Democratizing Education Network (DEN)

September 25, 2009

The Current Crisis in Higher Education

Over the past year, campus-based organizers have staged a series of significant mobilizations across the Unites States, including (but not limited to) antiracist rallies, massive antiwar demonstrations, sit-ins and building occupations, labor strikes (by both grad unions and staff), student strikes and boycotts, and Tent State Universities.

Until recently, however, the rising tide of campus-based action involved only limited coordination on a national or international level. And despite the efforts of progressive activists, students, faculty, and other campus workers, conditions in and around higher education campuses continue to worsen: Corporatization is on the rise everywhere; military recruiters have increased their aggressive presence on campuses, often backed by administration and security officials when challenged; fees and tuition are skyrocketing, putting higher education out of reach for the working people whose taxes fund public institutions; campus labor is under attack; destructive military adventures abroad are depriving campuses of resources and students; and the list goes on.

About the Democratizing Education Network (DEN)

On October 20, 2005, several hundred undergraduate, graduate, campus labor, faculty, and community organizers, hailing from nine states and two Canadian provinces, met at the first Democratizing Education Convention at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  Among other things, the convention created a new network of higher education organizers, the Democratizing Education Network.

The Democratizing Education Network accepts as its constituent organizations any campus or community organizations dedicated to the complete fulfillment of the goals detailed in the Democratic Higher Education Charter (see below)

The Democratizing Education Network is coordinated by an Executive Board, consisting of one member per constituent organization. The DEN Executive Board meets monthly via conference call, and quarterly in person. The DEN Executive Board is subordinate to the will of the General Convention of the DEN, the network's highest decision-making body.

Democratizing Higher Education Charter:

1) Full Public Funding for Public Higher Education

2) Free Access to Higher Education and Abolition of Tuition

3) Affirmative Action to End Institutionalized Racism and Sexism

4) Full Recognition of the Right of Students and Workers to Organize

5) Democratic Self-Government of Higher Education

6) Service to the Public Welfare, Not Corporate Profits

7) Free Speech and Academic Freedom

8) Debt Forgiveness of Student Loans

9) Civic Education for a Democratic Society

10) Education, not war. Schools, Not Jails

Additional Information: 

Click here to get connected to the Democratizing Education Network.