Indiana Daily Student

IU on Strike looks ahead

An IU on Strike protester pumps his fist in the air outside of Franklin Hall to show solidarity with the movement. Protesters marched throughout campus on their way to the Board of Trustees meeting at Franklin Hall.
An IU on Strike protester pumps his fist in the air outside of Franklin Hall to show solidarity with the movement. Protesters marched throughout campus on their way to the Board of Trustees meeting at Franklin Hall.

The strikers have left the building, but evidence of last week’s demonstration remains in Woodburn Hall.

A strike schedule is taped to a bulletin board in the first floor lobby. A red bandanna has been discarded below a tree from which a banner reading “We found debt in a hopeless place” hung Friday. The anarchy symbol and messages, such as “a strike never ends” and “strikes never die,” are marked in chalk on the steps outside the south entrance.

This sentiment that ‘it’s not over yet’ seems to be shared by many of the participants in Thursday and Friday’s demonstrations.

“We put out the list of demands, but no one realistically thought two days of action would get the demands met,” said IU student Aidan Crane, who is also a columnist for the Indiana Daily Student. “It’s about increasing the culture of resistance on this campus.”

Faculty members such as Professor Bill Johnston demonstrated alongside students. Johnston participated in the protest marches and distributed information about strike activities to faculty and students in the Department of Comparative Literature.

“I see this as a beginning of a much broader activism,” he said. “I would like to see the events of this week be a spur for the faculty to speak up more loudly and in a more organized way than before.”

IU students, faculty and employees made up the majority of the demonstrators, but several protesters such as Randall Jamrok, who live in other cities, visited Bloomington to support the IU on Strike movement.

Jamrok, a union member from Indiana, said he would like to see the movement expand across campus and eventually statewide. Jamrok is a member of the Industrial Workers of the World union, which sent 20 members to Bloomington to participate in the demonstration.

“It’s a good first step in a long-term campaign,” he said.

Although the protest was not discussed at the Board of Trustees meeting, Mark Land, associate vice president of University Communications, said the administration does share the demonstrators’ concerns.

“The most common issues that they’ve raised, affordability and student debt ... those are things that are important to all of us here,” Land said. “We’re working very hard to make IU more affordable, to decrease student debt, to increase diversity.”

Johnston said he was impressed by the turnout for the demonstration.

“I very much hope that the momentum that this movement has started will continue,” Johnston said.

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