Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Green rally to celebrate student grassroots activism

August 9, 2001

Campus Greens, a student activist political organization, will invite students from across the country to spread their roots this weekend.

About 500 students from about 90 college campuses will participate in the Campus Greens Founding Day Convention and Super Rally, celebrating student activism and participation in politics, at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Campus Greens was founded by Tom Adkins, a junior at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., and other political activist supporters. Campus Greens is a student-based organization dedicated to grassroots campaigns and progressive change.

The organization is associated with the Green Party and was founded after Ralph Nader’s 2000 presidential campaign.

Adkins said Campus Greens hopes to provide student activists with a political voice.

“Students are less ashamed of their idealism and students don’t want to spend their lifetime voting for the lesser of two evils,” he said. “Younger people are looking for another choice.”

The Super Rally is part of the convention, a four-day event featuring speakers, workshops and live music.

The rally includes performances by Ani DiFranco and Patti Smith and a speech from running mates Nader and Winona LaDuke.

Adkins said the organization has grown to include about 90 affiliates on college campuses. Delegates from campus groups will plan for campaigns and create an agenda for the growing organization.

The organization is based on the ideas of grassroots democracy, environmental wisdom, nonviolence and justice.

“It’s exciting. There is a lot of new blood and ideas,” said Juscha Vannier, a University of Michigan graduate student and the contact for Michigan’s Campus Greens groups.

Vannier said students from MSU Campus Greens are planning to participate.

Timothy McCarty, a political theory and English sophomore, will not attend the convention but said he supports the grassroots efforts.

“The nature of the Green Party is to vote with your heart and not for party affiliation,” he said.

Adkins said the organization aims to erase voter apathy.

“The way most people determine the way they vote is hereditary,” Adkins said. “Students need to form their own opinions.”

Bill Ballenger, editor and publisher of Lansing-based newsletter Inside Michigan Politics, said traditionally, some students have supported third parties but most student voters don’t turn out.

“There’s always been a criticism of young voters by older voters that younger voters are impractical and too idealistic, but usually a young voter will affiliate themselves with a cause,” Ballenger said.

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