We are fed up with the violence that is being committed at the University of Michigan by those with power. Fed up with our bodies being used for the benefit of those at the top.
Fed up with a university administration and athletic department that has violently acted for 4 years to cover up and suppress the details surrounding football player Brendan Gibbons’s rape of an 18-year old UM female student in November 2009.
Fed up with the top administrators’ silence on Brendan Gibbons’s violent use of this woman’s body for his pleasure in order that they could continue using the body of one of UM’s athletes to bring in large profits that feed into their exorbitant salaries.
Fed up with how the university’s promotion of a culture of immunity for those high in its hierarchy of power fosters the perpetuation of rape across campus.
Fed up with the 12 forcible rapes on campus property, 7 forcible rapes on non-campus property, 2 forcible rapes on public property, and 12 forcible rapes in campus residency halls that were reported in 2012.
Fed up with the university’s violent exploitation of the bodies of its staff (71% of whom are women) to extract as much labor as possible from them with as little consideration as possible for their humanity.
Fed up with how, on Tuesday, January 28th, staff had to choose either to travel to work and risk exposure of their bodies to frostbite or to lose the day’s salary.
Fed up with Mary Sue Coleman defending her and other executives’ six figure salaries (the top 16 executives make $7.49 million in base pay) while claiming that the university has to limit its spending and thus fire, uproot from their offices, and dock the pay of long-term staff members.
Fed up with the entire process of Administrative Services Transformation (AST) as a calculated scheme of fear, intimidation and threats in which staff are completely left in the dark about their future possibilities to have a career at UM and must follow a humiliating process of re-selling the labor capacities of their bodies if they are able to be considered for re-hire or a severance package.
Fed up with astronomical executive salaries and administration declarations of the importance of diversity when the only multicultural space available is an off-campus run-down building that lacks funding and visibility and has been placed on the university’s periphery, just like the students of color that the university claims to support.
Fed up with how the university has used black and brown bodies on their pamphlets and advertising materials in order to give the appearance that UM supports diversity, when in reality, students of color—not UM—are the ones actively struggling for diversity to be taken seriously within the often-hostile environment of the university.
Fed up with how the university has consistently broken its promises since 1970 to increase black enrollment to 10 percent. In fact, these promises were only made in the first place as a result of direct actions led by students of color.
Fed up with bodies of color being the targets of campus and Ann Arbor police and of stereotypes, racial slurs, and incredible underrepresentation, and thus misrepresentation, in university classrooms, residence halls, and departments.
University of Michigan administrators and executives, we are fed up with your university.
It’s now time to make it our university. It’s time to fight to take back our bodies for ourselves. Since you have demonstrated to us that the only thing you recognize is our bodies, it appears that we will have to use our bodies to demonstrate something to you.
We will have to join together and stand-up, sit-in, and speak-out until you begin to take seriously (through actions and not empty words) that we control our bodies and our university.
(Photo via the Michigan Daily)