Campus-oriented news, first-person reports from student activists and journalists about their campus.
A federal judge’s recent ruling that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional could threaten the immediate coverage of 1.2 million young adults. Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida ruled the responsibility provision, which mandates that all Americans have to buy healthcare insurance, is unconstitutional, making the whole law void.
If this ruling is upheld it could threaten the coverage of more than one million young adults who are able to stay on their parent’s plan up to age 26. While the whole insurance mandate will not take effect until 2014, some new regulations have already been implemented. These include requirements that insurers cover children with pre-existing conditions and the mandatory inclusion of young adults on their parents’ plans.
The much-debated health law has seen legal challenges from plaintiffs including governors and attorneys general from twenty-six states. The Florida judge’s ruling has created an equal division in federal court decisions on the law—two Democrat-appointed judges have upheld it and a Virginian Republican appointed judge also ruled against it, calling it unconstitutional.
The House of Representatives voted to repeal the law in January, but Senate majority leader Harry Reid vowed to prevent a vote in the Senate. The White House announced that it would appeal yesterday’s ruling.
A health care advocacy group ‘Young Invincibles’—taken from the name insurance companies use to describe the demographic of 18-to-29-year-olds—plans to file a brief in the court of appeals.
“Young Americans need the protections and new options for coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act,” said Aaron Smith, executive director of Young Invincibles. “Judge Vinson’s ruling has taken judicial activism to the extreme, and puts the health and well-being of all Americans at risk.”
We've recently inaugurated a new weekly StudentNation series in which we highlight worthwhile student events, offering an incomplete but, we hope, illustrative survey of the scope and breadth of student activism coast to coast. All of these events are open to the general public except when specifically noted otherwise.
COMMEMORATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH IN ARIZONA
WHAT: Prom Night in Mississippi
WHEN: Wednesday, 2/2/11, 7:00pm
WHERE: University of Arizona, Gallagher Theater, 1322 E. 1st. Street, Tucson, AZ
Join the Women's Resource Center and AASA for this true story from 2008 about high school students in small town Mississippi challenged to face years of prejudice and tradition in order to host their first-ever integrated prom.
PRIZE-WINNING AT PITZER
WHAT: Green Bike Raffle
WHEN: Saturday 2/5/11, 8:00 am – 10:00 am
WHERE: Pitzer College GDP (adjacent to Gold Student Center), 1050 North Mills Avenue Claremont CA
OPEN TO: Pitzer students, faculty and staff
Hey Pitzer! Are you still bike-less? Well, have no fear, the green bike raffle is almost here. Every semester the Green Bike Program raffles off over 100 bikes to Pitzer students, faculty and staff. Pitzer community members can borrow a GBP bike for free for one semester. So how to go get a free bike for the spring semester? Come to the GBP on Saturday 2/5/11 between 8am and 10am to drop your name in a hat. Then...come to back to the GBP at 11am for the name drawing. Green Bikes won at the raffle are rented to Pitzer community members only. Bikes must be returned before summer break. If you have problems with your Green Bike, ride over to the GBP. Labor is free, parts are cheap.
MEETING STUDENT VETS IN TAMPA
WHAT: UT Student Veterans Symposia
WHEN: Thursday, 2/3/11, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
WHERE: The University of Tampa, Macdonald-Kelce Library, AV#2, 401 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606
This Honors Program Symposia -- presented by members of UT’s Student Veterans Organization, including Honors students Edddie Hoffmann and Paul Szoldra -- offers a veteran’s perspective on higher education and college life. The symposium will be interactive, with audience members posing questions to our veteran students and will focus on opening lines of communication between non-veteran, traditional students and our population of veteran students at UT.
HALTING HUNGER WITH HAWAII PACIFIC UNIVERSITY
WHAT: Hawaii Food Bank Service Project
WHEN: Satruday 2-5-11, Saturday 2-19-11, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
WHERE: Upper Fort Street Mall, Honolulu, HI
The Psychology Club of Hawaii Pacific University will be sponsoring a contingent of students participating in the Hawaii Food Bank.They'lll be located at a booth on upper Fort Street Mall on Saturday, Feb. 5th and Saturday, 19th from 3pm to 5pm.
