Earlier this year, students, faculty, and staff at the 23-campus California
State University system united and organized to block plans by Microsoft and
its corporate partners to control technology on all of the Cal State
campuses. Campus officials were on the brink of approving a long-term
technology contract when students began to organize. The plan was derailed
after complaints and public protests prompted the California Legislature to
conduct a hearing into the matter. (For more about the California
experience, see the Micro$oft Monitor, issues No.
Unfortunately, Microsoft had better luck in Texas and Indiana. But it's not
too late to stop Microsoft from monopolizing other college campuses. If you
don't want Microsoft to turn our state university systems into private
workforce training programs, now is the time to act. To help students
mobilize against Microsoft's campus software deals, NetAction intern Mitch
Stoltz has created the following Campus Action Tool Kit.
Write a letter to the school administration, and/or the campus
newsletter, explaining your concerns. (See our
Circulate a petition on campus, and hold a campus rally or a press
conference to present the signatures to the school administration. (See our
Identify faculty and staff members who can help, then organize a public
rally or teach-in to mobilize students to write letters or attend meetings.
Ask sympathetic faculty and staff to send letters and circulate petitions.
Print out and post copies of our flyer
around campus, or create and
distribute your own flyer. (Use the flyers to announce meetings and rallys,
to educate students, and the mobilize students for action.) If your school
is residential, some of the best places to put fliers are on cafeteria
tables and in dormitory bathroom stalls -- two places where people like to
Distribute email copies of the Microsoft Monitor article about
Microsoft's takeover of campus technology,
or print the article out and give copies to campus administrators and
representatives from the campus newspaper.
If your school is publicly supported, contact your state legislature and
ask for a public hearing. Organize a letter-writing campaign to members of
the legislature, or an appropriate legislative committee.
If your school is private, organize a letter-writing campaign to the
Board of Directors. Identify and enlist the support of sympathetic alumni
and community leaders.
Write to Mitch at:
contact NetAction for more information:
601 Van Ness Avenue #631 * San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 775-8674 * Fax: (415) 673-3813