Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Hits Cuts and Bakke: CYO launches fall campaign on campus

First Published: The Call, Vol. 7, No. 35, September 11, 1978.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In many schools, cutbacks slashed financial assistance and significantly reduced the number of teachers and teachers’ aides. As a result, students face overcrowded classrooms and less variety in courses. Special programs like Black Studies or Women’s Studies are being dropped or narrowed in a number of places.

Thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling that Allan Bakke was the victim of “reverse discrimination,” schools across the country are preparing to rip the guts out of special admissions programs for minorities, women and poor students.

Faced with this situation, the CYO will organize to defend the rights of students, especially those from working class and minority families, who are hit the hardest by cutbacks and discrimination. On each campus chapters will be raising specific demands.

A spokesperson for the CYO chapter at Kent State University (KSU) explained how attacks are coming down there and how the CYO will take up the fightback.

“At Kent State, tuition this year has been raised by $25 per quarter,” she explained. “This is one of the main issues that students are angry about.”

As for Bakke, it probably won’t have much affect on the so-called affirmative action hiring program at Kent. The program never had a quota for women and minorities so it never accomplished much to begin with. As a result, out of 36 new employees recently hired in all the regional colleges of KSU, only one Black man was hired, as a custodial worker.

“We are raising the demand, ’Hire more women and minorities’ and ’End the cutbacks in hiring!’ to unite the students with the struggles of faculty and campus workers,” the CYO representative told The Call.

At Boston State College, the CYO is planning a Student “Speak Out” on the crisis and its effect in education in the state colleges.

Along with consistent organizing against the reduction of courses and faculty in the college’s Black Studies Dept., the chapter plans to support the fight of Boston’s unemployed teenagers to gain CETA jobs.

The Boston State CYO will also join with the senior class to sponsor the Azanian Singers and Dancers at the school in a fall performance to promote international solidarity with the militant liberation struggle in South Africa, a struggle which has been spearheaded by young students.

Along with cutbacks, the ruling class is dishing up a liberal portion of “blame the students for the crisis in education.” One example is the implementation this year of “literacy tests” in some 33 states. These will require students to prove a certain level of competency before they are allowed to graduate.

In New York the implementation of these tests is expected to prevent some 50,000 students from being able to graduate in 1978. In the first round of testing in Florida, more than half the Black students there failed at least one section of the exam.

As part of the campaign this fall, the CYO chapter in Tampa is participating in the “Fair Say for Students” Coalition and has called for a citywide rally against the tests in early October.

While the CYO demands that students be taught to read well, they are refusing to let students be the scapegoats for capitalism’s crisis-ridden education system.

Another important part of all the activities being organized by the CYO for the fall are educationals exposing the lies being spread about the life of young people in socialist countries and contrasting the education students receive in countries like the People’s Republic of China with the education being given in the U.S.

Some of these activities, such as the slide show on “Education in the People’s Republic of China” being given at California State University in Hayward, Calif., will feature CYO members who themselves recently visited the People’s Republic of China.

“The campaign will be a yearlong effort on our part to provide young people with a communist view of the crisis and the oppression they are facing,” summed up CYO Chairman Roy Smith. “In the course of the various struggles, we hope to win as many students as possible to the necessity for socialist revolution as the only solution to the problems we face in the U.S.

“One way we can do this is by using The Call newspaper to provide regular reports on the progress of our struggle.

“The ruling class keeps boasting that the days of student upsurge are over,” Smith concluded. “If we do our work right, we’ll begin to change things in ’79.”