Writing II KMWF

Blog 8

  1. The death similarities that Reed draws between the CUNY “retrenchment period” of 1978-1992 and the Covid-19 pandemic are striking. CUNY’s free education program died during the “retrenchment” period of 1978-1992. People no longer looked forward to receiving free education. “We cannot accept the death of this wonderful, free university because we cannot accept the killing of the spirit, aspirations, and the future that will inevitably befall our children, the students.” Because of how many people were affected, this was heartbreaking. It completely transformed the lives of many students. Reed then relates this to the Covid-19 pandemic by underlining the fact that there was actual fatality at CUNY. At this time, it wasn’t just a figure of speech, and he used it to show how the pandemic affects so many students. Both points were made in order to demonstrate the negative consequences. Many CUNY employees and students lost their jobs and education throughout both periods. There was a layoff and termination of peoples jobs.
  2. In order to emphasize how CUNY changed, Reed uses the term “death cult.” Also, how is CUNY’s demise in some ways? Underfunding and disregarding CUNY’s demands have detrimental consequences for the city, workers, and students. He employs this term to demonstrate how CUNY, which was formerly famed for its openness and accessibility, became a component of neoliberal America. Many things, including education, have been privatized by the cult. Taking CUNY away from students from minority areas benefits the rich and powerful. Students attend CUNY because it is affordable and provides an opportunity to continue their education. Cuny is crushing many people’s aspirations by making it pricey and changing it into a system that cares more about money than individuals. While this was going on, demonstrators’ efforts to keep CUNY free and open for the most part were being undone.
  3. Reed advises anti-racist and anti-austerity groups at CUNY to join together to discuss ideas rather than focused on themselves. Reed recommends that you think for yourself, actively seize any opportunity to share helpful knowledge and ideas with one another, and then spread those ideas throughout the community. He believes that all CUNY college programs should share their feelings and opinions with one another in order to have a greater impact on the CUNY environment. The message might be louder and bigger if all of the colleges came together.

blog 8

1. Reed makes some connections between the 1978-1992 “retrenchment period” at CUNY and similar decisions being made now, through the pandemic. One example is that in both instances, many adjuncts were and are being treated unfairly. As Covid became an issue, many adjuncts were fired, leaving them jobless, without healthcare or any security. Another example is the financial struggles of CUNY students. In the “retrenchment period” many CUNY students could no longer afford tuition costs that CUNY put in place, leaving them unable to continue their education. Similarly, during the pandemic, many students face food insecurity, housing insecurity and evictions, and higher tuition costs that make it very difficult to both get an education and have necessities.


2. Reed uses the term “death cult” to describe CUNY and its actions that hurt many students and faculty. CUNY was a free university, but during the retrenchment period, its prices increased, many faculty and staff were laid off and a lot of budget cuts were made, causing the “death” of cuny. Neoliberalism touched CUNY as well, and made it into a “death cult” since it attracted many people for education, opportunity and affordability, later destroying all of those things.

4. Reed suggests that anti-racist and anti-austerity groups at CUNY should come together and push with their demands in unity. They will have a better chance to stand up for problems at CUNY if they work together, so more people will hear and support the causes, and CUNY can get some real change. Reed says that if the demands from anti-racist groups are combined with the demands of anti-austerity groups at CUNY, “then we could activate them altogether instead of continuing to silo them as ‘racial justice’ or ‘economic justice’ issues respectively.”


