Vol. 3, Is. 4: Welcome to York: A York U ‘Knowledge’ Production
Winter Issue 4, 2010
Another Year has Past, but the Struggle for Accessible Education Continues…
Some people might assert that research and advocacy campaigns engaging with the politics of post-secondary education are akin to social elites whining about guilt-ridden privilege from their disconnected ivory towers of afar. From this weary perspective, public funding and sparse discursive space should be inclusive of causes other than for those who can afford to enter the restrictive breaches of academia.
For such reasons, it is important to preface this year’s final YU Free Press installment by affirming why education deserves our self-reflective attention in the first place. This is not to state that university-focused critiques supersede others sites of struggle. Rather, the purpose of this issue is to showcase the fights for accessible education and social justice in all of its social, economic, political and ecological manifestations.
We are at a time when women’s safety at York University continues to be at an all-time low, minimum graduate school funding has been potentially abolished, tuition fees are at their highest in Canadian history, public/private collusion is becoming ever more prevalent, and free speech is challenged on a daily basis. There is definitely more than enough impetus for students to join and learn from how these circumstances are connected to the same root causes that reproduce external community based problems.
Presenting our 4th and final issue for this school year, “Welcome to York: A York U ‘Knowledge’ Production,” we would like this issue to serve as a space for a critical assessment of York University, not only of its administrative affairs on campus, but also with respect to much broader international relationships. We hope to demonstrate how these dynamics are deteriorating the quality of education, and in turn, the society that is impacted by what is legitimized and produced out of these scholastic havens.
With this background, the News Section begins with Zubaira Hussaini’s ‘Pink Elephant Loses to Students First,’ a contextualization of the YFS election and the way conservative student campaigns are reinventing themselves over time. We are also happy to present, ‘University of Ottawa vs. Freedom of Expression: University Continues to Apply Ludicrous Criminal Charges against its Own Student,’ an update on the wrongful arrest of U of O student Joseph Hickey. Also following the theme of education, we have reprinted the statement signed by concerned faculty and students, ‘We Cannot be Neutral on a Moving Train! Open Letter to the International Geographical Union,’ regarding its decision to hold the annual conference in Tel Aviv, undermining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign of the apartheid state of Israel.
In our Features Section, we are excited to include Canova Kutuk’s exploration of York University Professor David Noble’s court case against Lorna Marsden and Paul Marcus, whose recent decision sends a clear message to the York University administration that they will not get away with repressing pro-Palestinian voices and activism on campus. The Features Section also is happy to include profiles on Professor Himani Bannerji and the late Professor Howard Zinn, both influential academic figures who have made profound impacts on education and knowledge production. Some other important articles we have included in the are the Maigkaisa Centre Organization’s exploration of Canada’s Live-In Caregiver Program and discussion of the continued exploitation of Filipino workers, and Camilo Cahis addresses the hypocrisy of the Canadian government’s condemnation of democracy in Venezuela while parliament remains prorogued.
Our Comments Section showcases a spectrum of works, beginning with Aaron Lakoff’s ‘Size Doesn’t Matter…But Apartheid Does,’ which critically assesses Israel’s newest tourist marketing campaign. Furthermore, Gitz Crazyboy brings much needed attention to the worsening relationship between ‘The Alberta Tar Sands and First Nations Eco-Genocide.’ The International Community of Adoptees of Color also release a statement that encourages the western world to stop transnational cross racial adoption when it comes to dealing with Haiti’s post-earthquake orphan influx.
Finally in Arts & Culture, the Women’s Studies Undergraduate Student Club at York revisits the significance of their recently held alternative fashion show. As well, Elley Newman’s photos and thoughtful commentaries provide a first-hand account of ‘Olympic Resistance at a Glance.’ Lastly, our ‘No More Silence’ photo essay by Sofia Guerrieri popularizes a Feb. 14 rally and march that saw hundreds of Toronto-based activists demand justice for the 500+ Indigenous women who are missing or who have been murdered across the country over the past 30-40 years.
In reaching the end of the winter semester, the YU Free Press would like to take this time to thank its volunteer core, contributors, readers, and overall support system for successfully getting us through our second year of existence. We will be accepting submissions over the summer to lead into the Fall Issue. Please remember to submit all articles, photos, community event notices, art, and general inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. The YU Free Press looks forward to building from your constructive feedback to propel us into the many issues to come!
The YU Free Press Editorial Collective