UNF SDS Wins Big Victories!
October 4th, 2019
UNF SDS met with UNF President Syzmanksi to receive an update on our Fall 2018 demands which included: increased scholarships for black and brown students, increased resources for black and brown students, increased black and brown enrollment, an increase in student services and a living wage for employees among many others. We also discussed the need to hire and retain black counseling staff, combat bigotry by the “radical” on campus preachers, and how the university can prepare for the upcoming Title VII Supreme Court case.
We are pleased to announce that the university has implemented the following as of Fall 2019:
1.) 37% increase in pell recipient enrollment
2.) $3.5 million increase in scholarships
3.) Reduced Student Fees and Reduced Textbook Fees
4.) They’ve expanded and made Lend-A-Wing more accesible to students
5.) They’ve given more $ to the Counseling Center
6.) They plan to decrease the average cost per student by $7,000
7.) They’ve reallocated millions to student services
8.) Hourly employees received a raise and a bonus
9.) The university has implemented two mentorship programs for students. One specifically for African American students and one specifically for women.
10.) Fall 2019 enrollment was the most diverse enrollment class of all time
We are excited to continue to push the university to make positive changes and to put students first.
Dare to struggle, dare to win!
September 23rd, 2019
Another Successful National Convention!
Another successful national convention! It went amazingly! We made calls to action around the climate crisis, saying no to US wars on Venezuela and Iran, and reaffirmed our commitment to fighting against racism both on campus and in our communities! Thank you to all our speakers, attendees, and the many students and youth committing to another year of building the student movement!
Dare to struggle, dare to win!
September 17th, 2019
4 days to go!
Jack Nimz will be speaking on our panel, Fighting Against Racism, Militarism, and Police Terror on Campus.
Jack Nimz is an activist with SDS at the University of Minnesota. Jack has been a key organizer in the campaign to disarm the University of Minnesota police department and to increase enrollment to students of color.
September 15th, 2019
6 days to go!
Josh will be speaking on our panel, Resistance in the Era of Trump: From the Front Lines of Struggle.
Josh Memmott is from Utah and organizes with SDS at the University of Utah. Josh only recently started organizing, but has been interested in leftist politics since high school. He will be speaking about the impacts of the changes made to Title 9 by Betsy Devos, and how that impacted trans folks. Josh helped to organize a rally with SDS against trans erasure last fall.
USF students demand no immigration authorities on campus
September 14th, 2019
Tampa, Fl - On September 10, students at the University of South Florida (USF) participated in a national day of action that was called by National Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) to speak out against the Trump administration’s attacks on undocumented immigrants. The event was hosted by Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Over 30 students and staff attended.
During President Donald Trump’s tenure, his administration has engaged in escalating attacks against undocumented immigrants. Some of these attacks include Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detaining undocumented children in horrid camp conditions indefinitely, and building urban warfare training facilities meant to replicate the conditions of the U.S. Southwest.
Many of these occurrences were addressed in speeches given by SDS members. They also addressed how these attacks on immigrants can be seen on campus and how to fight back against them through their “Immigrants are Here to Stay” campaign.
“We want USF administration to agree to be non-compliant with agencies, such as Customs and Border Protection and ICE, that seek to detain and deport undocumented immigrants. We encourage students to unite with us to protect our fellow immigrant students,” said SDS member, Ilena Scapicchio.
Although a small group of students that support these racist attacks on immigrants tried to halt and distract others from the event, SDS members and attendees chanted, “No Trump, no wall, legalization for all,” against them. The Trump supporters were ultimately silenced.
“We plan on holding more campaign events which will pressure USF administration, and the new university president, Steven Currall, to make policy change in order to make campus safe for undocumented people,” said Scapicchio.
***Endnote: This article is recirculated from the news coverage USF SDS received at fightbacknews.org.
September 10th, 2019
9 days to go!
Monica Martinez will be speaking on our panel Resistance in the Era of Trump: From the Front Lines of Struggle.
Monica is a student activist with Students for a Democratic Society at the University of North Florida. Alongside SDS, she has fought for demands of making UNF a sanctuary school and non-compliance with ICE for undocumented students. Monica organized a Solidarity Circle for survivors during Kavanaugh’s nomination as a fight back to misogyny and men in power. Monica will be speaking on fighting Trump’s xenophobia and his abuse of power.
Kenosha SDS wins demand for gender neutral bathrooms on campus
September 10th, 2019
Just in time for the new semester, Students for a Democratic Society at UW Parkside came out victorious in their gender neutral bathrooms campaign from the previous semester. Four bathrooms were converted on campus to support the trans and gender non-conforming community, a demand which some students have been proposing for several years.
The first step of concrete action began last October, during SDS’s protest of Brett Kavanaugh’s inauguration and a call for transgender rights. Members of SDS, with Rainbow Alliance, an LGBTQ+ organization on campus, marched to the administrative offices to put real pressure on administrators, who had been avoiding the bathroom proposal.
SDS put the fight for gender neutral bathrooms at the forefront and it became their campaign for the spring of 2019. After tabling events, petitions, and with a constant back and forth with the administration, they finally agreed to order new signs for the bathrooms. However, the school delayed the process.
What should have taken a few weeks became several months. The signs were finally put up on August 21, after SDS threatened action against the administration for not following through on its promises.
This semester, SDS activists at Parkside are working towards getting a food pantry on campus to address the growing food insecurity of students, many of whom are from poor and working-class backgrounds.
***Endnote: This article is recirculated from the news coverage Kenosha SDS received at fightbacknews.org.
SDS Says, "CIA Off Campus!"
September 4th, 2019
On the afternoon of August 28, members of Students for a Democratic Society and AnakBayan Chicago, at the University of Illinois at Chicago, passed out flyers on the quad to oppose the partnership that the university has with the CIA. SDS members held a banner reading “CIA off campus,” the slogan that has been used in past decades by student activists around the country in similar campaigns. Protesters held signs each detailing a different CIA operation and the number of deaths it caused.
UIC is the fourth university to enter into this partnership [as a CIA Signature School], coming after the City University of New York Baruch Campus, the University of New Mexico, and Florida International University. All these universities were targeted because of their large populations of students of color and international students. Student and faculty activists at CUNY Baruch College forced their university to release the memorandum of understanding with the CIA in 2018, which includes the statement that one of the purposes of the partnership is to “push a diversity and inclusion brand.”
“Partnerships like this normalize imperialism, and that’s something we have to stand against whenever it shows up,” said one SDS member.
***Endnote: This article is recirculated from the news coverage UIC SDS received at fightbacknews.org.
Ring in the Fall Semester With Student Organizing!
August 30th, 2019
School has started all over the country, and our chapters and campaigns remain strong. In Salt Lake City and at the University of North Florida, students have hosted banner drops and begun flyering to get out word about campaigns to increase resources for students with disabilities and for mental health facilities.