.

We have updated our annotated timeline on the May 7 entry with our responses relating to this.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Response: May 5, 2009

The following email was sent from Carl Flink's email and cosigned by Carl Flink and Dr. Ananya Chatterjea to theater, dance, and faculty/staff listservs, and cc'd to Josh Casper, Dr. Louis Mendoza, Dr. Rickey Hall, Dr. Barceló, Dr. Jim Parente, Dr. Richa Nagar, and Dr. Ananya Chatterjea:

Sub: Update on May 19 Town Hall Meeting on Equity and Difference
Date: May 5, 2009 10:43 AM


Dear All:

The department faculty, CLA and OED understand that May 19 from 10-noon is not an optimal time for students, staff or faculty to meet but dates during the last week of classes also presented serious scheduling problems. We are going to go forward with the May 19 meeting. It is important for everyone to understand that this is simply a next step in this dialogue and that it will be followed by more steps laid out in an action plan for the department that this town hall meeting will help develop.

In order to facilitate as many voices from students, staff and faculty being heard in this process Josh Casper from the University Student Conflict Resolution Center will gather suggested agenda items and future action steps via e-mail at caspe052@umn.edu. He will redact any personal information from e-mails if the sender desires to remain anonymous. Josh has also graciously offered to meet in person with anyone who wants to provide input for the May 19 meeting, but is uncomfortable sending it through e-mail. So Josh can collate everything in preparation for the meeting, please send your comments by Monday, May 18 at 9 a.m. Comments and suggestions can also be sent directly to Ananya (ananya@umn.edu) and me (Carl Flink at flink003@umn.edu). We are also willing to meet with anyone who would like to talk in person.

In order to facilitate further posting of any documents related to these dialogues by US or anyone else who desires to do so on this subject and in order to to comply with University indoor posting procedure, a space will be created in both the Rarig Center and Barker Center for postings on an official bulletin board. Postings should have a date on them and be removed by the distributer of the posting seven days after posting date. For more information on the University procedure on indoor posting please go to the following link:

http://policy.umn.edu/groups/ppd/documents/Procedure/DistPubsProc.cfm#indoor

As stated in our previous e-mail about the May 19 town hall meeting:

Vice Provost Barcelo has also generously offered to meet directly with dance program full-time faculty, affiliate faculty members and students to identify specific issues these groups face and would like addressed. These meetings will be planned in the next three weeks or in fall semester if that timing makes more sense.

We look forward to seeing you on May 19 and working with you all in the coming months on these critical and sensitive issues. Because of our students, staff and faculty, we think our department is uniquely positioned to make great progress on these very important matters.

Sincerely,

Carl & Ananya

Click here to read full text and see images.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Part 16: May 4, 2009

An Open Petition to The Chair and Director of the Dance Program


From Part 16 - May 4, 2009


We ask you to demonstrate your stated commitment to ‘issues of equity, social justice and difference’ and your previously stated support of the THIS protest by undertaking the following actions before May 8--the last day of classes:
  • Immediately cease to remove any of the THIS protest postings on the walls of the Barker.
  • Repost the THIS second open letter with its list of demands, Dr. Barcel√≥'s communication with the protesters, and this petition on the walls of the Barker.
  • Make a public and official statement supporting the use of the Barker walls as a site of communication, in light of your previously stated support of the protest.
  • Invite the Office for Equity and Diversity and the Student Conflict Resolution Center into the Barker to be able to meet with as many students and affiliate faculty as possible, in order to get everyone’s input on the record.
  • Immediately distribute to the dance and theatre list-serves and make hard copies available of (1) the suggestions generated at the Town Hall meeting which was held on March 13th, 2009 (2) the suggestions generated at the Peers organized meeting, (3) the THIS second open letter.
  • Publicly and officially support the MCAE (Multicultural Centre for Academic Excellence) organized students of Color department support group, and acknowledge the need for it.
  • Invite an external commission to assess students' perception of institutional hostility towards criticism, and faculty abuse of positional power—this should include the situations that lead to the THIS protest.
The Student Conflict Resolution Center and the Office for Equity and Diversity have demonstrated their commitment towards working with the protesters to resolve the issues the protest has raised by responding directly to letters, respecting pseudonymity, and not denying grievances. As the leadership of the dance program, we demand the same commitment from you.

-- us, May 4, 2009 (http://thisbyus.blogspot.com)

Note: Supporters of this petition and the protest can comment here.
They can also forward their comments and letters to
Carl Flink (flink003@umn.edu)
Dr. Ananya Chatterjea (ananya@umn.edu)
Josh Casper (caspe052@umn.edu)
The protesters (thisbyus@gmail.com)

Note: This posting had already been taken down the next morning before 8am, when the building officially opens. This is the fifth set of materials that has been immediately removed since our protest was ripped down in its entirety. No one has publicly claimed responsibility.

From Part 16 - May 4, 2009


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Part 16 - May 4, 2009