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Notes from December 2 OurTC Meeting

by on December 3, 2013

Check out our notes from the last ourtc meeting if you’re interested in how we’re trying to give the student movement at TC some shape:



First General Meeting.

See emailed agenda.

Dear Friends of Teachers College,


On Monday December 2nd, from 7-9pm, students from OurTC (a student movement at Teachers College) will host a general meeting in the Grace Dodge Cafeteria. All members of the Teachers College community–including faculty, staff, administration, alumni, and students–are invited. The meeting will be facilitated by students Dave Backer and Lisbeth Woodington, and the agenda will include the following:


1) Discussion of a “general statement of purpose” for OurTC;

2) Nomination and election of Co-chair positions within the movement, introduction of organizational structure;

3) Consideration of action proposals;

4) Planning for the next general meeting: date, time, facilitators.


For any questions or comments, email and/or visit Please pass along the attached flyer to all those interested in reflective resistance within Teachers College.






Lizbeth, David, Sarah, Dan, Rachael, Stephan, Jason, Paula, Matt, Kath

Singing: Boom-di-ad-a

1) Discussion (20min) : Statement of purpose document was read on each person’s smart phone.

David: We might not agree on any statement of purpose, but 20 minutes, that’s ok.

1st Paragraph discussion

A. Kath: Concern about negative language used in the document, “corrupt”, “unjust”

Against the language: Concern about language being redundant. Concern about the language being too adversarial.

For the language: Language sets the group apart as being interested in serious criticism and reevaluation of Teachers College.

B. Language concern about “to the extent that the student can”.

C. Desire for more visionary tone of the first paragraph of the document.

Deliberation over the inclusion of “shared governance”

What does shared governance mean? Direct democracy. Need to iron out the wording of shared governance.

Report from Student Senate “Fuhrman has no interest in shared governance”.

D. Concern about “shared governance” language

Not concerned about Fuhrman.

Concern about hedging ourselves in through definition.

But it could draw people in.

VOTE: All members approve the revised wording of document.

2nd paragraph discussion

A. Concern over “this” changed to “OurTC”

B. Concerned over “intellectual encounter”

replaced with “otherwise” to keep things open

With reservations.

The mission statement is to be left open for discussion and editing in the next meeting.

See the revised document on the blog for the final product.

2) Nomination and Election of Co-Chairs

A. Discussion about voting process.

For today, just hands, with the recognition to revisit this issue.

B. Nomination for a position followed by voting immediately. Then on to the next.

Self nomination is ok. Nomination of other is ok.

Voting for Spring Term Position by show of hands

1. Communication

Nomination: Joe, Kath

Joe- Unanimous, Yes

Kath- Unanimous, Yes

2. General Meeting

Nominations- David, LIzbeth

David- Unanimous, yes

Lizbeth – Unanimous, yes

3. Education

Nominations- Jason, Paula

Jason- U, Yes

Paula – U, Yes

Discussion of Action Committee

A. Desire to let action committees to form up around issues members are interested in.

B. Concern that too many committees will form and the actions will become lost to the members in general.

The current committees that exist are enough to keep the general membership informed.

C. What about actions that arise quickly? Does there need to be a vote at a general meeting to put the OurTC support behind it?
But should people be able to do actions freely?

Concern about worst case scenarios where people actions are affiliated with OurTC that we do not actually support or approve through vote.

For the agenda next time.

3) Action proposals and OurTC approval by show of hands


Fuhrman investment with Pearson, Faculty investments in EdTPA, TC is a difficult place to get institutional consensus against EdTPA. Opportunity to unite resistances against EdTPA. Need to create a space at TC to invite different resistances to EdTPA. March 1st as a date to stage this protest. Faculty from TC. Arts and Humanities department to host, but with condition that other departments co-sponsor it (reveals the culture of fear at TC). Need to act quickly to secure space, and to solicit other sponsorships. EPSA is interested. What about people at Columbia? Science department is interested. But there is a need for a TC program to sponsor it to secure space.

Voting. Unanimous- Yes

B. Parsing out what student involvement with budget looks like.

Report from meeting with Board of Trustees. Evident that Fuhrman’s position is the same as her statement at the State of the College. The Board seems worried because they recognize we have legitimate points. Meeting with top two Board, Senate, and OurTC. Board’s position:

1. Board is very supportive of President Fuhrman.

2. The Board is the final decider of the budget. (But why not include students, faculty, and staff?) They agreed that participation could be helpful, but rejected sharing control, because no one but the Board is equipped to make the decisions concerning the budget. Rejected that shared governance is not how Democracy works.

They will form a committee to include Board members will approach to have discussions about preliminary budget discussions.

Use this committee as a way to push for direct representation through vote over the budget.

The Board does not really understand how much students are in debt. So a need to create a story about students’ debt. To educate the Board. Board’s response is that debt is a problem nationwide. They are concerned about it, but what can be done.

Action proposal – working on creating what the committee would look like. Having a task force meeting. Student Senate will be involved as well. People from this committee will go to Senate perhaps.

Vote- U, yes.

C. Preparing a public approval vote at next Fuhrman/Student interaction.

The Senior Administrator talks at people, but are not accountable. Action is to point out the lack of accountability. Address the crowd to assess the use of the meeting. Happen at the next meeting of this sort.

Vote- U, yes.

D. Zine about shared governance, history of movement, publicity.

Important to develop a narrative about the student movement. Publication about the movement. Sharing knowledge. Drawing from literature about shared governance. Distribute these Zines throughout TC. Regularly produced. Evolving. Perhaps thematic issues.

Worry about size of issue putting people off from reading it. Perhaps 1 page publication is better. First a reminder about what OurTC is.

Vote- U, Yes

4) Next meeting

Dave and Lizbeth will facilitate.

January 28th, 7-8:30pm . GDH Dining Ha


Revise statement

Election process

Consent and actions

Report backs from committees

5) Speak Out/Announcements

A. There was a nomination survey that was too quickly for people to vote. What can be done about that.

B. Need to publicize the victories of OurTC.

Fuhrman stepped down from the Pearson Board

Vote on graduation speaker award

Admin asking Board to not award bonuses.

C. OurTC Amazon account.

Selling books of professors to fundraise. Agenda for next time.

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