On August 19, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), a national student group focused on anti-war efforts and student issues that re-emerged in 2006, formally approved a merger with Occupy Colleges.
A previous national vote by the Occupy Colleges National Assembly was followed by intense discussion and a corresponding vote by the National Working Committee of SDS, which resulted in an unanimous decision to band together. In partnership, the two groups produced a single organization with a shared pool of resources and common SDS identity.
Occupy Colleges chapters as they currently exist going into the upcoming school year have all been given a affiliate status within the national SDS network. Like SDS, Occupy chapters reserve full independence to make group decisions such as changing their names or becoming active members in the national committees. However, campus-based occupations have been encouraged to formally found SDS chapters with their own respective administrations.
Occupy Colleges co-facilitator Natalia Abrams spoke enthusiastically about the strength of the new collaboration and noted that “it was the dream of Occupy Colleges at our inception to join with SDS in order to strengthen the student movement.” Stephanie Taylor of the SDS National Working Committee added “this merger signifies not an end or a beginning to our respective local movements but rather a burgeoning of our critical, collective, national movement as students and youth. SDS has always stood as the largest multi-issue, multi-tendency progressive student organization in the country and we are excited to have Occupy Colleges officially join us—we know this is a positive advancement for the student movement at large.”
Details of upcoming campaigns will be discussed and plotted at the SDS national convention on October 26 at the University of Florida, Gainesville.