What is the May Day Coalition

Mission

The May Day Coalition is a collective of student, labor, and community organizations dedicated to creating conversation, action, and actuation of free, universally accessible higher education here at Stony Brook, across SUNY, and the greater Long Island/New York Region. We are dedicated to the idea that access to education is the strong foundation for building a more socially and economically just society.

Vision

Our vision encompasses the idea of a financially accessible institution that provides space for all people to thrive. It is not only concerned with those currently enrolled, but all those who are not here in equitable measure: the poor; disabled; people of color; queer; transgender people; survivors of trauma; all those who experience marginality, life experiences, and material circumstances that make it difficult or impossible to survive in such institutions. It is this transformative vision that motivates and animates the work that we do..

We seek not only offer space for cultural change and different cultural practice, but offers a visible space for counter-political narrative, in opposition to the accepted mainstream policy and mindset embodied by NY State’s SUNY 2020 legislation. Our activism stands directly in opposition to the effects of this policy, and its aim of creating a quasi-private institution, one centered no longer on access but on profit-making and acquisition of ever more private monies to support its projects and expansions.

Free University

 

Every Spring, as close to May Day (May 1st) as logistically possible, we organize a day of free, public classes across campus, complete with rally and march for Free Education. Students, Faculty, and community members from across campus and the greater New York Metro area take part. This observance does not only offer space for cultural change, and different cultural practice, but offers a visible space for counter-political narrative, in opposition to the acceptance of mainstream policy and mindset–embodied by NY State’s SUNY 2020 legislation– towards public higher education, to exist openly.

SUNY 2020 outlines a multi-year, administrative policy initiative that centers on privatization. Its tenets are captured by two trends enabled by the law, and can be seen almost universally across higher education in the United States: 1) increased costs to students through fees, tuition hikes; and, 2) “Shared Services,” designed to increase “efficiency” but often leaving key areas of administration and faculty eviscerate of vital human and material resources. Our activism stands directly in opposition to the effects of this policy, and its aim of creating a quasi-private institution, one centered no longer on access but on profit-making and acquisition of ever more private monies to support its projects and expansions.

 

Advertisements