On November 3rd, my friends and comrades at Florida State University are calling on you to stand with us, the Foundation Against the Corporatization of Education and UnKochMyCampus.org in a National Day of Action Against the Corporatization of Education.
Since 2011, when several professors uncovered a 2008 contract between Florida State University and the Charles Koch Foundation, which effectively gave CKF discretion over several faculty hires, we have been shocked to learn how much further the undue corporate influence extends in our university–and beyond. When our President, Eric Barron, left his position in April for Penn State, FSU’s Board of Trustees voted to fast-track Sen. John Thrasher to be the SOLE candidate considered for the presidency with hopes of him bringing in big money, ignoring his lack of academic credentials.
The Florida Senator is a past ALEC Legislator of the Year recipient, has been running Koch-backed Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign and at a recent forum with FSU students, Thrasher detracted from a question about climate change and flat-out LIED about receiving money from the billionaire Koch brothers. Thrasher also has a concerning history of supporting structural racism, homophobia and anti-environmental policies. Despite 72% of polled FSU students, faculty and staff saying Thrasher is unqualified for the position, the corporate majority BOT voted on Sept. 23 to appoint Thrasher.
On Nov. 5-6, we will call upon the Florida Board of Governors at their scheduled meeting to decline Thrasher’s appointment and have promised to strike and occupy the President’s office if/when he is approved. We have realized that the system that governs the entire Florida public higher education infrastructure is flawed, favoring the corporate elite appointed to university and state-level Board positions by Rick Scott. We want to make sure that FSU administrators and the BOG know that the corruption and corporatization of education are not going unnoticed, and we will continue to fight to take back our education.
Please join us on November 3rd and stand in solidarity with the Florida State students by taking the following actions:
- Change your profile picture to our red square symbol and/or wear red felt squares in solidarity with the international student power movement, the anticipated strike and occupation at FSU, and the ongoing protest against the corporatization of education.
- Take a group photo, or individual photo, holding a sign that says ‘We support FSU students in their fight against corruption’ or another message that speaks against the corporatization of education or it’s impacts on your own campus/alma mater. Share your solidarity pics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr tagging all social media posts with #UnKoch.
- 390 campuses are now listed as receiving “support” from the Charles Koch Foundation. Ask friends and allies on Koch-funded campuses to join in the above actions and check out our toolkit for investigating Koch’s influence on campus.
- Organize a rally, vigil or speak out!
This is just the beginning.
For more information please contact email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 850-345-0018. Follow us on twitter for campaign and day of action updates: @FsuProgress, @FACEusnow, @UnKochCampus.
In solidarity always,
FSU Progress Coalition
Foundation Against the Corporatization of Education