Meeting minutes from the general meeting of the Free University of NYC at 60 Wall Street, March 2, 2013, 1-3pm:
-vote on May Day proposal
-read through/edit the May Day “pitch”
-status of Free U “toolkit”?
-status of alternative budget project?
MAY DAY proposal: All present (three in-person + one remotely) consent to the May Day proposal. In order to get more internal “buy in” on the proposal, though, we agree to keep the May Day proposal Google Doc open and accessible for another week. Mariya also agreed to bottom-line making an online poll to allow more Free U folks to share their opinions on the proposal. The poll will have three options: yes; yes, with amendment(s); no. The poll will be available until Wednesday, March 6, 9pm.
Comments on the MAY DAY proposal:
-We’ve already done this (reaching out to other groups to host Free Us) before, in a sense, with our solidarity network (Princeton U group, for example, who participated in Free U Week).
-To have a main Free U “hub” in the city or not? Tied to this question: whether or not to be in Madison Square Park? Maybe an autonomous Free U like the one planned by Cooper Union folks can serve as a central “hub” on May 1. Pros for having a main “hub” or “node” (although doesn’t have to be Madison Square Park or anywhere else in particular): a central place for press to come to; a central place for people unaffiliated with specific neighborhoods/community groups/campuses to come to. Cons of having a main “hub”/”node”: makes other autonomous Free Us seem more peripheral, and brings the focus back upon “us” rather than all the groups.
-A suggestion is made to amend the proposal to state that the 2pm city-wide education convergence will take place at one of the Free U locations that day, and that site will in effect be the central “hub”/”node” of all the Free Us.
-We don’t have to determine the 2pm convergence site yet, or determine a central “hub”/”node.” This will be based on which neighborhoods/campuses decide to host Free Us, and where. (Although talk of the Washington Square area as a central Cooper Union-NYU-New School hub is mentioned as a possibility for the afternoon convergence.)
Other Agenda Items:
-Conor just made a draft version of the Free U “pitch” available via Google Doc. We should focus on editing/amending this document as necessary within the next five days, so that we are ready to hit the ground after the online May Day proposal poll closes on March 6.
-No status updates on the Free U “toolkit.” The Google Doc dedicated to this project appears to be in an outline stage at the moment. Our original goal was to have this document ready by March 1. Now we should focus on having it ready within the next week, if possible (by March 9).
-No updates on the Alternative Budget working group. In general, we need more regular updates from each of the working groups.
Engagement within the Free U / Need for in-reach efforts?
-How to get more folks on the Free U list involved in May Day planning, coming to meetings, etc.? It is mentioned that two months out, this is usually the level of participation we have had with planning big events like May Day and Free U Week. As we get closer to May Day, more folks will jump onboard, especially once we have a concrete proposal.
Related Matters (mostly web stuff):
-Need to continue discussion of Free U facebook group vs. facebook page. Pros of having a page: can host events, like May Day. Also good way to communicate with a broad audience. (Maybe now is a good time to start a Free U page, as a way of publicizing/conducting outreach for May Day? No agreement on this yet.)
-Discussion of possibly changing twitter hashtag to something other than #FreeU? For now, we are no longer following #FreeU on our website, but we will resurrect it as we get closer to May Day.
THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK:
-We agree that the Free U should start holding weekly meetings rather than bi-weekly ones. The next meeting will be Saturday, March 9, 1pm @ 60 Wall Street.
-Maybe look into other POPS (privately-owned public space) where we can hold meetings? Should we talk about rotating meeting sites over time? For now, we will continue to use 60 Wall Street.
-Mariya will bottom-line the online poll for the May Day proposal. If the proposal is agreed to (w/ or w/o amendments), when the poll closes Wed., Mar. 6, 9pm, then we can start advertising/outreach for May Day.
-Within a week (by next meeting, Mar. 9), the website should be featuring May Day content on it. Add a “widgit” (or whatever it is called) to the upper-right corner of the page (where “Free U Week” stuff used to be) as our “May Day” space. Perhaps the website working group should meet (after the proposal poll closes?) to think about how to “May Day-ize” the website?
NEXT MEETING: Saturday, March 9, 1pm @ 60 Wall Street. Mariya will facilitate.
Respectfully submitted. Minutes by Gregory.