Students discuss nationwide protests

Olivia Medovich
Staff writer

Austin Ramsey/The News

Murray Students for Progress held a teach-in session in the Ohio Room of the Curris Center Tuesday night to discuss possible Occupy Murray protests.

The idea for Occupy Murray mimics Occupy Wall Street, a series of protests being held in New York’s Wall Street financial district, which began Sept. 17 to protest U.S. economic inequality.

Protests around the U.S. have been initiated because of Occupy Wall Street and now people at the University could have a chance to bring a national event to campus.

Students, faculty and other individuals attended the teach-in and had an open-ended discussion on the changes they would like to see made at the University.

Some of the issues discussed included the Student Government Association’s misrepresentation of the student body, students not having a voice when it comes to the decisions made by the Board of Regents, misallocation of money being spent and corporatizing on campus.

Attendees proposed different ways of demonstrating the possible protests such as marches through campus and networking through Facebook.

Berry Craig, secretary for West Kentucky Area Council, said the council would support an Occupy Murray.

“We really appreciate what you are all doing,” Craig said. “It’s wonderful to see you kids get out there ready to raise hell.”

Jonathon Rowland, senior from Jonesboro Ill., said it is nice to see students getting together and wanting to make a change.

“It makes me feel really good,” Rowland said. “Murray State has got to be one of the most passive campuses I’ve been on. I’ve never seen a protest on this campus.”

There is a just cause for an Occupy Murray, he said, and he is willing to help in any way he is able.

“I’m willing to organize in any way I can and support in any way,” he said. “I’d be willing to walk out of class and go and protest.”

Rowland said private corporations should not be able to dictate the curriculum being taught.

“When a professor was talking about BB&T bank giving a grant to the business building and having them teach part of their curriculum specified by BB&T that is sickening to me,” he said.

Rowland said there needs to be changes to the accessibility of SGA for students.

“Some of the changes I would like to see made with SGA is the way the election system is set up,” Rowland said. “It’s not at all friendly to the student body.”

He said students need to have more availability when voting by creating a system in which students could vote at various locations around campus.

“Basically having a system where you have election ballots all over college, in the residential colleges and you could vote right there,” he said.

Rowland said there are not enough students voting in the SGA elections.

“When you have a student body of around 1,100 students who voted with a population of around 11,000 students that’s just horrible,” he said. “The full student body is not at all fully represented by SGA.”

Katie Riggin, junior from Paducah, Ky., said students have a right to express their feelings by protesting on campus.

“It’s a person’s own right to express what they think,” Riggin said. “It’s not against the law.”

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