Wednesday, September 2, 2009

LEAFLET: Informational Leaflet for Our First Day

Below is the content of an informational leaflet folks reviewed today at the Experimental College's first class. Furthermore, the "Proposed Principles of Respectful Engagement," which have been posted below, were also discussed during the first class. Please read over this content as many of your questions may be answered if you plan to add the class. Lastly, for folks who either couldn't make it out to the first class or made it out to the first class and did not leave your specific availability for another section of the Experimental College, please email us at

Much more information including a summary of our discussion today will be posted soon.
Take care!!!

Thank you for being here! First and foremost, this project is a labor of love. No one is being paid to create and implement any aspect of this alternative pedagogical experience. And paradoxically, as students, we're actually paying to educate ourselves within this institution (a contradiction we can and should discuss).

Over the last 4 months, members of the Campus Organizing Roundtable on Empowerment (CORE) attended countless meetings with educators on and off campus, gathered advise from veterans of the 68 - 69 SF State Strike, spoke to staff across much of campus, and protested with fellow students from every CSU campus at Students for Quality Education's protest in Long Beach last July. We fully aim to build solidarity and coordinate social justice struggles. And the Experimental College is a testament to our commitment to this purpose!

So far, the Department of Political Science, the College of Ethnic Studies, and the Environmental Studies Program have formally sponsored our efforts. Students can earn units that may be applied to their degree. Also, students can attend class and work on projects associated with the Experimental College without formally registering for Independent Study units.

As for officially registering for 1 - 4 units, a few things need to take place. We each need to fill out a "San Francisco State University Petition For Course By Independent Study" form. This form will be available at our second class where we will further discuss, debate, and vote on the course objective(s), method(s), and evaluation procedures. According to the Bursar’s office, starting September 15th students may add these Independent Study units with permit numbers. This number will be available after the form is signed off by the appropriate chair/dean/director. We should have enough time to get this situated before September 22nd which is the last day to add classes without petition.

In addition to discussing course objectives and methods, CORE asks that the “Proposed Principles of Respectful Engagement” are also discussed and voted upon at the second class meeting. Regarding this subsequent meeting, in order to accommodate the influx of students who’ve expressed interest in the class, CORE is in the process of creating more sections that meet during a different set of days and time frames, so please fill out the sign up sheet as comprehensively as possible.

Lastly, in order for this experiment to flourish, we need to hold each other accountable and take our work seriously. There are serious problems on campus. As students, we can play a pivotal role in changing this political crisis of priorities around, if we act in a disciplined manner. So while various potential campaigns, the “Proposed Curriculum,” and “Principles of Respectful Engagement” are left up to debate, CORE does want to facilitate an appropriate structure that allows for the greatest degree of freedom to students joining the class. In addition, CORE aims to produce relevant progressive projects and campaigns where research, political framing, and debates can happen in class while folks are free to engage in actions as they see fit. In terms of grading, a student can and will earn an “F” for her/his “Independent Study” if s/he is not accountable and does not show up to class. We should all want the Experimental College to outlive Fall 2009 and grow for the next generation of students.

Proposal for structuring our class time
  • Begin with check-ins: report backs and activist updates
  • Planning future classes/events: discussion, debate, formal vote, implementation and coordination of outreach
  • Consciousness raising through exegesis (i.e., reading aloud and critically explaining text), multimedia (i.e., documentaries, dance, poetry, painting, etc.), field trips, and reflection, especially posing questions to one other, reflecting, and responding
  • End with an evaluation of the class time [everyone should say something (i.e., no passing!)] because everyone’s experience matters!
Potential Campaigns
  • A Students for Quality Education outreach group that builds solidarity within the California Faculty Association (CFA), and amongst student organizations, and students as a whole!
  • A campaign to reopen the Ethnic Studies Student Resource and Empowerment Center
  • A campaign against the Associated Students Incorporated and Student Center Governing Board-sponsored Student Recreation and Wellness Fee Referendum
  • An ASI Justice League to fight for fair and free reelections
  • A radical/progressive press on campus
  • A solidarity network that connects the campus with the community and vice versa.
  • OTHERS... We need everyone's input!!!
If you have any questions feel free to e-mail us at

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