[once again, if you’re getting duplicates or anything, just send me a note–I know a few of you have told me in person, but there are a lot of people I don’t fully associate with their e-mail addresses]
Day 6, around noon
It occurs to me that a few of you might like a little better idea of our physical surroundings. (It’s so easy to forget about the material world when you’re swept up by philosophy and action, you know–although I do think my back is starting to notice sleeping on the floor).
We are here on the main floor of Jessup Hall, one of the five buildings which make up the Pentacrest, which is more or less in the center of the UI campus and right by downtown Iowa City. In the center is the Old Capitol of Iowa, a beautiful limestone building with a tasteful gold dome and the most elegant spiral staircase you’ve ever seen. Spaced around it are the four other massive buildings–stone and columns and carved garlands and rotundas and all the rest–which make up the Pentacrest–Schaeffer Hall (history, Classics, College of Liberal Arts, and Actuarial Science, of all the random things), MacLean Hall (math and econ and stuff, I think), MacBride (home to Bird Hall and Mammal Hall and some departments I can’t remember) and of course Jessup, where the money is. Well, the top floors house Geography and the Office of Affirmative Action, but down here it’s all about cash flow. The bottom floor has the cashier’s office, the Registrar, and other such places where you have to stand in long lines and fill out lots of forms. Our hallway, directly above, is the real power base.
Seated at either end, behind locked glass-paned doors, are the Offices of the President at one end and of the Provost at the other. Finance and University Services, Student Services, and the General Counsel all have offices here in the central hallway. We think all these offices connect to each other, but we’re not exactly sure, since, as I said, we’ve been relegated to the hallway. It’s a pretty nice hallway, as these things go–terrazzo floors (which are pretty to look at but not great for sleeping), fairly wide–perhaps 8 or 10 feet across, so not quite as big as the halls in Main at Vassar, but getting there–and long enough do do some good pacing.
We have 2 tents pitched down at one end, a boombox and small TV/VCR (for video showing) and a borrowed cell phone (for emergencies) plugged in in the center. In the foyer outside the President’s stronghold, we’ve got a little display area with an old industrial-looking sewing machine (courtesy of Greta), lots of literature, and all the letters of support we’ve received, from Senator Tom Harkin to the UI Student Government to the Rhetoric TAs thanking us for talking to their classes to a card from Melissa, the girl from Ned’s class who brought us plates and utensils and cups and hand sanitizer the other day. Additionally, we’ve redecorated all the walls with our banners and posters and signs asking President Coleman to do the right thing and pictures from the paper and artwork people have done. Near the entrance, along with the ML King I put up yesterday, someone has made a sign that says “It was, for me, a Camelot house–where ideas were nourished into reality. –Elaine Brown” And there’s a checklist of our demands:
Join WRC (checked)
Code of Conduct
WE’RE STILL WAITING
Right now things are pretty mellow. The Hamburg Inn (voted No. 1 restaurant by Students Against Sweatshops!) sent over a fantastic breakfast–OJ and egg muffins, some with real bacon or sausage and some with soy stuff for the veggies, and animal crackers. They rock our world. Dean (aka Daddy) Jones stopped by to give us advice (he’s really fond of doing that) and said, “Gosh, I should bring the family over.” “Sure,” we said. “Come join us.” Oh, we are such masters of the double entendre.
We’ve got a meeting this afternoon to discuss various stuff, but basically today is a time to recuperate, catch up on sleep, and get in gear for next week. A bunch of people have gone over to check out the Pow-wow, going on all weekend at Carver Hawkeye Arena. My plan for the day is to do website stuff and maybe sleep some more at some point. I got up to 6 hours last night! Whoo hoo!
Well, I gotta get to work. More later.
Holding down the house,