Blog 8

  1. According to Reed, the 1978-1992 “retrenchment period” can be connected with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic since both were used as pretenses for enacting budget cuts toward the private sector. In the retrenchment period, CUNY experienced massive cuts in its city and state budgets, which forced it to lay off employees and implement other cost-cutting procedures. The biggest change was in the rising tuition costs: many students suddenly found themselves unable to pay for their education, which was exploited by future predatory loan programs. Likewise, the COVID-19 pandemic led to the same policy of budget cuts, which went hand-in-hand with our healthcare system becoming overwhelming. Overall, both the retrenchment period and CUNY’s response to the pandemic were the result of exploiting the fears of economic uncertainty to diminish public spending.
  2.  The way Reed uses “death cult” is meant to make us think about the effects of privatization on CUNYs. The total privatization of many aspects of CUNY has created unnecessary hardships for lower-income and minority students, while the more upper-class students hardly get affected at all. It adds a lot to the stress of their college experience since they have to worry about financing their tuition costs while also keeping up with their work.
  3. To Reed, what anti-austerity and anti-racist groups at CUNY must do in order to achieve their goals is to start off by teaming up, because their issues both stem from the same core issue. To emphasize this, he shows us a quote that comes from Audre Lorde: “There is
    no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” Reed believes these groups have to forge “active strategic collaborations” if they want to transform aspects of CUNY, and even society at large. After all, if enough people make their voices heard, they may just get what they want. Reed also recommends a mass labor strike and mutual aid to add to the bargaining power these groups can achieve.

Blog 8

1) Reed connects the “retrenchment period” at CUNY and the Covid-19 pandemic by relating a number of socio-economic factors. The retrenchment period led to a massive rise in tuition and exploited adjunct professors. Similarly, because of Covid-19, 3000 CUNY adjuncts have been laid off, as well as many campus workers, leaving them without health care. The exploitation of adjuncts has manifested in a more modern form. CUNY is also hoarding federal CARES Act money that could have been used to rehire these workers. Additionally, “1 in 2 CUNY students already food-and housing-insecure now suffer increased unemployment and danger of eviction” (Reed). During both the “entrenchment period” and the Covid-19 pandemic, CUNY dealt with its financial trouble by taking it out on its students and faculty.

2)  Members of

 the Latinx Student Alliance organization at Lehman College sent a letter to the Dean of the English Department demanding more diversity in the curriculum. The students stated that kids at Lehman needed to see themselves reflected in the curriculum, for positive reinforcement, and also to help them believe that they can also become authors. They also asked that minority groups not be categorized into curriculum sections. The Latinx Student Alliance (LSA) essentially asked that Lehman treat Latinx students the same as the rest of the student body instead of only teaching British-focused literature courses and treating marginalized identity as a subtopic. Representation is very important, when students of color see members of their community as respected and scholarly, they are undoubtedly inclined to believe that they can also be regarded as such.

3) Reed suggests that anti-racist and anti-austerity groups at CUNY use a diverse range of tactics to bring in broader layers of participation. 

People can decide at which level they no longer wish to engage. The CUNY administration and political elite must be persuaded to address CUNY-related issues on multiple fronts, which means that a diversity of tactics makes sense. That being said, this does mean that white teachers should force a discussion on and engagement with race because it can undermine genuine political discourse and anti-racist accomplishments. The labor movement has recently implemented “Bargaining for the Common Good,” in which the Chicago teachers union made multiple demands. This might be an effective strategy. CUNY has not embraced this bargaining sense and still fails to represent anti-racist goals.

Blog 8

1. The connection between Reed’s 1978-1992 “retrenchment period”  at CUNY and the Covid-19 pandemic is that in both periods public services were cut in New York City to avoid bankruptcy, leaving students without education and faculty without jobs. During the CUNY “retrenchment period” many faculty members were laid off and CUNY’s new colleges, such as Hostos and Medgar, were threatened with closure. And budget cuts led to more than just layoffs; they also led to skyrocketing tuition, so many students could not continue to attend without a free education.

2. Reed uses the term “death cult” to denote the impact of the change in tuition at CUNY, which was designed to provide access to education for many students who could not afford it, and the increase in tuition has made it unaffordable for minority students, so they have lost their original opportunity, and in this case, death. refers to these opportunities to receive an education. These changes have had a negative impact on education in New York City.

3. Reed’s advice to the anti-racist and anti-austerity groups at CUNY is to share everyone’s ideas, and CUNY should unite to analyze the impact of ideas together to be more powerful. It is only when these groups protest and labor movement to express their ideas that they will be noticed and have more opportunities to solve problems.