UNCOVERING HISTORY’S UNDERBELLY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
WHAT: York, Black Explorer of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
WHEN: Wednesday, 2-2-11, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
WHERE: University of Kentucky, College of Law Courtroom, Lexington, Kentucky
In conjunction with African-American History Month, Hasan Davis, a 1996 graduate of the UK College of Law, will perform “York, Black Explorer of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.” York, a slave, was the body servant of William Clark, and accompanied him and Meriwether Lewis on their expedition to the Pacific coast.
This article was re-posted with permission from Syracuse University's website.
In October, our Law School received complaints from a number of students alleging that another student had violated the College's code of conduct by posting false comments about them on a public website. The College of Law has an obligation to investigate any complaint filed by a student, and that investigation is underway.
The content of the website was not as harmless and carefree as some public commentators have suggested, and was not merely making fun of life at a law school. In fact, the blog contained false, mean spirited attacks, by name, against uninvolved, innocent, private individuals. Some examples included the following (note: full profanity appeared on the blog but has been altered here):
• Accusing by name a first-year female student of "mess[ing] around with a couple of guys during orientation;"
• Stating that a named student "looked at [himself] in the full-length mirror while [he] was doing this girl from behind and... said to [himself] 'name' you're the f#c*ing man;"
• Stating that a former Student Life staff member was dead, and that she had won the "person I'd most like to hate f#c*" award.
Anyone who reads the blog entries will realize it is not harmless fun, and (contrary to the suggestions of some commentators) is nothing like the Onion, an internet publication that engages in political satire of public figures and public life.
Reasonable people may disagree about where the line should be drawn between the rights of a speaker and the rights of private individuals who are directly and falsely targeted in that speech for harassment, defamation and humiliation. It is important to recognize, however, that this is not a case of political speech or opinions that someone finds offensive. This is a case involving false attacks directed at private students, faculty and staff on a public website.
Our Law School has long-standing rules of conduct that are consistent with the expectations in the legal profession. Every year, the faculty elects one of its law professors to investigate student complaints, in a confidential manner, to determine whether charges against a student should be brought. If the professor brings charges, there is a formal hearing process before three independent faculty members and two students to determine whether a violation of the rules occurred. The process mirrors a judicial process by affording an accused student the right to be represented by counsel, and the right to call and cross-examine witnesses. Once a complaint is filed, the charged student is provided with all of the documentary evidence against him. The process is confidential to protect the charged student's right to educational privacy under federal law.
One outside organization has criticized the school for keeping a particular student "completely in the dark" about who are his accusers and what is the nature of the allegations against him, and has previously criticized the faculty prosecutor for performing a two month investigation. These criticisms are not well founded. Investigators do not normally provide information until the investigation is complete and a charge is brought. Any other rule would interfere with the process of investigation. Two months is not a long time for an investigation involving many witnesses and complicated legal issues. The current delay in filing the complaint results from an agreement of the parties while they are engaged in discussions about the issues. Finally, the public should be doubtful of speculation concerning what has been disclosed by the prosecutor to the subject of the investigation in their confidential discussions. One thing is clear, however. If a charge is brought, the law school's rules require the prosecutor to give the charged student all documentary evidence available to him so that the student can properly prepare his or her defense.
Finally, the Law School has been criticized for seeking to "gag" the press from reporting the case. Once again, the charge broadly misses its mark. The prosecutor has asked the hearing panel to prevent the parties from publicly disclosing the names, and only the names, of the people who were mentioned in the blog or who participate in the case and wish to maintain their privacy. The order is designed to protect the privacy rights of the victims and the integrity of the process from witness intimidation. The prosecutor has also asked the hearing panel to prohibit the parties from publicly releasing partial documents to prevent misrepresenting the facts to the public. There is no attempt to gag the press from reporting on the case, or to gag the parties from commenting on the case, as long as the names of private individuals are not disclosed, and any documents are published one time in their entirety
In sum, Syracuse University places a high value on free speech and due process, but also places a high value on the rights of all of its students to study and learn in an environment free from harassment, intimidation and ridicule.
