2009年03月10日

The Statement of Occupation, March 9, 2009

The Statement of Occupation

The authorities at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan, have decided to lay off its adjunct language faculty members and massively reduce the number of foreign language courses without fully disclosing why such policies were necessary. Alarmed by the situation, we, the students, have demanded direct negotiations with the university officials twice in the past. But the university dismissed our first demand through writing, and decided to ignore our second request. The university officials thus deliberately failed to create a democratic forum where the students and they could openly discuss the issues and seek possible solutions.

We, the students of the university, will start occupying our campus. As the students who have studied justice, freedom, human rights, and resistance and have been trying to apply them to real life conditions, we question and resist the anti-democratic actions taken by the
university authorities.

The aim of this sit-in is to create a situation in which the university authorities must genuinely acknowledge the flawed and problematic nature of its so-called "new language curriculum." If the university still exists for us, the students (as stipulated in its Mission Statement), then the current situation in which it refuses to consider our concerns not only needs to be rigorously critiqued but must be radically changed.

This situation is not the sole concern of the students and adjunct faculty members at the University of the Ryukyus. While the occupation of campus began as a critical response to the neoliberalization of our university and the attendant impoverishment of our educational program, it also aims to shed light upon other related issues such as the breakdown of our "autonomous" university system, crisis of educational system within the Okinawa Prefecture at large, and the issue of unemployment among the residents of Okinawa.

Based upon these conditions and reasons, we demand the officials at the University of the Ryukyus to:

1) Repeal the so-called "new language curriculum."
2) Hold a public meeting about the "new curriculum" that is open to all members of the society.
3) Dismiss president TERUO IWAMASA, and vice presidents KEISUKE TAIRA and RISHUN SHINZATO.
4) Allow the student representatives to participate, speak, and vote at the Board of Trustees' meetings.
5) Establish the democratic election system to appoint president and all board members.
6) Ensure all the rights of the students involved in the occupation and not impose any punitive measure on them.

This occupation is a protest against the university authorities' irresponsible decision to neoliberalize our university that has rather foolishly foregone its commitment to public education and caused the impoverishment of curriculum. This occupation is also a protest against the university officials who, with their authoritarian mindset, never even thought about offering adequate explanations to the students or inviting them into the decision-making process. We, the students, strongly condemn the university's dismissal of the students' voices and will work to reclaim the student autonomy on our own campus.

Finally, we declare our solidarity with all the others who have been actively working and sincerely hoping to abolish the new curriculum. We act with a hope that the University of the Ryukyus, along with all other universities, will reclaim its status as a "university" in the true sense of the word.

March 9th 2009
posted by るー3号 at 01:05| 沖縄 ☔| Comment(2) | 声明 | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする
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Posted by 佐々木夏子 at 2009年03月13日 22:53
佐々木さん、転載ありがとうございました!
Posted by ルー大学生有志 at 2009年03月13日 23:28
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