Blog #8

Within the article, “Realizing the Dream of a Liberation University,” by Conor Tomás Reed, it discussed the time period around 1978 up until 1992 where the City University of New York had changed from a free tuition university to one that required tuition, sparking many outrages and complaints within the city. The Retrenchment period was the time where CUNY started charging tuition for students, no longer being a free university, that resulted in people fighting back against their decision. The state and city budget for the University started decreasing, and there were less and less adjunct professors teaching at the University. It is similar and even compared to the Covid-19 Pandemic within the article itself, in which the most Covid-19 deaths occurred at CUNY across all universities within the entire country. Reed had stated that, “In 2020, a re-emerging movement to “resist this death” of CUNY faces a compounded crisis…The global Covid-19 pandemic has killed more people at our university than any other in the country…” The pandemic sparked up the idea of a “death,” a death of free education, and a death of the lives within the university itself. The Retrenchment period and the Pandemic were compared to signify a sense of loss within different aspects of people either interested in attending CUNY or the ones that already do. There is an implication of a lack of security and necessary action that needs to be done in order for the people of CUNY to be at their best, including free tuition and safety. This leads into Reed’s usage of the term, “death cult,” a heavy and meaningful metaphor that signifies how CUNY and the city of New York seems to metaphorically and literally allow loss into it’s sphere. The many lives lost at CUNY, the lives of those wishing to get a great college education to accomplish their hopes and dreams who unfortunately cannot due to their circumstances and confront a death of those aspirations, imply a “death cult,” a group of people or orchestrators that willingly and allow the situation of charging college tuition to occur, as if it is for the better of the city and for the City University of New York. Reed’s context of a “death cult,” was to imply that CUNY is allowing people to suffer and lose their sense of direction due to privatization and non free college tuition. The anti-racist and anti-austerity groups at CUNY were suggested by Reed to combine their efforts with the PSC Union who presented ten demands for CUNY to, “Save Lives, Save Jobs, Save CUNY,” which excluded the anti-racist demands and other demands from the multiple groups within CUNY. If all of the groups demands’ were combined, it would unite the issues together instead of dividing them and classifying them separately which would make them more integrated. It could also create massive change and innovation within CUNY and create a new and improved college experience that benefits everyone.

1. The connection Reid makes between the 1978–1992 “austerity period” at CUNY and the COVID-19 pandemic is the social distress that resulted from the particular policy. The international oil crisis of 1973 and the defeat of the U.S. military in Vietnam in 1975 ushered in a comprehensive privatization policy that was ostensibly designed to protect New York City from even more intense economic devastation and subsequent bankruptcy, but which oppressed ordinary people in many ways. The government eliminated free college education, leaving students to shoulder the burden of tuition, and they fired at least 5,000 teachers to save money. People already without food and housing security are now in increasing danger of unemployment and eviction. There are also many workers and teachers who have been laid off during today’s pandemic, and many are also facing an even greater crisis because they cannot afford the various debts.

2. Reed uses the term “death cult” to represent the effects of those privatizations that took away the progress CUNY made in the 20th century and made it necessary for everyone to work again. This has no effect on those who have money, but it adds to the burden of poor students. Students study on the premise of cheapness, which is the most important point. It takes away many opportunities and kills the hopes of many NYC students. Privatization has replaced many things, and the government’s focus has slowly shifted to money and power.

3. Reed suggests that anti-racism and anti-austerity groups need to come together faster and more decisively and develop a series of strong and effective protest movements that will allow them to be strong enough as a group to defeat anyone who stands in their way. Reed suggests that you not just follow orders in silence but think for yourself, actively seize every opportunity to share useful information and ideas with each other and then expand those ideas into the community.


Awa D- Blog 8

1. Reed makes several connections between the 1978-1992 retrenchment period and Covid-19 pandemic. For example, having to layoff 5000 staff and faculty. The same thing happened during the Covid pandemic. People had to be let go and lost their jobs. In both cases there were also many deaths. Deaths are being used as a metaphor in Reed’s text. Deaths being the death of opportunity and the deaths in covid being the deaths of people. During the retrenchment period, there were threats to close CUNYs such as Hostos and Medgar Evers. There was also a bunch of state and city budget cuts. All this were factors leading up to CUNY tuition not being free anymore. The Covid pandemic caused panic and less funding for CUNYs. People also lost their healthcare coverage. In both situations, people lost a lot.

