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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

"We're Running a Library, and They Can Suck It"

Via freeman, lc:

This September, returning residents of East Quad were dismayed to find that the dorm’s Benzinger Library had sold off its collection of hundreds of CDs and DVDs, converting it from a circulating library into a so-called Community Learning Center. Outraged by the decision to unload the library’s collection and fed up with the general lack of transparency on the part of University Housing, several students have banded together to form the Benzinger Library Cooperative to rebuild from scratch the once-mighty collection of media free from the meddling influence of University administrators....

The BLC’s dealings with University administration have been less than successful. University Housing is trying to maintain control over the library without providing any material assistance to the students’ efforts. Atkinson describes Director of Community Learning Centers David Pimentel as “a bureaucrat of the most aggravating sort” for refusing to relax his iron grip on the Benz and relinquish control to students. But in the end, fruitless negotiations will have no impact on future BLC operations. “Generally, we’re pretty fearless,” boasts Atkinson. “We’re running a library, and they can suck it.”...

Another example of unnecessary Housing meddling in student affairs is the recent efforts of officials to eradicate any and all remnants of originality from East Quad’s basement café, the Halfway Inn (known colloquially as the Halfass). Up until two years ago, students were encouraged to decorate the Halfass however they saw fit. Sadly, the enlightened minds in University Housing decided that it would be in the students’ best interest to replace the vibrant murals with a bland shade of white paint and destroy the subdued ambience by installing soul-suckingly drab fluorescent lighting. After enacting these changes and facing the inevitable torrent of criticism, Housing benevolently offered to hold a mural-making contest in which Housing administrators would select a student to paint a pre-approved mural. An alternative proposed by students is to hold a mural day in which all residents are encouraged to just show up and start painting. According to Atkinson, Housing is not thrilled with this idea, as “they are dedicated to making East Quad one big corporate break room.”


Blogger Jesse said...

I lived in East Quad for two years in the late '80s. It had a reputation as the 'weird' dorm, though not as weird as it was in the '70s, when the student dorm council formally voted to sponsor a pot party. I'm not sure the dormitory was any stranger than Ann Arbor itself, but its population did include a higher-than-average percentage of hippies, punks, and student politicians.

Anyway, the administration was pretty uncomfortable with East Quad's reputation when I was a student, and it was an open secret that asking to live there was a pretty good way to ensure you'd be assigned to a different dorm. I'm not surprised they're still trying to crack down on the place's eccentricities.

Shame about the Halfass. I ate many a patty melt there.

March 22, 2005 9:21 AM  

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