The University of Minnesota–Twin Cities welcomes new students each year with a slick orientation highlighting brand new buildings, state of the art laboratories, and its supposed commitment to diversity and sustainability — all with the maximum pep, glossy pamphlets and commercial plugs. As the semesters roll by, the message stays pretty much the same: corporate research, career paths, and entertainment take priority over education, the pursuit of happiness and addressing injustices.
Is this what’s best for our growth as whole people facing complex issues? The DisOrientation Guide contains several attempts at answering that question.
This 52-page zine strives to connect individual and collective struggles and triumphs — past, present and future. It’s the work of several authors and two co-editors, supported by numerous volunteers and financial contributions from over a dozen independent businesses and progressive organizations. We are inspired by and grateful to the producers of DisOrientation Guides on campuses around the continent, especially the long-running guide at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
On this site, you can download a copy of the zine for web or to print, and peruse the contents and read excerpts. For the curious, and for those not at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, we’ve included a guide to how we made it, to help you get a disorientation guide published at your school. And, you can contact us with feedback, zine requests, or if you’re interested in helping produce next year’s guide.
Too often biases are left unstated, especially in the classroom, and especially when they favor the status quo. We hope we can find some common ground with you in our biases: the well-being of people, nonhuman animals and our Earth; and the elimination of all forms of oppression and domination.
A journey through America’s second largest university can certainly be confusing, eyeopening… and disorienting! We hope this guide will help you chart a path.