A US Army Cadet Command (USACC) memo prohibiting cadets from using classified information found in WikiLeaks cables for course assignments is creating a struggle over academic freedom at colleges and universities. For students at Stanford University, the memo is adding a new dimension to the campus’ deliberations over whether to allow ROTC to return to campus.
At an undergraduate senate meeting on January 25, Samuel Windley, president of the student organization Stanford Says No to War, handed a recent op-ed written by University of San Francisco professor Stephen Zunes to Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee on the ROTC Ewart Thomas. The op-ed, which referenced the ROTC memo, made Thomas “very concerned.”
Thomas, who convened the meeting to get student input on the question of ROTC returning to campus, referenced the op-ed during the meeting and highlighted how the ROTC was allegedly prohibiting its affiliated students from using leaked US Embassy cables for research papers and presentations. He told the Stanford Daily, “What this looks like is censorship could be imposed on a class that Stanford has a hand in managing.”
Windley thinks this could have an impact on whether the faculty at Stanford invites the ROTC to come back to Stanford. The Stanford faculty takes academic freedom seriously and, as Windley told the Stanford Daily, it is “a slippery slope” when an outside institution is able to determine what course assignments are appropriate or inappropriate.
A document of “talking points” that some institutions of higher education have seen indicates the ROTC thinks the federal law overrides any concerns over academic freedom. It suggests accessing the cables at public colleges or universities is “prohibited.” And, it says "if access is required for a class by university authorities, the student should consult with his Professor of Military Science (PMS)” and the PMS should then “consult with university authorities, suggest alternatives and provide guidance to his or her cadets.”
Danny Colligan, also a member of Stanford Says No to War, believes that students, like their elders in US society, have a wide spectrum of opinion when it comes to WikiLeaks. However, the viewpoints in Stanford’s newsaper have mostly been negative. For example, David Spencer Nelson wrote an op-ed published on January 10 that suggested, “Wikileaks is, frankly, a relatively dumb website. Their mission, to do away with confidentiality in all its forms, is totally impractical and entirely foolish.”
In December 2010, The Daily Pennsylvanian’s Ellie Levitt reported on Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs sending students an email instructing them not to discuss or link to WikiLeaks on social networking sites if they didn’t want to “jeopardize future job opportunities—especially with the federal government.” Levitt found that students were largely unfazed.
Have there been debates about WikiLeaks on your campus? If so, please use the comments field below to let us know. We'd like to publish further student reactions to the release of the cables.
We've recently inaugurated a new weekly StudentNation series in which we highlight worthwhile student events, offering an incomplete but, we hope, illustrative survey of the scope and breadth of student activism coast to coast. All of these events are open to the general public except when specifically noted otherwise.
HEARING ABOUT HAITI IN CHICAGO
WHAT: Haiti, Me & The World
WHEN: Monday, January 24, 6:00 pm
WHERE: University of Chicago, Court Theatre 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL
How did Haiti, the enfant terrible of the Caribbean become its bȇte noir? In this dramatic monologue, CSRPC Artist-In-Residence Gina Athena Ulysse considers how the past occupies the present. Ulysse weaves history, personal narrative, theory and statistics in spoken word with Vodou chants to reflect on childhood memories, social (in)justice, spirituality, and the incessant de-humanization of Haitians. The performance is followed by a talkback.
MEMORIALIZING MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. IN IDAHO
WHAT: MLK Human Rights Celebration
WHEN: Monday, January 24, 1, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Boise State University, Student Union Jordan Ballroom, 1910 University Drive, Boise, Idaho
Keynote speaker Rev. Billy Kyles was an eyewitness to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and is the only person still living who shared the last hour of Dr. King's life with him.
LISTENING TO THE LGBT COMMUNITY
WHAT: "Our Stories"
WHEN: Wednesday, January 26 4:00 pm
WHERE: University of Alaska Anchorage, Student Union South Cafeteria, 2921 Spirit Way, Anchorage, AK,
As part of UAA Alaska Civil Rights Month, there will be a panel discussion with members of the LGBT community and a showing of the award-winning film “Milk,” the story of the life and assassination of Harvey Milk, the most well-known openly gay politician of his time.
