Activism at UVM: How to get Involved

At the University of Vermont we’re very lucky to be among passionate, change-making students almost everywhere we go. Coming to UVM it can be really hard to know what clubs to join or how to get involved in local activism. College is such a great time to do meaningful work and make important changes in the BTV community as well as on a national (or even global!) scale. With the new COVID campus environment, students don’t even have the activity-fest to find groups they want to join. Looking past just our campus, the city of Burlington itself has a lot of powerful activism work going on every day. I’ve compiled a few resources and ideas to get started, but this really is just scratching the surface. 

 

On-Campus Social Justice Clubs

It was hard to narrow down this one to just a few because there are so many clubs on campus that do really amazing things. I have personal experience with the Planned Parenthood Generation Action club which is an awesome club where members work to plan events to promote sexual health on campus and educate students. Some other popular ones are Feel Good, the grilled cheese making club working to end world hunger, the Student Government Association who works to make our campus a better place for all students or UVM Greek Life where each fraternity or sorority has their own philanthropy work! You can find a whole list of UVM organizations here

 

UVM Identity Centers

Along with clubs, UVM has these incredible resources they call the identity centers. They are located around Burlington, pretty close to campus and are a great place to meet people and get involved with different things each one has going on. There is the Interfaith center, the Peace and Justice center, the Mosaic center for students of color, the Prism center for LGBTQ students, and the Women and Gender Equity center. There's really something for everyone. Each one has their own events and resources so check them out here.

 

Off-Campus Involvement

Going into the community of Burlington there is a lot of great work being done. Just earlier this school year there was a “BIPOC-led mass Movement in Burlington, VT that protested by the BTV Police Department for 30+ days” (from ig account @bpdaccountability). In that movement tons of UVM students and community members protested and rallied for the removal of three police officers. It's much harder to know how to get involved with off-campus organizations without a list of contacts provided from the school. Social media is a great place to start. I definitely recommend checking out instagram accounts @bpdaccountability @theblackperspectivevt @uvmblm and @decolonizeburlington to learn how to help and become involved with the BLM movement and issues in Vermont. 

 

Burlington is a vibrant and wonderful community but it is not without its issues. Finding ways to get involved with activism on the local scale is a great way to start making bigger changes. The easiest way to start is to find something you’re passionate about and just show up! (with a mask of course!)

 

Annie Stibora