The Campus Y is returning to its social activism roots through its campaign against tuition increases.
In years past, the Campus Y focused on issues such as racially integrating the University, protesting the Vietnam War and organizing against apartheid in South Africa, said Lucy Lewis, assistant director of the Campus Y.
But in recent years, the Campus Y has become more of an umbrella organization with 32 committees working on individual projects, she said.
Lewis said members have been involved with social justice for decades, but in different ways.
“This is going back to mobilizing around issues,” she said.
Last week, the organization’s cabinet voted to make the topic of tuition a “Y Campaign,” meaning the general body will get behind the issue, said Joseph Terrell, director of internal relations.
The Campus Y plans to show a student presence in the tuition discussion by recruiting 150 students to attend the UNC-system Board of Governors meeting Feb. 10.
The Campus Y, Students for a Democratic Society and student government are all working to fight the tuition increases.
“Each organization has their niche, and the Campus Y has a large membership and is easily capable of organizing a lot of students very quickly,” said Sean Langberg, a member of Students for a Democratic Society and also on the cabinet of the Campus Y.
Langberg said members of SDS are glad that the Campus Y is officially “on board.”
“I think the two will complement each other really well,” Langberg added.
Mary Cooper, student body president, said student government is also collaborating with the Campus Y on tuition.
“Student government and the Campus Y are trying to act as catalysts in student involvement,” Cooper said.
“It’s not just about those two groups. It’s about the whole campus becoming engaged and knowledgeable.”
The Campus Y has created a task force to plan events leading up to the Board of Governors meeting with a focus on awareness.
“We’re really concerned with education, especially of Y members and first-year students,” said Laura McCready, a member of the Campus Y cabinet.
“We don’t expect people to act on this issue unless they know it well and understand where it came from.”
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