Administrators and students at the University of Puerto Rico have been locked in struggle for weeks now over a planned tuition increase, with a student strike largely bringing operations to a halt before the Christmas break.
Officials have announced that they intend to re-open the university tomorrow, January 11, and student leaders have announced that they intend to resist that attempt.
Activists posted the above video on YouTube yesterday, articulating their vision for the university. They titled it “Once Uno Once” — “Eleven One Eleven” — in reference both to tomorrow’s date and to UPR’s structure: eleven campuses making up one university.
The video is in Spanish, but you can follow along with an English-language translation by clicking the Closed Caption button on the YouTube player. Here’s a transcript of that translation:
We want an autonomous self-governing university with the necessary resources and the power to decide over its destiny without political intervention from the government.
We want a university of outstanding quality, internationally recognized for its academic excellence.
We want a public university, seen as an investment and not an expense; as (a) social capital and not as a political arena of governors in power.
We want an equally accessible university for everyone: where youths of working class families can also have the opportunity of living the university experience. Where higher education can be a right and not a privilege.
We want a democratic university where administrative and academic decisions can be taken with real openness and transparency between the men and women who form the university’s community: students, workers and professors.
We want a university where solidarity and a compromise with our country prevails, where projects are in constant development to help us serve our most important responsibility: the fullest development of our society in all its knowledge dimensions.
We are many, but one.
Eleven campuses, one university of Puerto Rico.
One university for one country.
[Caption: Eleven One Eleven, 11.1.11. The strike continues. On January 11, everybody to the university!]