The “Plan of Action” Thread in the Secret Facebook Group

From: Mike Cavalier (RTVF 2006)
To: The secret Facebook group

I’m now ready to propose a plan of action.

Let me start by framing this for what it is: a complex problem with numerous stakeholders, with some areas of consensus and many areas of disagreement, and varying levels of emotional investment among us. There is no single solution that will fix everything. There is no perfect strategy. I’m also not in charge here, even though I’ve been posting like 600 times a day in this thing; I speak only for myself, and I’m not the boss of you. (Unless I am literally the boss of you in my day job, in which case, how did you get in here??)

What I’m trying to say is: I don’t have all the answers for what the collective alumni response should be, and I certainly don’t have the authority to make that call all on my own.

But I do think the time has come to organize. I have a vision for how that would work, and if you’ve read the threads, and feel called to action, I am asking you to join me for the next steps.

Here’s my pitch, and I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible:

1. The first thing we need to do is establish a group identity so we can speak as a collective — nothing complicated, just a name for us as a group so we can talk and think about ourselves that way. As I suggested in one of the threads, I want to use the name “Save RTVF,” which is the name of the last successful mass-mobilization of RTVF students in 2002 (this was the movement that, at the dawn of time, gave birth to URSA).

2. Then I would like to make two public announcements, one next Monday (12/5) and one the Monday after that (12/12).

The first announcement is to let everyone know that a group of RTVF alumni have mobilized under the banner of Save RTVF, that we are concerned with the funding structures and intend to address it, and that we are asking other alumni to join our cause. The goal of this announcement is awareness and gathering support.

The second announcement would be an initial statement coming out against the current funding structure. I want to stress that this would *not* be a comprehensive plan for an alternative, as discussed in the “the timeline thread.” Think of this like the Declaration of Independence: we are writing to King George to air our grievances and declare our intention to unite for self-governance (even though we haven’t written the Constitution, or figured out what self-governance would look like). The goal is to articulate what we think the problem is *in order to discuss this on our own terms.* Remember: this is a debate, and we must frame the debate on the issues we care about, or risk having the department set the agenda by focusing on details that aren’t important to us.


NEXT STEPS, for you:

– I’ve created a public-facing Facebook Page for Save RTVF, where we can centralize our news and updates to our supporters. Please click the moon below and like the page today. **But don’t start posting there instead of here!** Let’s keep all internal conversations in this secret group.

– I think liking the Facebook Page is sufficient for signaling that you’re on board and want to join or support the campaign, but if you feel called to do something specific for the cause, reply below or hit me up separately. I’d love to talk to you.

Next steps for me:

– I’ll go ahead and register as well, as we may need a simple URL for posting stuff outside of Facebook. I’ll do that by the end of the weekend.

– I’ve written a rough draft of public announcement #1, just to get us started. I will post it in this group on Saturday morning (12/3), and I invite you to give me feedback, with a deadline of, let’s say, Sunday at 9 PM eastern, at which point I’ll start preparing it to be sent out Monday morning 12/5.

Thank you for reading, and for this crazy ride. Let’s keep this party going.