by Jenna Ring
This past weekend Green Mountain College students received the wonderful gift of fall break! Though I did not go home for fall break I traveled to Amherst, MA to visit some friends. As much as I love spending time in Poultney, especially in the fall, it’s nice to take a break from it occasionally. Though Amherst is somewhat similar to Poultney in the sense that it’s rural it’s a much larger college community. My friend I was staying with is a junior at UMass Amherst. I found it super cool to be placed inside a college community that is vastly different from the one I am so used to.
UMass is often held up by it’s reputation of being a high functioning state school with a large party culture. However it’s much more than that. UMass is the complete opposite of GMC hosting around 30,000 students. The options are endless, there is a plethora of subcultures. Two I was able to indulge in this weekend were the Women’s Rugby Team and The UMass activism community. Something big in the activism community right now on their campus is Divest UMass. Divest UMass is a campaign trying to get UMass trying to get UMass to divest from the top two hundred publicly funded fossil fuel companies. And put their money into sustainable companies. They take action by doing work with the community and administration campus.
Other social justice clubs that exist on campus are the Coalition to End Rape Culture, Student Labor Action Project and, Students for justice in Palestine. These aren’t the only awesome clubs on campus though. Which brings me to the Women’s Rugby Team. The team is a division one team. Practicing five to six days a week and having one to two games every weekend. It is a massive dedication of time. This weekend I saw my first ever rugby game. It was hands down one of the coolest things I’ve seen in awhile.
I drew a connection between both the activism community on campus and the women’s rugby community at UMass. They’re both extremely empowering in their own ways. Divest UMass and other social justice groups on campus rock because students are able to gather people together and create a community of and for change. Then there’s the women’s rugby team – empowering in the sense that these women are defying sexism, along with kicking butt and crushing the patriarchy at the same time.
Though I’ve gotten to exchange sometime with another college community in these past few days, I do of course miss my own. However I am excited to bring back the knowledge I’ve gained during my stay at UMass. Bringing new ideas and information the activism community and along the general GMC community.
Welcome back everyone!