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Occupy U.: Roosevelt offers class on social movement

Occupy Chicago protesters defy police order leave Grant Park Oct. 22.  |  Paul Beaty~AP

Occupy Chicago protesters defy police order to leave Grant Park on Oct. 22. | Paul Beaty~AP

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Updated: March 6, 2012 8:05AM

The Occupy movement is moving to academia.

Thirty-two undergrads are enrolled this semester in “Occupy Everywhere,” a three-credit political science course offered at Roosevelt University that takes a look at the movement and the issue of social inequality in the United States.

“I study social movements and this was something unfolding right in front of us,” said Jeff Edwards, who is teaching the class. “We can take advantage of being in Chicago.”

Last fall, Edwards watched Occupy Chicago’s General Assembly gather outside his classroom to meet in Grant Park. The idea for the course was born, though he first wanted to make sure the movement had some staying power.

Students will read the Occupy Gazette, the movement’s newspaper, and attend General Assembly meetings. Occupy Chicago leaders may present guest lectures.

Joining the movement isn’t a requirement, though two students are currently participants, and the course wraps up about two weeks before the NATO and G-8 summits.

“My syllabus is not a doctrinaire — here’s the party line, get on board,” Edwards said. “The students are reading a range of different types of analysis, none of which contains any prescription for anything.”

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