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Occupy Duke: Pasts and Futures Casey Williams Lucas Spangher.

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Presentation on theme: "Occupy Duke: Pasts and Futures Casey Williams Lucas Spangher."— Presentation transcript:

1 Occupy Duke: Pasts and Futures Casey Williams Lucas Spangher

2 The Origin of Species: A Qualitative Analysis of the Causes of Occupy Duke Casey Williams

3 Introduction

4 Questions What was the origin and motivation behind Occupy Duke? What are the differences between Occupy Duke and OWS? In what way do these difference shape the story of the movements?

5 Method Primary Data: – Interviews Michael Oliver, Student in OD Anastasia Karklina, Student in OD Michael Hardt, Professor in FIS – Physical Data: s Documents, Pictures

6 Successes and Failures

7 Endowment Transparency at Duke: a Qualitative Analysis and Assessment of Strategies Lucas Spangher

8 Background: Deductive/Philosophical Framework 1.Transparency of an organization allows for more third-party scrutiny 2.Organizations in scrutiny will behave more in accordance with the current goals of society 3.Duke’s endowment is closed Fighting for a transparent endowment at Duke will increase responsibility of investments

9 Background Duke Endowment: “perverse but clever move” [2] – As stated in Philanthropy Journal, “Six years ago, three- quarters of the foundation’s assets were tied to Duke Energy,….the foundation now has 16% of its assets in power company stocks.” [4] – The Herald Sun chronicles a protest against this [5]. – “Duke Energy was raising the power rates something like 25 or 27 cents; something substantial in Durham, which is full of poor folk who can’t afford it.” [3]

10 Research Questions What role can campus activism play in increasing the transparency of Duke’s endowment? – What factors impact administrator’s decisions? – What specific strategies will work best at Duke? i.e., How can we most efficiently make Duke’s endowment transparent?

11 Tradition of Inquiry Mixed Methods: Material Review, Interviews, minimal use of quantitative data Epistemology: Assume that there is a reality that is imperfectly understood. Constructivist perspective. [3] READ: The reality is more perfectly understood by some then others, and that those are the ones that are least likely to talk to me. Understanding of reality Likelihood of agreeing to interview

12 Material Review 1. Research/Formal Verification of Issue [3]

13 Tradition of Inquiry 2. Selection of Comparison School

14 Interviews Duke – Robel: Current Harvard PhD student in EOS, former Duke Activist – Alvarez: graduating Duke Activist – Capps: Director of Sustainability – Williams: Student involved in Occupy – McDaneils: Professor involved with endowment Dartmouth – Carey: Professor of Political Econ – Kerr: Director of Sustainability – Hammond: Manager of Dartmouth Endowment – Szykpo: Campus Farm – Karen: ECO NVivo9 used to code and systematically analyze all interview transcripts and external docs

15 Results Duke’s Recent Endowment Transparency Sept 2008 June 2009 Alvarez. Robel, others launch movement [1] 6 campus groups sign on, begin written campaign [5] 6 campus groups sign on, begin written campaign [5] Meetings with DSG begin [1] Demonstrat ions and petitions started, 300 signatures [1] Meetings with Brodhead fail [2] Meetings with Brodhead fail “Direct Action” begins and ends [2] Chronicle Editorial written, sparks student outrage [4, 7] DSG loses interest [1] Sources: [1], [2], [4]

16 Results Dartmouth Endowment Transparency Nov 1985 June 1986 Students raise awareness about $63 million in Apartheid [5] Shantytown erected in Dartmouth’s campus [6] Dartmouth conservatives sledgehammer shantytown [7] Response: classes cancelled, students call for expulsion, 30 hour student occupation of Student Building, LA Times, NYTimes, etc.; Schools is seen as promoting racism. Massive international outcry [6] Shantytown ordered unoccupied, students link arms and are arrested [5] Meetings with Brodhead fail BOT votes to divest and open investments [7] 2 sit-ins with President 2 sit-ins with President [5] Sources: [5], [6], [7]

17 Themes Those with experience in activism at Duke seem less likely to trust Duke’s administration to be responsive to students – “[From 1 to 10 with 10 as perfectly receptive, Duke’s admin is a] 2, 3 maybe? I don’t have much faith in the administration’s willingness to actually do stuff.” [1] – “President Brodhead is an [explicative]. I think that, in today’s climate, taking [social] approach would be a waste.” [2]

18 Themes Comparison of the two cases: – Neither featured students prominently involved with mainstream campus culture initially ‘Dartmouth Committee to Beautify the Green Before Winter Carnival’ [6] DSG, DCR, PanHell formally decline to support Duke’s push; vs. BDU, SDS, Students against Sweatshops, etc. [2] – Dartmouth: “clear and present danger” of racist administration

19 Strategies at Duke What worked at Dartmouth: ‘Critical mass’ of students that brought outside attention; University looked repressive – “Huge amount of public scrutiny. [Student outrage] was alive and kicking”. [5] – “Public Media attention created huge pressure for the administration and the trustees”. [6] Based on a chance event out of control of the student activists

20 Strategies at Duke Administrative Responsiveness – Duke “From 1 to 10 with 10 as perfectly receptive, [Duke’s administration] is a 2, 3 maybe?”[3] “I don’t have much faith in the administration’s willingness to actually do stuff” [2]. – Dartmouth “I find the administration to be very unresponsive. I'd probably give it a 3 or 4 or something” [14]. “I’m on Dartmouth’s ACIR [Academic Council for Investment Responsibility]…They listen intermittently to the student’s recommendations.” [6]. – State Schools

21 Results General Model of Campus affairs ? Financial Base: “structures pertaining to capital” [2] Public image: “Entity becomes its own body of criticism and praise”[9] Increase in public image “increases alumni donation” [8] The higher earning an institution, the “more it is valued” [2] Better performance increases future performance Possible ave for interven.

22 Sub Strategies

23 Strategies at Duke Favor behind the scenes work – “[Direct action] can wait until you’ve exhausted all of the behind the scenes work” [1] – “There is really no broad interest in doing anything that could hurt the endowment” [1] – “Sadly, capitalist powers [are controlling the administration]” [2] – “I think it would be important to target a group of alumni and show that you have powerful stakeholders behind you” [1]

24 Action Plan 1.Start out Cooperatively 1.Req. deadline 2.Attack the Economic Feedback Loop 1.Alumni Donations 2.Powerful Sponsors 3.Involve the Students 1.Parent sponsors, etc. 4.Direct Action and Public Attention 5.Compromise

25 Appendix: Arguments against 1.Economic Returns 2.Closed Securities and Hedge funds 3.“Critical Mass” of viewers needed 4.Practical Value

26 Limitations Inexperience with interviewing in the beginning of the study and a greater experience with interviewing towards the end of the study Not enough range of data: no students at Dartmouth or professors at Duke Small number of interviewees

27 Appendix Node Structure – Endowment Closed business structure Familiar Not familiar – B.O.T. Returns Environmnetal – Strategies (activism) – External Factors Barriers Social Economic Opportunities – Duke – Dartmouth

28 [1] A Robel, spoken interview. March 23, 2012, Skype. [2] G Alvarez, spoken interview. March 12, 2012, Skype. [3] AASHE STARS, [4] Duke Chronicle, “Endowment Transparency”, November [5] R Kerr, spoken interview. March 29, 2012, Skype. [6] LA Times. Various articles from 1986 regarding Dartmouth Apartheid Era Shantytowns [7] BC Vancouver Times, Dartmouth Controversy over Demonstrations [8] J Carey. Spoken Interview. March 27, 2012, Skype.


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