SUPPORT STUDENT VETERANS AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
WHAT: Veterans Dialogue with the Deans
WHEN: Tuesday, January 25, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
WHERE: Georgetown University, Intercultural Center 241, 37th and O Streets, NW, Washington DC
OPEN TO: Only Georgetown students, faculty, and staff. Registration required, free.
Georgetown University Student Veterans of America (GUSVA) and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese invite you to "Veterans Dialogue with the Deans." This event provides an opportunity for the Deans of various University schools to discuss meaningful issues including the integration of veterans into the campus community, leveraging military experience to improve learning inside and beyond the classroom, and the need for a veteran resource coordinator to make sense of the GI Bill and other entitlement programs.
REFLECTING ON RELIGIOUS PROFILING IN SANTA BARBARA
WHAT: Why Do they Fear Us? Religious and Racial Profiling of Muslims Today
WHEN: Thursday, January 27, 6:30 pm
WHERE: UCSB, Multi-cultural Lounge, 552 University Road, Isla Vista, CA
The terrorist attacks of 9/11 resulted in growing public mistrust toward Muslims and Islam. This year, the debate over the proposed site of Park51, or the "Ground Zero mosque" caused an uproar and increase of Islamophobia. In this panel, Elliott Bazzano and Sohaira Siddiqui, graduate students in the Department of Religious Studies, will discuss their experiences as Muslims in the United States today; Muslims as the new targeted group; racism, discrimination, and religious and racial profiling.
Our friends at Campus Progress are working to highlight disturbing practices at some for-profit colleges across the country. For-profit schools currently serve 10 percent of US students but account for 25 percent of federal student aid—and 44 percent of student loan defaults. While there are some quality programs at for-profit schools, too many for-profit programs are marked by skyrocketing tuition, high dropout rates and insurmountable debt for many students.
This video highlights the perils entailed in the growing for-profit college industry.
With this post, we're inaugurating a new weekly StudentNation series in which we'll be highlighting interesting student events, offering an incomplete but, we hope, illustrative survey of the scope and breadth of student activism coast to coast. All of these events are open to the general public, not just students and faculty.
SUPPORT STUDENT FILMS IN SACRAMENTO
WHAT: The 2010-2011 Media That Matters Short Film Festival
WHEN: Sunday, 1-16-11, 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
WHERE: The Guild Theater, 2828 35th St. Sacramento, CA
This is a film festival of socially conscious shorts, all made by student and independent filmmakers. Subjects covered in this year's fest include health insurance abandonment; the lasting impact of the Sean Bell incident in New York City; wrongful imprisonment in Guantanamo; problems with bottled water; and much more. Admission: $5.00.
GOING GREEN IN GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
WHAT: ‘Let’s Raise a Million’ Clean Energy Retrofit 2011
WHEN: Monday 1/17/11, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
WHERE: Warnersville Community Center/ 601 Doak Street/ Greensboro, NC
The Let’s Raise a Million Project works to reduce carbon emissions in low-income communities. Volunteers go door-to-door to replace incandescent bulbs with energy efficient ones at no cost to residents. Sign up now to help educate residents in the Warnersville community on the benefits of sustainable living and energy efficiency.
DISCUSS THE PALESTINIAN PLIGHT IN SANTA CLARA
WHAT: An Evening with the Israeli-Based group Anarchists Against The Wall
WHEN: Thursday, 1-20-11, 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
WHERE: Daly Sciences Bldg., Room 206/ Santa Clara University/ Santa Clara, CA
Come support AATW and learn more about the devastation Israel's "separation barrier" is wreaking on the land and livelihoods of the people of Palestine. Hear about the inspiring joint struggle of the Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals resisting the wall. Donation: $10 to $15 at the door (nobody turned back for the lack of funds).
CHATTING ABOUT CHOICE IN WASHINGTON DC
WHAT: We Are the Champions
WHEN: Thursday 1-20-11, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
WHERE: Center for American Progress, 1333 H Street NW, 10th Fl., Washington, DC
As the 38th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision approaches, young people are examining their place within the reproductive justice movement. Join Campus Progress and Choice USA for an innovative spin on the traditional panel. Six young leaders from the reproductive justice movement will go head-to-head in three rounds discussing and debating youth activism and advocacy, abortion access and funding, and the 2012 elections. Sspeakers include Andrew Jenkins, Shelby Knox, Miriam Madrid, Amy Richards, Aimee Thorne-Thomsen and a special guest. Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of Choice USA, will be the referee.
