Strike vote taken
September 26, 1980
Last night, SGA voted to start a student strike in support of Montclair State College and in opposition to a political game going on in Trenton.
The vote came amid a roar and a unity that is remarkably rare these days and more than a little surreal.
After the vote, many of the delegates stumbled through the student center in shock, unable to completely believe they voted for the measure themselves.
they were all in support of the proposal – few were really deeply involved at
all. Even the staff of Essence (our literary magazine) found excuses to avoid
the pen-and-ink labor of making protest signs.
Roland was in love with the idea, and like the true romantic he is, floated away with a vision of revolution in his eyes. He kept shouting, “Strike! Strike!” as if he actually knew what it meant.
Michael, on the other hand, exuded a whole different mood, a kind of morbid satisfaction. But it was clear that he wanted the strike, not for anything it might accomplish, but rather for the chaos and disruption it would cause.
The new, who wandered over from the newspaper, wanted to be in with the hip crowd, and seemed dedicated to getting herself laid.
I want to think she’s innocent at heart, but feels that in order to be accepted, has to give into the whims (sexual and otherwise) of the males around her. And she has been accepted, again and again. Michael and Roland were perfectly willing to accept her last night, but she had already agreed to hang out with someone else.
Joyce is a whole different kettle of fish. She’s sly and clever, and uses her sexuality for a purpose, to maintain her connections to the upper crust of the college social structure – not that any of us are really important in any sense of the word. Still, she may be practicing her skills on us to use when she gets out into the wider world, trying out new techniques. But even she didn’t hang around to get the details of the upcoming protest, as if she sensed that it would be counter productive to her aims. She doesn’t want to bring down the social order, she wants to get on top of it.
For a long time, I was lost in it all, driving home to Passaic in a personal fog that had nothing to do with the world around me – except for a slight mist over the Passaic River as I drove.
While there were a number of people working back on campus to prepare for the strike, I kept thinking how under represented the writers and artists were, and that someone in our group needed to be involved, if only to mark our place, and I already knew, I would be the one to do it.
This is something too deeply ingrained in me for me to ignore.
Revolutions are not always glorious things, although those involved pretend like they are.
Many of those back on campus would work hard and late into the early morning watching the mimeograph machines spit out propaganda to distribute to the masses, a boring task on both ends, the smell of ink and the too-oft repeated slogans no one actually believes are real.
The masses won’t respond. This protest isn’t to enlighten them, but to create a bond in us. This strike is all about us, forcing us to abandon the apathy even we fell prey to over the last decade, an internal movement we need to maintain even though it is largely an empty shell.