What is the ClassAction Student Group?
ClassAction Student Group is a student-based, community organizing, grassroots movement started here on Lehman College. It is the collaborative effort of Lehman College students of various disciplines who are committed to utilizing our education in ways that best serve and improve the conditions in our communities. In keeping with our belief that it will take a collaborative effort to improve our communities, we wish to work with not only other student groups/organizations but, also with the various departments and faculty-led organizations of Lehman College. The goal is to afford students and faculty the opportunity to discuss and agree on the issues, research, and develop concrete and realistic solutions to these problems.
We believe that the proposed student activities described below keys to achieving our goal. By adhering to the Theory of Collective Action the activities discussed demonstrate our commitment to our communities and our belief that Lehman College must lead in showing how all CUNY students can effectively use their education to bring about positive and concrete social change.
Theory #1: Raising Social Consciousness
We who make up ClassAction believe that in order to raise the social consciousness of our communities we must first raise the social consciousness of ourselves and fellow students. Because we are students we firmly believe that education and awareness are the two fundamental elements in raising social consciousness.
ClassAction Student Lecture Series:
The Lehman College Student Lecture Series is designed to develop faculty-student community based research. The Student Lecture Series is envisioned as the bridge that links Lehman College students with faculty (who may be of differing disciplines) who may wish to research the same issue(s) but from different perspectives. The hope is students will learn how to think critically and creatively about how to identify and create solutions for many of the problems facing our communities.
Another outcome we anticipate is greater awareness of and participation in other research opportunities being offered here at Lehman College. By participating in other opportunities available on campus, students can develop the creativity that is needed to tackle issues of concern. This will force students to think critically and outside of the box in order to use research to develop concrete and realistic solutions that will produce results.
ClassAction Guest Speaker Series
What are the risks and rewards involved in community organizing? For any movement to be successful, it is our belief that the wisdom and knowledge of those who have walked this road long before us be heard and used as our guide to achieving our goal of developing concrete and realistic solutions for our communities. Right here at Lehman College, we have in abundance, a wealth of wisdom and knowledge within our grasp. We have among us faculty who if their stories were told, would only add fuel to the fire burning within all of us who are truly committed to the goal of this student group. Along with Lehman College faculty, we will also highlight Lehman students, individuals within our communities and others guest speakers who will all stress the importance and relevance of what we now embarking on.
Theory #2: Organizing People with Similar Interests
We who make up ClassAction believe that while collaboration is important in achieving our goal of developing concrete and realistic solutions to issues facing our communities, all members of this group must be committed and passionate about working for our communities as organizers. ClassAction is more than just a line on a student’s academic resume, as the name implies this is a group of ACTION! This is not for the weary or faint of heart… our communities deserve much more than that.
ClassAction Web-Site and Newsletter
Lehman College is a commuter college and it does become hard for students to be aware of everything that is happening on campus. Students who take evening classes are sometimes out of the loop when it comes to activities that occur during the day sessions. We also have students who work on campus and their schedules do not allow them to attend many of the events and activities that they would like to. We feel that the ClassAction is something that all Lehman College students should know about and we believe that the creation of a website and newsletter will definitely make sure that every student on campus is aware of this very important student group.
I) Concept behind the ClassAction Web-Site
We believe that this web-site should operate as an interactive-social media site that allows the whole Lehman College community to be up-to-date on group activities and events. The Lehman college community will be allowed the chance to get to know the ClassAction founding members and their individual motivations for coming together to form this group.
II) Concept behind the ClassAction Newsletter
The development of a newsletter addresses the fact that there are students who once they step foot off of this campus, they do not have internet access. Not all students have smart phones, iPods, Kindles etc. So, the main purpose of the newsletter is to be a print version of the website with the same purpose – keeping the Lehman College community involved and up-to-date with the activities of ClassAction.
Theory #3: Mobilizing Resources for Collective Action
We who make up ClassAction. recognize Resource Mobilization as a sociological theory that forms part of the study of social movements. We believe that it stresses the ability of any movement’s members to acquire resources and mobilize people towards our goal of developing concrete and realistic solutions to problems within our communities.
So… how exactly does ClassAction plan on implementing Resource Mobilization? We understand that a program of this magnitude requires collaboration and that is why this we stress the point that we are all students of various fields of study. We stress the importance of working with the various departments, students groups and organizations that are right here on campus. By everyone coming together we’ll be able to:
- formulate a resource mobilization strategy (funding and in-kind resources)
- identify potential sources of funding
- actively solicit pledges
- follow up on pledges to obtain funds
- deposit funds and record transactions and any restrictions on our use of funds
Once this is done we will be able to plan the following events:
- Hip-Hop Educational Summits
- Student Featured Talent Showcases
- Hip-Hop Cultural Festivals
Theory #4: Strategizing a Series of Increasingly Decisive Collective Actions
We who make up ClassAction believe that in order to bring about change in our communities, we must be the change we wish to see. In order to be that change, the members of ClassAction Student Group believe that a consensus among the students of Lehman College is of great importance… As agents for change, we must be able to come to an agreement on exactly what issue(s) must be addressed and in which manner and order.
ClassAction Student Action Forum
The goal of the ClassAction Student Action Forum is to get all students more involved with Class Action as well as Lehman College by offering a student only venue for issues to be discussed. But, as stated earlier, ClassAction is not about just discussing the issues… we take action! We encourage all students to not only vent, but come with solutions and ideas. Once we are all in agreement, then a plan of action can come about.
Theory #5: Take a Decisive Political Action
We who make up ClassAction believe that once a consensus is made, a plan of action can be forged. We believe that all plans of action must be concrete, well developed and planned. Decisive, brave and bold decisions are what our communities need not only in our outreach to them but in our role as leaders and decision makers.
Theory #6: Repeat!!!
We who make up ClassAction believe that once we have come together and formulated a plan of action we don’t stop… we keep going! ClassAction is sincere in its commitment to our communities and will continue to recruit and retain the best, brightest and strongest from Lehman College. We see this student group as not just a club located here on the Lehman College campus, but, one that will eventually prove to be the kind of program that CUNY embraces and sees the value of. The end goal is to become a CUNY wide organization because we understand the importance of all students who have worked hard enough to reach their goal of achieving higher education giving back, raising up, and setting the example for generations of students to follow.
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