ACTIVATE YOUR ACTIVISM AT WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY
WHAT: The Social Justice Leadership Conference
WHEN: Friday 1-21-11, 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM & Saturday,1-22-11 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM
WHERE: Wesleyan University, Middletown Connecticut
Students, faculty, and community members come together for a two day conference to debate and discuss social justice issues and leadership skills. The conference aims to empower participants with practical tools for fostering change.
Please use the comments field below to alert us to any events we should be highlighting.
A core mission of StudentNation is to highlight the frequent but often overlooked instances of student and youth engagement with critical political, economic and cultural questions. This round-up below offers an incomplete but illustrative survey of the scope and breadth of student activism currently.
Student Protests in Europe and Canada
In England, France, Canada and Italy, students took to the streets this past fall protesting tuition hikes and cuts to social programs. Though the protests received modest coverage in major US media outlets, columnists on the other side of the pond have been debating a new generation’s rise into political consciousness.
See Student Nation’s coverage of the UK’s education cut protests from The New Statesman’s Laurie Penny:
Inside The Millbank Tower Riots [The Nation]
Police Detained UK Student Protesters En Masse: A Firsthand Account [The Nation]
Police Beat Protesters Trapped In Parliament Square Kettle [The Nation]
University of California Fee Hike Protests
Though many on the left criticized students’ inability to muster European-style protest on this side of the Atlantic, there were widespread protests across the University of California system at the March 4 National Day of Action to Defend Public Education events and in subsequent protests in November against an 8 percent fee increase. The Board of Regents approved the hike anyway.
DREAM Act Passes House
When the DREAM Act was approved by the House of Representatives 216-198 on December 8, it vindicated a movement driven by grassroots youth activism that forced Beltway figures to reconsider their strategy on immigration. Even though it was blocked in the Senate, DREAM Activists aren’t going to quit. They’ve adapted civil-rights era activist techniques for the 21st century, and they’re a testament that students can make their voice heard.
Young People Protect Farm Worker Rights
Every year, between one and three million migrant workers tend American farms, moving across the country to follow seasonal crops (PDF). In Florida, farmworkers labor 10 to 12 hours a day, collecting some 4,000 pounds of tomatoes to earn Florida's minimum wage. What's worse, some of these impoverished workers are forced into involuntary servitude.
The Florida-based immigrant-laborer-led Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has been organizing since 1993 for fairer wages and working conditions for immigrant pickers. Fast-food chains are the biggest buyers of fresh produce in Florida and they often use legal loopholes to buy products supplied by uncertified suppliers. Recognizing that fast-food chains concentrate their marketing efforts on young people, CIW is effectively collaborating with the Student/Farmworker Alliance, currently on a joint campaign to force supermarket chains impose minimal work standards on their suppliers.
CIW Supermarket Campaign Targets Publix, Kroger and Trader Joe's [The Nation]
Awareness of Anti-Gay Bullying Grows After Youth Suicides
On September 22, Tyler Clementi, an eighteen-year-old Rutgers University student, jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate filmed him having sex with another man and leaked the video on the internet. Inspired by a handful of high profile teen suicides that were brought on by anti-gay bullying, sex columnist Dan Savage launched the “It Gets Better” campaign. After Clementi’s death, the campaign went viral, with celebrities from Ciara to President Obama contributing their own video testimony. In mid-November, the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act was introduced to Congress.
Student Activists Force Anti-Gay Michigan Politician Andrew Shirvell's Termination
Michigan assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell launched a bizarre online campaign against the University of Michigan’s openly gay student body president, Chris Armstrong. Shirvell essentially dedicated his free time to terrorizing Armstrong, running a blog dedicated to smearing him and even showing up a few times at his house. The student body rallied around Armstrong, and Shirvell was banned from the university grounds. The assistant AG was fired in early November.
