Make a difference, for your own reasons – By Leanne Kopec

Many of the students here, including myself, have expressed solidarity with the Occupy Movement. The protests have come up a hand full of times in a number of my classes, especially a Political Psychology class that I am taking this semester.  I think that this movement is very important for our generation, it has many facets and people join in for their own reasons, but generally to change the current system.  A few weeks ago a group of GMC students organized a collection of donations for the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City.  The students planned on collecting money and goods such as food and clothes and bringing them down to the protests themselves.  They also planned on interviewing protesters, bystanders, and police officers, taking pictures, and creating a sort of documentation of the events to bring back to campus as a class project.  The student government on campus was able to help these students with some financial assistance to get down the New York.  The group of students were very successful in all of these goals and reported back having a great experience representing Green Mountain at the protests. I applaud the contributions by all those who donated and especially to the students who traveled to New York. 

After talking about these protests almost every day, in class, with my friends or my parents, hearing about it and constantly reading about it in the news, I decided that there is no way that I can miss it.  Like I said, I think that this is a major movement for our generation and I don’t want to have to admit later in life that I missed out.  During all of the traveling I did over Thanksgiving break, I knew I could fit in some time to check out the movement in at least one of the cities I visited.  When I was in Washington D.C. it was easy to find the protest camps (I think there was even more than one).  So we stopped by.  Nothing was really going on; it was rainy, it was a Monday, but these protesters were standing strong.  Those participating were more than willing to talk to anyone who was interested.  We spoke to a few dedicated protests and spent some time helping them pick up trash around the encampment because a health inspector was expected to pay a visit within the next few days.  I have a lot of respect for those that are so committed to the movement.  I was quite nervous the whole time because of the ever so present police officers around the park.  And although I didn’t do much, I am very glad to have witnessed the movement first hand.

Everyone is involved with this movement for their own reasons and as a young adult I think that it is very important to express yourself and try to make the world a place that you want to live in.  What is a change that you want to make?

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