Pull the Plug

The death watch on New College of California is getting tiresome—and repetitive. Better to let it die than continue on in this vain. Once it’s buried, we can finally start building something more authentic.

For those who want to testify at this funereal event, the San Francisco Bay Guardian has the story on its politics blog.


~ by Jay Taber on January 18, 2008.

3 Responses to “Pull the Plug”

  1. For those of us who are enrolled for the next semester it’s not so easy as it is for others to pronounce New College dead and go our merry way. Last semester was hell as the tension and uncertainty was palpable. With classes delayed, board members resigning, a new president announced and student work/study checks unpaid, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to get any easier. However, the fact that we registered and committed our financial aid to continuing with New College this semester speaks volumes as to our commitment to the institution. What would help most right now is for the new president to communicate with students and faculty whether classes will continue as normal or if New College will be forced to go into “teach out” mode so that we can complete our degrees before they close the doors. The rest is just more noise and posturing to me.

  2. Thanks for writing, Kevin. You’re not the only one to point out the gap between the rhetoric and the reality of New College. The trustees’ ongoing refusal to communicate only confirms for us that there is nothing left to salvage.

    Best of luck with your new film.

  3. Dear friends and colleagues,

    I am a New College student enrolled in the masters degree program of
    Media Studies. I have made a commitment along with others to continue
    at New College in spite of the challenges we now face. As a gesture of
    my confidence in the institution I have agreed to a rare screening of
    my first documentary film “El Salvador: In the Name of Democracy” at
    the Roxie this Saturday afternoon. It s part of a program sponsored by
    the Media Studies Department of New College. Here’s a description of
    the film:

    This 30-minute documentary film contains extraordinary footage of
    abuses committed by the US-trained Salvadoran army in the early
    1980’s. It also reveals the human face of members and supporters of
    the Frente Farabundo Marti para la Liberacion Nationale (FMLN) who the
    Reagan administration sought to dehumanize at the time.

    This film stands as a documentary tribute to the more than 90,000
    people killed during the Salvadoran conflict where the Reagan
    administration armed and funded deadly military units such as
    theinfamous Atlacatl Battalion. This also includes a short update
    produced in 1989 and narrated by actor Mike Farrell.

    Produced by Kevin Pina and the El Salvador Film Institute
    Directed by Jose Ponce and Pamela Cohen

    16mm, 30 minutes, color

    I would love to see you there and discuss the situation at New College
    with you afterwards.

    In solidarity,

    Kevin Pina

    New College Media Studies Film Festival

    Roxie Theatre (3117 16th Street, SF)

    Saturday January 26 from 12-5pm


    For the first ever New College Media Studies Faculty and
    Students showcase their films and videos made to create change and to
    document the struggles for social change over the past 3 decades.

    All of these films capture working people organizing, making a
    change and not simply suffering the consequences of capitalism
    quietly, but creating a new society.

    Part I

    12:00 p.m. Introductions and opening remarks

    12:30 p.m. Union Town (1979) by Mary Ellen Churchill (30
    min.) A documentary about the Rank and File workers in Local 2 organizing
    to take their union back from corrupt union bureaucrats and
    union busting bosses in San Francisco.

    1:15 p.m. El Salvador: In the Name of Democracy (1984) by
    Kevin Pina (30 min.) This documentary reveals the human face of
    members and supporters of the Frente Farabundo Marti para la
    Liberacion Nationale (FMLN) who the Reagan administration sought to
    dehumanize at the time.

    2:00 p.m. 1990 Elections: A Vote Under War (1990) by Adrian
    Carrasco Zanini (30 min). A film about the 1990 Nicaraguan
    presidential election in which the Sandinistas lost due largely to the
    effects of the U.S sponsored Contra War.

    2:40 p.m. Panel discussion “How does it work?”
    creating change through film & video?

    Part II New College Media Studies students’ productions:

    3:10 p.m. Uncommon Knowledge by Eliza Hemenway (26 min.) This
    compelling and poetic documentary takes place inside the University of
    California Extension as plans unfold to shut down its historic San
    Francisco campus in favor of a lucrative private development.

    3:40 p.m. La Revolucion Comunicativa by Greg Miller (24 min.)
    A documentary about community radio and TV on the rise in Venezuela.

    4:15 Fall 2007 Media Studies students short subjects

    …and more!

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