Divide and Conquer: Behind California’s Higher Ed System Divide
I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Why is it California has three, THREE, public higher education systems? Is it because there is a fundamental difference in what they’re providing? Or is it that they are divided up to divide the students?
Let’s think about it—what is the easiest way to keep people from fighting back against unfair systems? Divide and conquer.
The division created by having three separate systems is inherent and the creation of a hierarchy was intended. This hierarchy and ranking translates into an educational classism. And this educational classism is held in place by fear produced from capitalism; if you don’t go to a good enough school, you won’t get a career. We’ve even gone so far as to divide the working class (which is pretty much all of us) by distinguishing “careers” from “jobs.” And this distinction is being used to divide students and workers, which have been fundamental allies for hundreds of years.
But I’m getting off track.
The other day I had the pleasure of meeting a new student who just transferred and is starting classes here in the fall. He asked about the student organizations of California, and asked if all three systems ever got together to talk about what’s going on. The answer was no, but it would be a great idea.
We NEED to get all of the systems together to work on issues that affect us all as students. We have so much strength in numbers, we’re just not using it. And what does it take? It takes phone call, texts, emails, video chats—it takes flexibility and openness on everyone’s part. Most importantly, it takes just a few people from all around to make those calls, to send those emails, to reach out on a personal level.
This is a little scattered, but it’ll do for now. I’ll have to do my research on the history of all three systems. I’ll be updating again within the next few weeks.