Three campus advocacy groups will hold a Kickstart Rally on August 26 to reaffirm and gain more support for their movements. The rally will consist of Sunrise Bloomington, Students for a New Green World and Indiana Graduate Workers Coalition-United Electrical Workers. It will be at the Showalter Fountain and will start at 3 p.m.
All students, staff and faculty will have an opportunity to learn and get involved with the movements which include Sunrise Bloomington’s divestment from fossil fuels to renewable energy, SNG’s push for carbon neutrality and IGWC-UE's push for graduate worker labor rights.
In March of 2022, SNGW and Sunrise Bloomington organized a protest with IUSG demanding a climate action plan. Students of climate groups met with President Whitten and passed an IUSG resolution, though many were still disappointed with IU’s lack of creating a plan.
In April of 2022, IGWC-UE formed its first picket lines as they sought seeking higher pay, benefits and better representation in IU administrative decisions involving graduate workers. Fast forward to August 2022, graduate workers are continuing to fight for union recognition even with IU increasing graduate worker stipends and waiving mandatory fees.
SNGW’s, Sunrise Bloomington’s, and IGWC-UE's values and action plans will be on display at the rally.
“It’s a chance for us to restate our goals, restate our values and restate our demands for the university,” George Schafer, co-leader of Sunrise Bloomington, said.
Schafer said with the high turnover of students, it’s easy for movements and organizations to dissipate which makes it difficult to hold administrations accountable. The rally serves as a way to recruit more students to ensure these movements and organizations stay in place said Schafer.
President of SNGW Sidd Das said the rally will be a good gauge of what the student body feels about their demands.
Those in attendance can expect speeches and chants around divestment, carbon neutrality, labor rights for graduate workers and the need for a climate action plan. There will be a possibility of marching up to the IMU or the administration building to give speeches there according to Das.
“This will be a good way to get involved in any of these three organizations or all of them,” Das said.
Chelsea Brinda, a member of IGWC-UE, said in an email she is looking forward to standing in solidarity with her colleagues to advocate for positive change on campus.
“After the rally, I’d like to see IU come to the table and acknowledge the issues that student groups have been advocating for and a commitment to shared governance,” Brinda said in the email.