The Extras: Speaking Out

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With 400 plus student groups and tons of events daily, how does a Brown student navigate life outside of the lecture hall? I’m Lily Hartmann, and I am the freshmen behind “The Extras”; the blog that aims to give you a glimpse into the most exciting and noteworthy activities on campus. Throughout the year this blog will give you snapshots of what Brunonians do when they aren’t hitting the books on College Hill!

No matter what the cause is, Brown students are not afraid to stand up and have their voices be heard. Protests both on campus and throughout Providence include Brown undergrads who want to speak out about pertinent issues. Whether it is a protest about divesting from coal, supporting workers’ rights at a downtown hotel, or stop and frisk, taking on important issues relating to social justice drives the work of many students on campus. Most recently, a group of students from Turkey and other allies gathered on the Faunce steps to stage a silent protest against what they called the Turkish government’s authoritarianism and oppression of basic human rights. Simultaneously, in our own city, the Student Labor Alliance is working to get the Brown community to support the Renaissance Hotel boycott, and asking the University to play a larger role in labor rights movements. The created a petition and used social media to spread awareness of the boycott throughout the 250th celebration weekend. Workers from the hotel have filed labor violations which include low wages and the use of intimidation and bribery to deter unionization efforts, and students are working to support the rights of each employee.  The Student Labor Alliance emphasizes that the University has the ability to carry a lot of weight in these issues, and that this influence needs to be recognized. Protests and movements regarding social issues are an important part of how many Brown students spend their time outside of class. If there is an issue you are passionate about when you come to Brown, harness your interest in working towards social justice and do not be afraid to speak out.

Have questions about a specific student group or event on campus? Want me to cover a specific topic in my next post? Feel free to shoot me an email at lily_hartmann@brown.edu with any of your questions and comments!

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