Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Archive: A4L Letter of introduction for March 1st

Adjuncts for liberation
In response to the rising tuition, the growing class sizes, lack of access to basic resources we are a group of adjuncts who have come together to plan a series of workplace actions in response to our exploitative working conditions, the working conditions and pay of other workers at Hunter, and the learning conditions of our student.  We have come together autonomously to be able to act as we see necessary.
What do we mean by teaching for liberation? To teach in a way that exposes the problems inherent in the university structure and how this reflects what is going on at large in society, means struggling over our working condition. This is linked to the pressures that students are experiencing as well; most of our students have to work in exploitative jobs, while they are pursuing university degrees.  This is even more difficult because of the overcrowded classes (in some instances up to 1000 students in one class!), and high expectations mixed with little support.  At the same time, the fact that our students are overworked and have little time, is used to legitimate the economization of their learning where students are fed a-contextual and a-historical textbooks along with multiple choice exams. 
We are continuing this struggle today by holding our “office hours” out in the hall, 12-1.30pm on the third floor of Hunter West. At Hunter, with little to no meeting spaces for students, and a near absence of offices for adjuncts who make up over 72% of instructional staff (this includes part-time graduate instructional staff), there is the expectation that we will meet with students, but no time, space, or salary.  Although we are paid “hourly”, this does not include the hours and hours we spend meeting with our students (ranging from 90-900 in number), or the space and resources to help them.
This is just the first in what we hope will be a series of actions.

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