Tuesday, June 6, 2006

People's History of DePaul

A number of DePaul alumni spanning 20 years returned to DePaul to speak about their experiences. The panel was organized by Matt Muchowski who is working on what he calls, "A People's History of DePaul University." The panel had Muchowski read a few highlights from his unfinished outline, describing DePaul's history of discrimination against students of color, and the various student uprisings against racism, war and capitalism that have occurred throughout the years.

The panelists included Joe Kinsella who spoke on how he participated in numerous actions against the US military (aid to the Contras, CIA recruiters on campus, etc). Kinsella also spoke on how the school banned then-president of the National Organization for Women, Eleanor Smeal, in 1986 because she was pro-choice. A number of students and faculty managed to bring her to campus to speak anyway. Another speaker was Marc Luzietti who described his participation in the large protests against rising tuition in 1990 and against the first gulf war. Luzietti was also one of the students involved in the occupation of the OMSA office which led to the creation of the cultural center. Marc's wife Cecilia Luzietti described how student groups dealt with sexual assault and the alternative student newspaper in the 1990's. Simon Strikeback described the queer kiss-ins that were held on campus inthe late 90's and the anti-sweatshop movement that led to DePaul joining the Workers Rights Consortium. Rebecca Steinmetz also talked about the anti-sweatshop movement and GRRRL House.

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