Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] democratically run universities?

From: Ardeshir Mehta <ardeshir_at_sympatico.ca>
Date: Sat Nov 22 02:28:00 2003

Martin,

On Friday, November 21, 2003, at 05:12 PM, you wrote:

> Hi everybody,
>
> Does anybody know of any universities or colleges that are run
> democratically (one person - one vote)?
> (I suppose this question has been asked here before, but I didn't find
> an answer quickly.)
>
> In Germany the students of many universities have gone on a strike to
> protest against cuts of university budgets, tuition fees and - lack of
> democracy. On monday, a General Assembly of students of the Freie
> Universitšt Berlin (at which I'm enrolled) is going to pass a
> resolution concerning the above mentioned points. I'd like to do
> something about the democracy part.
>
> At present, in all of the governinng bodies, the professors constitute
> an absolute majority of the voting members. The other seats are
> reserved for the three other groups: scientific assistants, other
> employees and students, which thus each have about 1/6 of the seats.
> The draft of the resolution that will be put to the vote on monday
> calls for a socalled "quarter parity" (that means, professors,
> assistants, other employees and students each elect their own
> representatives for 25% of the seats.). However, this would still be
> undemocratic since professors make up only 1% of the university
> polulation while students make up 84%.
>
> So I'd like to propose truely democratic structures. And it would be
> very helpful to have successful models to point at.
>
> greetings from Berlin
>
> Martin Wilke

I doubt that there is a single university of a democratic nature
anywhere in the world, for the simple reason that in every country,
universities are important as fountainheads of authority for the
Establishment, which is by its very nature anti-democratic.

If a truly democratic university were founded, I am sure there would be
so much opposition to it that it would be forced to close very shortly
thereafter for lack of support - financial, political and academic.

Cheers!

Ardeshir <http://homepage.mac.com/ardeshir/AllMyFiles.html>
Received on Fri Nov 21 2003 - 21:41:09 EST

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