The Free University: Brought to You by Occupy Kutztown

“the Free University”

Brought to you by Occupy Kutztown

The Free University curriculum is based around the direct actions that we will take on campus and in town.  The syllabus is based on the Economy, Community Agriculture and Environmental Issues in Pennsylvania.  The documentaries will start February 15, 2012, and will meet each Wednesday evening starting at 6 PM.  The goal of the Free University is to teach the students, faculty and community members about issues affecting the “99%.”  For each screening, we will have discussion panels, consisting of: activist, community members, professors and professionals in their respective fields.

 The Economy

During the first three weeks of our Free University, we will focus on the economy, Citizens United, and the Koch Brothers.  Direct actions on campus these weeks will be aimed at Wells Fargo, Kutztown University’s bank, for the following reasons:

  • Wells Fargo has committed predatory lending against the Latino and African communities.
  • They proportionally gave more sub-prime mortgages, or what Wells Fargo officials called “Ghetto Loans,” to members of these communities knowing that the loans won’t be repaid, and the bank would be bailed out by the banks.

For our screenings we will bring in representatives from local community banks and credit unions, and they will discuss the benefits of community banking.  Our goals for these weeks are to collect enough signatures, and have direct actions to force the university’s hand in switching banks.

Community Supported Agriculture

The following three weeks we will switch our focus to community agriculture.  We would like to propose to the university and negotiate with Aramark to start supporting the local farmers in the Lehigh Valley Area.  We would like to start with 50% of food sourced from local farmers

During these weeks we will be bringing in members of the farming community and the Rodale Institute to talk about the positives of community supported agriculture, and organic farming.

The Environment

Leading into the weeks before Earth Day, we will be screening documentaries that talk about mountain top mining and natural gas drilling.  Both of these issues affect those in Appalachia.  Our panels will include members of Berks Gas Truth, and possibly the Saunters, who have had their water contaminated by Cabot Oil and Gas.  We hope to have members of the legislature to possibly talk about the harmful effects of gas drilling, and why severance taxes and impact fees do not solve the problems those in the Shale region.


The Rough-Cut Syllabus

Week 1: Intro to the Economic Collapse (6pm)

Week 2: Best Democracy Money Can Buy

Week 3: Rigging the Game

Week 4: Intro to Community Agriculture

  • Film: Fresh
  • Discussion: (Farmer / Rodale Member?)

Week 5: Frankenfood

Week 6: Corporate Supper

  • Film: Food, Inc.
  • Discussion: (Farmer / Rodale Member?)

Week 7: Mountain Top Mining in Appalachia 

  • Film: The Last Mountain
  • Discussion: (Berks Gas Truth Members / Energy Fest Members)

Week 8: Natural Gas Drilling 101 Part 1

  • Film:  Split Estate
  • Discussion: (Berks Gas Truth Members / Energy Fest Members)

Week 9: Natural Gas Drilling 101 Part 1

  • Film: Gasland
  • Discussion: (Berks Gas Truth Members / Energy Fest Members)

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About Sean Kitchen 681 Articles
Contributor and Assistant Editor for the Raging Chicken Press. Stationed in Harrisburg covering politics in the capitol. You can send tips to or reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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