Today the 5th of January the University of Utrecht celebrates the “Career Day 2015”. With this, the University of Utrecht opens her doors to corporations to present their job opportunities to the students. As Kritische Studenten Utrecht (KSU), we consider that the university presents a model were education is overpowered by the interest of the corporate system, whose primary interest is not our well-being nor our societies interests’ as a whole, but their own profits: the interests of the market. The model presented today doesn’t provide any other future for the student than to become part of the market system and use the educational system as bridge between childhood and the labor market. Today our university building is overshadowed by TINA!
For that reason, KSU was present today in the Career Day 2015 to show that we want an alternative to the current business models that the university promotes. We consider that the university has to be a space to discuss and build a better society. Knowledge production should be at the service of our planet and our society.
By handing out flyers with the provocative statement: “People, Profit, Planet: pick two”, we wanted to initiate a collective reflection of the responsibilities that all of us as individuals have in our decisions. Our individual choices effect the rest of the people and the planet. And even though, some of them are labeled “sustainable”, the corporations that encroached our university today are working for their own profit without other considerations. If they have to destroy our planet or people in order to make profit, they will! Historical and contemporary examples are abundant.
We are astonished (and disappointed!) that the university welcomes companies that have caused environmental catastrophes and violated human right, without taking on any critical position. For example, the Dutch Oil Company Shell that has destroyed the Niger Delta with oil spills and who has supported paramilitary militias responsible for the murder of environmental activists. Or, Dutch Company KLM who are involved in the deportation of refugees from the EU territory; a clear violation of basic human rights. And the Capgemini, which lowered the wages of elderly employees by 10%, roughly to become 250-300 euros a month, making a huge profit of 442 million out of this exploitation in 2013.
Today, KSU invited the students at the Career Day 2015 to reflect about their future. To break with the uniformity of options that our Utrecht University presents as valid. We as students (the future!) have the possibility to use our time, life and knowledge for much more that the service of a corporation and their profit. The career we choose can contribute to building a better future, for everyone.