2. Reed uses the term “Death cult” to indicate that the fact that CUNY is being harsh towards the minority because it isn’t free to attend anymore. It’s now the people who can afford it who attend the schools. CUNY used to be a place where everyone could attend. Everyone of all different types of ethnicities. People would attend CUNYs because they were affordable and open to them to continue education. But now, putting a price tag on education is now ending opportunities that people once had. It’s a death of opportunity. Hence the term “death cult.” It signifies how much CUNY has changed and an example of neo-liberalism. Something that used to be free and accessible is now something that’s limited to a lot of people.

4. The suggestions that Reed makes for anti-racist and anti-austerity groups at CUNY is to not quietly follow orders and “by forging active strategic collaborations across differences that can seize on this rare moment to attain multi issue transformations that were unthinkable even one year ago.” Basically using protests and labor movements to speak out about this.

CUNY of my dreams: https://jamboard.google.com/d/1k6rmztuIa9ll4KrsL_tCDaucLQHaInznoq2kRy_Itrc


Blog # 8

  1. Tomas Reed connects the “retrenchment period” at CUNY, which lasted from 1978-1992, to the Covid-19 pandemic by showing how both greatly affected students and faculty. During the retrenchment period in 1976, CUNY began to charge tuition from its students, which remarkably hurt the studies of those who could not afford it. During this time, the city was also cut the CUNY budget drastically. As a result, there were over 5000 faculty layoffs. Likewise, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the state once again cut its budget, and as a result, about 3000 adjuncts were laid off.
    In both times, faculty lost their jobs. Although students might not have lost their jobs during the Covid-19, they still faced extra expenses due to budget cuts. Many students had their educations disrupted as they may have struggled to pay these additional costs.
  2.  Reed uses the term “death cult” in his writing to show readers how drastically an increase in tuition in CUNY impacted students. CUNY, which was free to attend before 1976, let many people, especially minorities who could not afford education elsewhere, get a degree to make a decent education. However, after 1976 as tuitions increased, those who could not afford it lost their education and lost many other opportunities that would have been open if they finished their studies.
  3. . After reading the campaign to decolonize the Lehman College English, I noticed that Lehman College focused on British literature. However, the students did not understand the reasoning behind this curriculum because Lehman College has a substantial Latinx student population. The student requested the curriculum have more Latinx and African American literature as it would be more reflective on the students.


Blog 8

  1. Reed is making connections between the 1978-1992 “retrenchment period” at CUNY and the Covid-19 pandemic by showing the cutting of budgets and termination of workers in both situations. In 1976, CUNY decided to charge tuitions after the desegregation of the university admission and laid off about 5000 faculties. The excuses they used to justify these actions were the“1973 international oil crisis and 1975 U.S. military defeat in Vietnam”. In 2020, we saw another budget cut that resulted in the laid-off of faculties, and students suffered “increased unemployment and danger of eviction.” The city claimed that they don’t have enough funds to support every service when in reality they hoarded the federal CARES Act money and “New York City historically has one of the wealthiest tax bases”.
  2. Reed uses the term “death cult” to show the negative effects of the privatization of CUNY as it resulted in multiple injustices. The implementation of tuition costs in 1976 right after the degradation of university admission infringed the opportunities of minorities who were supposed to attend CUNY for free. The city also cut budgets that led to the laid-off the thousands of faculties in 2020 resulting in increased unemployment. Students were also facing financial struggles as a result of the pandemic of food and housing insecurities. Instead of helping the people, the city claimed they don’t have enough funds when they were totally capable of helping these individuals.
  3. After reading the campaign to decolonize the Lehman College English Curriculum,  I realized that the students in this organization want to diversify the materials that are taught in the English courses. The students want fewer materials that are focused on British literature and more courses on Latinx and African American literature. The Lehman College is made up of mostly 53% Latinx and 30.3% African Americans students and they want to see “a reflection” of themselves in their education. Another goal they want to achieve through this campaign is also diversifying the faculty in the college as there is only one Latino tenure track faculty and no African American tenure track faculty in the department.