Thursday, November 16, 2006

the difference between normal people and the CSU Board of Trustees

According to police estimates, 1200 people - mainly faculty, but also staff, students, alumni, and other supporters of public higher education - spent several hours outside the CSU Chancellor's office in Long Beach yesterday. Meanwhile, inside, the CSU Board of Trustees was meeting, and moreover, meanwhile, the CSU and California Faculty Association are in bargaining impasse. CFA's position is the CSU refuses to bargain a fair contract, and has defrauded the public by misappropriating funds, in part to pay exorbitant raises and benefits to exectuives (including salaries drawn after leaving employment). So 1200 people yelled, chanted, sang, waved signs, and in general raised hell directly outside the building, and a smaller group of faculty inside the meeting raised a banner and chanted to disrupt the meeting.

Now I'd have thought that ordinary, normal people would find it disconcerting to have 1200 angry people yelling at them while they tried to hold a business meeting. Ordinary normal people would be curious why they were being yelled at, and might consider whether they were doing something to enrage all those people outside.

If, when you went to work, you saw hundreds of people carrying signs, marching around, and in fact telling you that you were making them furious, I think you'd take note of this. Really I do.

"Hmmm," you might, for instance, say to yourself. "That's actually a large number of people who are angry at me. I wonder why." You might contemplate your life, at least to the extent of comparing what's happening to you this moment - to wit, a crowd of hundreds of mad people making lots of noise right outside where you're having a meeting - to other times in your life, when things were going somewhat better, at least on the being-yelled-at-score. Perhaps you'd consider whether your policies were affecting them in this way, or something you'd said. You'd be motivated, if you were an ordinary, normal person, to create a situation in which 1200 people were not shouting at you for hours straight.

There is little indication that most of the members of the Board of Trustees has this kind of curiosity or takes this sort of interest in their surroundings.

1 comment:

This Girl I Used to Know said...

1200? Hah! I work for the CABLE company... do you know how many people are angry at me?

They don't tend to march, though.