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La Reforma Universitaria is a historical and iconic milestone of the advancement of popular freedoms. Above all, it is a fact that marks the fate of all the countries that would continue to preach this revolution . Since, it should be mentioned, Argentina is not the only one. The Reform, as we remember it, is a sequel to a sequence of political events, demonstrations and movements which achieved modifications in the state dynamics . These events, carried out by immigrant students, happened between March and October 1918.
This is a triumph of the student struggle in conjunction with political figures who, to the day of today , are remembered for being part of this milestone. The symbolic date chosen to commemorate the triumph of the freedom about dogma is every 15 June. As, on that day, the students broke into the Institution to prevent the elections of a new rector from taking place. Especially because this one would take care of officially reject the changes that the student was claiming. It is the day of the revolutionary outbreak that, with a radical change, would bring the argentinian people to the conquest of their rights . However, this is a symbolic date because the struggle was extensive and lasted much longer than a single day.
The University Reform was thought from several planes. From a holistic perspective they sought build a new society , especially independent. This milestone represents the abolition of the last colonial links that these young reformists hated. In pursuit of free thought, la democratization of knowledge and the freedom of expression. Issues which, of course, constituted a threat to the dominant sector of the moment. As well as a questioning towards the clerical and conservative society that characterized the Cordoba of the twentieth century.
The creation of the FUC (University Federation of Cordoba) was a fact that helped to carry out the reformist proposals. Also the weight and support of personalities such as Arturo Capdevilla, Deodoro Roca, Raúl Orgaz and Ramón J. Cárcan. Personalities who became heroes and who, at the time, had power. Some of them, after the Reformation, would be university teachers.
The famous Liminar Manifesto of University Reform is a document that, to this day, surprises with its lucidity and strength. It was written by Deodoro Roca, but would express the ideas of a whole unstoppable collective.
“Men from a free republic we just broke the last chain that, in the middle of the twentieth century, tied us to ancient monarchical and monastic domination. We have solved call all things by the name that they have. Cordoba redeems itself. From today we have a less shame for the country and one more freedom. The pains that remain are the freedoms that are missing. We think we are not mistaken, the resonances of the heart warn us: we are stepping on a revolution, we are living an American hour,” says the document that, 102 years after its writing, continues to have a unique power.
This proclamation of rights was signed by Enrique F. Barros, Horacio Valdés, Ismael C. Bordabehere, president. Gurmensindo Sayago, Alfredo Castellanos, Luis M. Mendez, Jorge L. Bazante, Ceferino Garzon Maceda, Julio Molina, Carlos Suarez Pinto, Emilio R. Biagosch, Angel J. Nigro, Natalio J. Saibene, Antonio Medina Allende, Ernesto Garzon. What leaves in evidence that it represented the ideal of a large group.
The demands they fought for were many, today those rights conquered seem to be obvious. However, the University at that time was extremely anti-democratic and oligarch. Organized students belonging to the FUC and the FUA (Federación Universitaria Argentina) achieved a radical change in the notion of education and in the paradigms that governed the University. Among other things, there was a struggle for student co-government and competitions with jurors with student participation. In short, the student needed to be the protagonist of his own training. On the other hand, university autonomy, free teaching and freedom of professorship. Items that would free education from colonial dogmas and retrograde lines of thought. Other points that would be fundamental for the consolidation of a new University were the inclusion of the research as a function more. In turn, generating a university extension area which would be characterized by social commitment.
The idea was to generate a movement of democratization of the teaching , break with the authoritarianism with which institutions were managed. And above all, modify the teacher-pupil dyads and university-society. The changes that the Reform produced were based on the fundamental notion that an institution with so much power and trajectory should not and could not be relegated to a positivist and colonial view. Above all, it should not be a reproduction of hegemonic discourses and methods. A real university had to operate as a the fundamental entity of society, questioning it, transforming and molding it. As it does today, thanks to the Reform and other subsequent struggles. And even current.
The University Reform it was a revolution that spread with the immediacy and effectiveness of spores. Since the Mexican Revolution in 1910, and the changes experienced at the continent level, thousands of movements were created. From the revolts of the people against the oppressors, conquerors and the dominant oligarchy. All the young Latin Americans were infected with this thirst for freedom. Some a little earlier, some a little later.
This fact was a before and after in the notion of education and in university policies. From that year, the University would become a the constructor of a different reality . Based on new methodologies, new pedagogies and new teaching bodies. From a social awareness and taking in count multiple factors which until then had not been included. The National University of Córdoba is today a social, political and educational entity that intervenes with different programs in Cordoba and national society. This institution is consolidated as a fundamental base for the creation of a conscious, fair and chain-free society . Therefore, knowing its history is fundamental. Since it is one of the oldest universities in Latin America and, therefore, with the most trajectory. Knowing her is to know each other.
Publication Date: 26/06/2020
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