Monday, October 5, 2015

News Briefs 10.5.2015

 CUNY's Fight For Contracts!

So my journey as a CUNY activist all started with the circulation of a flyer (that I converted into an email) which contained the following text:

Fair Contract For Faculty And Staff
No Tuition Hikes For Students!

Professional Staff Members Have Been Without a Contract for 5 Years, yet CUNY students' tuition has increased by 31% at senior colleges and 45% at community colleges.  We need more action by CUNY management, not more tuition increases!

Our fight for a good contact is the same struggle as student's fight for a high-quality, affordable education.  Together we can win!

The PSC is fighting for an affordable, quality education for CUNY students:

-More public investment -- no more tuition increases
-More financial aid (TAP, Pell Grants) -- increased grant eligibility
-Racial and educational justice in NYC, Ferguson, Baltimore and beyond

Join our demand for a contract with fair salaries and working conditions that allow faculty and staff to serve students well.

The PSC invites students to join us for a "wake-up call" at CUNY chancellor Milliken's 
$19, 500 per month apartment.

Join the Campaign!

Sign up at 

When: Thursday October 1, 8am - 9am
Where: Meet at Hunter College on the SW Corner of East 68th Street and Lexington Avenue

CUNY Faculty Staff and Students Unite!

I think that it's really important that we support the staff at our fine institution here at Brooklyn College so I definitely circulated the message (shout outs to Cat, Maggie, Alana, Ana, Renee, Chante, Christian, Alex and Luis for letting me bombard their inboxes...All in a day's work guys!).  I went from slack-tivist to activist in a heartbeat after I read this message.  We have really amazing faculty here at Brooklyn College and they truly care about the success of their students, however they aren't given contracts that are representative of their efforts...Well, actually they haven't had a contract in about 5 years according to the email.
Yes there was a protest and it was LIT! Students, faculty and staff showed up and showed out to represent their respective CUNY schools. I ended up marching with a group of professors from Hostos Community College. We walked down Lexington Avenue screaming out "CONTRATO AHORA!"(CONTRACT NOW!)
*So as you can tell I was the only one ready for this pic*
*I cut my friend out of this pic*I'm sorry* I see your bag and your shoulder*Shout outs to Kayla*
*My homey in the back had the best chants*I caught him in a pensive mood*
*My selfie game is strong though*
*CUNY Turning up in front of the Chancellors building*

*The crowd was thick with CUNY students faculty and staff*


*I don't mess with babylon......(aka I like to stay faaaaaaar from the police)*

*Pushed my way to front of the Crowd where I found Professor Davis (Not Pictured) and Professor Entin (Also not pictured) but best believe that they were turnt up and I was definitely a witness to their turnt-up-ness*

All in all it was an amazing experience to see the amount of support that everyone had for our professors.  All I can do at this point is hope that some type of change will take place and that our professors will receive a contract sooner rather later. You have no choice but to question the injustice.  Our professors have not received a raise in 5 years while the chancellor lives an an apartment that costs $19,500 per month. Excuse my excessive use of hashtags but #ComeOn #NotFair #TheyDeserveARaise #ContratoAhora

-Lisa Del Sol


Bag Lady

Although I no longer attend the Fashion Institute of Technology, I maintain interest in the fashion industry. It's what I was raised on, from spending my early days imitating my mother's design illustrations to watching every episode of Project Runway since its inception.
So of course I was on Paris Fashion Week like white on rice. I could talk about how much I disliked Alexander Wang’s collection, or how much I liked Balmain's show and Dior's set... 

300,000 delphiniums. It's so excessive though; I really hope the people who built all this were properly compensated....

But I'm here to talk about Rick Owens who, as usual, decided to get...super creative on the runway. Back in Fall of 2013, his show employed not a single model, instead showcasing his Spring 2014 collection on athletic steppers who performed step routines on the catwalk. (You can watch the 11 minute show here if you have time.) It was cool - it brought body diversity, ethnic diversity, and black culture to the forefront of a fashion show without rampant appropriation. Fast forward two years later and we get this amazing bit of progress:

And here we see Rick Owens giving new breath to the phrase "Who are you wearing?"

Are you cackling? 
Are you astonished? 
Do you see complex art or simple objectification of women? The fashion industry is not new to controversies over objectification - in fact runway shows are a prime subject of the discussion. Women's bodies are used in all kinds of objectifying ways for the sake of fashion. On many a catwalk, models are essentially walking mannequins, there to show off designs and keep themselves at perfect angles for photographs at the end of the runway. Sometimes, though, the show is built around a message - rather than only being about the clothes, the fashion show is performance art speaking to some higher social commentary. Rick Owens claims this Spring 2016 collection, called Cyclops, is meant to do exactly that:

You uh...sure about that, Ricky?

Yeah. Apparently we represent the precious nature of sisterhood and motherhood by sending models down the runway wearing other models as backpacks. Man, shit like this is why I left FIT. I honestly would have been happier with this display if he DIDN'T claim to turn women into objects to praise "the feminine" (because we all know men are just aggressive and women are always nourishing). His explanation just makes me hate all of this even more.

Am I missing something?

Maybe next time I see my fellow woman going through hardship, I should strap her to my back and literally wear her. Sounds about right.


- Renee

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