Andrew Shirvell Needs To Be Fired If We Want To End Violence Against Gays [The Nation]
Andrew Shirvell, Creator Of Derisive Anti-Gay Blog, Fired By Attorney General’s Office [The Michigan Daily]
MSA president Chris Armstrong Works To Redefine His Presidency After Andrew Shirvell [The Michigan Daily]
Youth Activists Push Marijuana Reform to the Fore
After all the media attention heaped on the Prop 19 campaign, it should come as no surprise that the vanguard of the legalization drive in many states, including California and Colorado is made up of college-age activists. Motivating young voters was a central focus of the grassroots effort for California's Prop 19, and to a large extent it worked even though the measure narrowly failed. Despite this setback, the movement for drug and sentencing reform is moving steadily forward nationwide with strong youth support and involvement.
Budding Prospects: Youth Activists Push Marijuana Reform [The Nation]
FBI Raids on Student Antiwar Groups
At the start of the semester, the FBI searched the homes of members of anti-war activists in Minnesota and Chicago, including Students For a Democratic Society. According to the group, federal agents confiscated documents, cell phones and storage disks. Protests sprang up in cities across the country following the raids. Critics are calling it a general crackdown to suppress student activism on college campuses.
FBI Raids Homes of Antiwar and Pro-Palestinian Activists in Chicago and Minneapolis [Democracy Now!]
Anti-war Activists Protest Against FBI [NBC Chicago]
Students for a Democratic Society speaks out against FBI raids [SDS]
The National Day of Action To Defend Public Education
On both March 4 and October 7, students across the country came out to protest university budget cuts and the increasing cost of tuition. Though most rallies remained relatively low-key, Student Activism’s Angus Johnston rightly insisted that the national movement to defend public education has spread to many new states since it began in California a few years ago, with over 76 actions in 25 states total.
First thoughts on the November 7 National Day of Action [Student Activism]
Group walks 114 miles to protest higher education cuts [Boston Globe]
At rallies across the country, students turn out in defense of public education [Chronicle of Higher Education]
Students and Teachers Rally Around Ethnic Studies
Last Spring, Arizona passed a house bill, HB 2281, implicitely banning ethnic studies classes (potentially including courses like Chicano Studies or African American Studies). Students and teachers alike decried the bill as a xenophobic attempt to push minority groups out of America’s historical narrative. In the first week of October, colleges and high schools in 27 states hosted coordinated actions in support of ethnic studies and multicultural education. HB 2281 went into effect in Arizona last week.
Students and teachers across the US rally in support of ethnic studies [Campus Progress]
Oops! Arizona Ethnic Studies ban makes courses more popular [Colorlines]
Arizona students protest new law banning ethnic studies classes [Democracy Now!]
Environmental Justice Gains Traction
Young people have been making noise about climate change. Backed by a push from young environmentalists, the EPA hosted its first forum on environmental justice this year, with cabinet members coming together to talk about the specific impact that environmental issues have on poor and minority communities. On the international stage, youth delegates were forced out of COP 16 on the last day of negotiations as they staged a protest. At home as well as abroad, activists were quick to point out that officials have been long on talk and short on action, and that there’s a huge amount of work to do in 2011.
Environmental Bus Tour: Healthbeat Brooklyn [Brooklyn Independent Television]
White House Forum Gets Tense: Environmental Justice Activist Urges EPA Administrator To “Roll Up Your Sleeves” [New York Times]
An Obstacle To Youth Participation At COP 16 [The College Voice]
Students Pressure Nike to Help Workers in Honduras
Facing pressure from universities and student groups, Nike announced in July that it would pay $1.5 million to help re-train and support almost 2,000 workers in Honduras who lost their jobs. This was a a big victory for the student labor rights movement and for the Hondurans laid off when Nike shut down two of its subcontractors.
Pressured by Students, Nike Agrees to Help Workers in Honduras [The Nation]
2010 Elections: Student Activists Struggle to Bridge the Enthusiasm Gap
The senior citizen vote brought in huge gains for Republicans in Congress this year. Though youth voters didn't meet their 2008 numbers, a record number of young voters participated for a mid-term year; minority youth came out in greater numbers than in previous years, and youth activists started thinking strategically about how to build an infrastructure that will get new and youth voters to the polls in future election years.
