About 200 students gathered in the sundial and marched downtown to the Portage County Public Library on Thursday, April 2, to peacefully oppose Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed cuts to the University of Wisconsin System.
“The most important thing was that everyone was high-energy and ready to speak their voice,” said organizer Brewster Johnson. “Many people came prepared with signs, ideas and chants. I think the power of wanting change almost helped the event self-organize.”
The event was not hosted by the Student Government Association, but its members offered letter-writing and discussion opportunities throughout the day as well as an open forum in the evening.
“A lot of us have been feeling very emotional about budget cuts, but no one’s really doing anything, and I think it really bothered me that we were all talk and no action,” said organizer Cailie Kafura. “A lot of other campuses were taking action. Standing by idly is not going to do anything for these budget cuts.”
Hydrology major Katherine Miller said 19 campuses voted to participate in the day of action, and participants hoped to make their stance heard.
“We’re getting affected the most,” said Sean Piette, land use planning major. “I hope our legislators will listen to what we have to say. It’s very heartening to me that we all care about something. These cuts are just going too far and now our system is suffering greatly.”
Johnson said the event was a great foundation for future community rallies and marches, but the group wants to educate people through small group sessions, as well as university and community events.
News & Environment Editor