Million Student March at UMass Amherst

Recently, college protests have been making the news in big ways. At campuses like Ithaca College, Syracuse University and University of Missouri, students have demanded social change. On Thursday, November 12th, students of UMass Amherst gathered inside the Student Union building for their own piece of a protest, taking place nationwide.

CEPA – The Center for Education Policy and Advocacy – organized this event to demand free public higher education, $15 minimum wage for on campus employment, and cancelation of student debt. A few other groups and organizations joined with CEPA to support their causes as well: including, SLAP – Student Labor Action Project, UMass for Bernie Sanders, and CERC – Coalition to End Rape Culture.

The proceedings opened with a moment of silence to show solidarity with Ithaca, Syracuse, and Mizzou.
One by one, speakers got up to advocate for things like transgender equality, gender neutral bathrooms, a Survivor’s Bill of Rights for rape victims, and the banning of Sabra products on campus to stand with Palestine as they are occupied by Israel (warning – this clip contains discussion of sensitive topics, including rape and rape culture).

Students partook in chants to show their support. Some popular exclamations included, “they say cut back – we say fight back,” and “no cuts, no fees, education should be free.” There were easily 200 supporters at the event and the energy was high. With students all over the country organizing and making demands, this type of event was highly anticipated on our campus.

It’s important to stand together as young people and as students in order to fight for a bigger cause, regardless of stance on the issues. Everyday, people just like you and me are put down, and this is exactly the way to stand up and say that we are with them.

If you have any interest in UMass Amherst’s CEPA or CERC – the links to their Facebook pages are below.