Young democrats tackle the enthusiasm gap [The Nation]
Queer, Black, Latino Youth Saw Major Turnout Gains In 2010 Election [Student Activism]
Building The Youth Vote Is About Building Infrastructure [Campus Progress]
Campaign to Fight Islamophobia
Against a backdrop of growing tensions over the proposed construction of an Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan, two young men mounted a campaign to demystify Islam and its place in America. Bassam Tariq, 23, and Aman Ali, 25, visited 30 mosques across the country over a period of 30 days and shared stories from the people they met on their blog. “I hope that what we have done stands the test of time. I hope people can revisit our website and it will still feel substantial” Tariq told Student Nation contributor Maria Kari. “It’s like Islam-on-trial right now…the problem is we don’t go out and meet our neighbours.”
Additional research provided by Joanna Chiu and Laurie Rojas.
This round-up was originally published by Campus Progress, a national organization that works with and for young people to promote progressive solutions to key political and social challenges.
A budget plan put forth by Gov. Jerry Brown of California may require a $1.4 billion cut in public higher education institutions in the state. If approved, the plan will cut state support by 18 percent for California State University, 16.4 percent for the University of California (UC), and 6.5 percent for the state’s community colleges. According to University of California President Mark Yudof, the cuts would cause collective student contributions to exceed state contributions for the first time. [Inside Higher Ed]
Virginia legislators will soon be considering barring undocumented students from enrolling in the state’s public universities. Currently, undocumented students can enroll in public universities in Virginia but do not qualify for in-state tuition. Undocumented immigrants are already barred from enrolling in universities in South Carolina, two-year colleges in Alabama, and some universities in Georgia. [The Associated Press]
Washington, DC, college students helped the city population surpass 600,000 in the 2010 census. The population jumped from 572,059 in 2000 to 601,723, possibly due to the area’s seven major colleges, which have grown in enrollment over the past decade. The 2010 census was the first to ask college students to fill out census forms in the cities in which their universities are located. [The GW Hatchet]
A poll found that a significant majority of Americans consider international education important for university students. The survey was conducted by Nafsa: Association of International Educators before the 2010 elections and showed that nearly two-thirds of Americans connect foreign language and study abroad programs with increasing success in the global economy. [The Chronicle of Higher Education]
Protests are continuing nationwide as momentum builds toward February's supermarket action month sponsored by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. In an exciting prelude, a spirited group of children from Boston's Workmen's Circle Jewish Sunday School led a crowd of more than 100 on a protest march from a Trader Joes to a Stop & Shop in Brookline in support of the Campaign for Fair Food.
The Wicked Local Brookline website had a good roundup of the event:
"On Sunday, December 12, fifth-grade students from Workmen’s Circle Jewish Sunday School led more than 100 parents and peers on a march from the center of Coolidge Corner to the Brookline Stop & Shop. The students delivered a letter to the store’s manager, asking the chain’s parent company, Ahold USA, to work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, an internationally recognized farm worker organization, to address the sub-poverty wages and abuses faced by the farm workers who pick the tomatoes sold at the store.
The students carried signs that read, “One more penny per pound,” in reference to their demand that Stop & Shop pay an additional penny per pound for the tomatoes purchased by the store.
The students have been learning about the sweatshops their Jewish ancestors toiled in when they first arrived in the United States, and are outraged that such injustice still exists today.They opened with a speech in front of the Coolidge Corner Trader Joe’s, and then led a march down Harvard Street to Stop & Shop.
While the students were inside talking to a manager, the rest of the protesters marched and chanted on the sidewalk and in the parking lot. Afterwards, the students reported that the store’s manager received the letter and thanked them for letting him know about the issue. He claimed to not know about the campaign.
The action was part of the CIW’s “Campaign for Fair Food,” begun more than 10 years ago. Several retail companies, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway and Whole Foods, are all already working with the CIW."
The Nation has written about the CIW many times before. A community-based worker organization that helped expose a half-dozen slavery cases and trigger the freeing of more than 1,000 workers, the CIW advocates on behalf of seasonal workers in Florida for higher wages, better living conditions, respect from the industry and an end to indentured servitude.
The group's Campaign for Fair Food has been particularly successful as this illuminating article and timeline on the Campaign by Campus Progress amply demonstrates. Learn more about the effort and how you can help support socially responsible purchasing in the corporate food industry.