D:F/M Flash Mob Does a Bronx Cheer – Preface

Several years ago, after being awarded a educational technology grant from Hunter College, I started the WORD in a collaboration with students to teach journalism, especially news writing. That effort blew the minds of everyone at Hunter College and the City University of New York who were serious about or believed in the importance of student journalism and student writing. Accolades and praise resonated from the Hunter campus to the Chancellor’s office. Then President David Caputo told an assembly at an Hunter College Senate meeting that everyone should read the publication. 

Publishing started during that rancorous period when CUNY was being pummeled by the New York Daily News and the New York Post and the Manhattan Institute and their cohorts for failing its mission to teach and that failure supposedly was reflected in reports and studies that students couldn’t write. And though there was one or two decent CUNY student publications producing stories, most were an embarrassment. The WORD was a breath of fresh air.

“I hear you’re doing well,” CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein told this writer in an impromptu meeting in the office of Michael Arena, a CUNY administrator.

That significant accomplishment also fired up imaginations in the Hunter College Department of Film and Media Studies, inspiring and unleashing what can best be described as academic thuggery of biblical proportions.

The Usual Suspects

This series, D:F/M Flash Mob Does a Bronx Cheer, is based on a rebuttal I sent regarding the comments directed at me by Colleagues at the March 14 faculty meeting. In D:F/M the spewing of invective and derisive ad hominem comments are, obviously, meant to humiliate and intimidate, sort of like a lynch mob sans the rope.  The repetitive, March 14 choral  chanting by Colleagues that they had been the victims of personal attacks seemed silly and insipid to me but they took delight in them. There were other comments, of course, but those will be addressed another time.

In D:F/M, Colleagues engage in academic sleaze of all manner, violating tenets of Academic Freedom, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Collegiality and related freedoms while trying to conceal the smears under all manner of subterfuges and machinations, especially scapegoating. Exposés of their actions, practices, decisions and traditions are spewed across a landscape of complaints, memos, documents and cybermedia, such as  the College’s main communication listserv known as Hunter-L, and my Colleagues act as if some celestial force has granted them impunity.

The Chair of the Hunter College Violence in the Workplace Committee over a period of several months helped embolden their impression that they were above the law. That was, until  several allegations were being aired that members of the department were using  Campus Security, AKA HC-5-0, and the Committee itself to intimidate and harass other members of the department.

The Usual Suspects

So, let’s cut to the chase.

A number incidents and disclosures preceding the March 14 faculty meeting of the Department of Film and Media studies were made public:

— Colleagues and staff of the Department of Film and Media Studies have been using and trying to use The Violence in the Workplace Committee and Hunter Security — AKA HC-5-0 — to punish other department members and stifle dissent. For example, the Chair summoned HC-5-0 to remove a staff member from the meeting to keep him from disclosing unflattering information.

— The Chair has been coercing staff to feed the parking meters where he parks his car. That’s been going on for a few years.

— Colleagues who support the nefarious practices above (and other sordid D:F/M traditions) engaged in spectacular forms of deceit in pubic forums at the College, primarily the Hunter-L Listserv, to try and cover up the most embarrassing disclosures.

— The Hunter College PSC Chapter Chair, who is a Colleague in the D:F/M, and her cohorts were upset about the way that she was portrayed in a picture published in a WORD news feature article and were also upset about a blog on this site criticizing her. This fueled resentment and cries for censorship of the WORD.

[The last attempt several years ago to censor the WORD ended in ignominious defeat.]

This writer submitted a list of topics to be discussed in the New Business section of the agenda for the March 14 meeting.

March 13 D:F/M Faculty Meeting

Hi Tina,

New Business items:

Items for the agenda of the next faculty meeting, March 14. Under new business or at the top of the agenda is fine with me.

1) Jay Roman’s summoning HC-5-0 to expel Rashaan Doctor was disgraceful. That sentiment applies to his requiring staff to feed Parking Meters.

2) Colleagues and staff are using HC-5-0 & the Violence in the Workplace Committee to intimidate and silence dissent.

3) The image of the department is, recalling a Colleague’s comment of long ago about fight for control of the WORD, in the gutter. However, the personas of some individuals may be beyond reproach. But they might not be like that for long if issues are not addressed. We should discuss about who gets smeared and who doesn’t.

4) Colleague Tami Gold is upset at a blog post, and she and her cohorts want to comment about it at the next meeting? Fine. Colleagues in the department actually believe they can bait the administration to do something that they can’t? That should be addressed to.

G Morris

The Chair ended the meeting, without allowing the topics to be discussed. He was smirking. All of the details above provide insight into the derisive discourse of the March 14 meeting. Most of it was as silly as it was apocryphal and it wasn’t withering but, of course, it wasn’t to be ignored. Parts 1, 2, 3 of this series are based on this writer’s written rebuttal to comments of Colleagues Isabel Pinedo, Kelly Anderson, Larry Shore, Peter Parisi, Karen Hunter, Ricardo Miranda and Chair Jay Roman at that faculty meeting, especially the sophistical victimology embraced by several Colleagues and threats about censoring the WORD.

The derisive tone and venom  were meant to be an Academic Pillorying but  so silly and  bovine that these words flashed in my mind, that I was getting a Bronx Cheer from a D:F/M flash mob. Thus, the series:

D:F/M Flash Mob Does a Bronx Cheer

A podcast, I thought would be …

Background Reading:



End Preface


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