After holding six “Occupy Wall Street” related meetings, third-year transfer student and journalism major Roberto Lobianco and fourth-year international relations and Women’s Studies major Ashley Drzymala will be hosting a Community Dialogue and Discussion Panel that will address issues surrounding “Occupy Wall Street.”
“I am concerned with all of the issues [surrounding the ‘Occupy’ movement],” said Drzymala. “It is important to recognize that everything is connected and the underlying factors are greed and inequality.”
There will be a moderated discussion where faculty and students will be able to discuss different issues.
Lobianco said that he envisions professors and students sharing a discourse where professors will “give their opinions and viewpoints from the various perspectives of their disciplines and students are able to take part in that exchange.”
He said he wants to reach out to students, faculty and residents to bring the New Paltz community together.
Drzymala and Lobianco began facilitating these meetings after finding out they’ve both been involved in “Occupy Wall Street” in New York City. From there they decided to set up weekly meetings to organize the format of the Community Dialogue and Discussion Panel and find more students involved.
Drzymala was down at “Occupy Wall Street” for the first few weeks.
“I think the ‘Occupy’ movement is accomplishing its goals every day by creating an alternative space that encompasses and respects all individuals,” she said. “It is a community that runs on compassion and empathy and a microcosm of what the world could be.”
Since many people in New Paltz have been, or wanted to be, involved in the ‘Occupy’ movement, Lobianco thought it would be a good idea to bring the discussion to campus.
“One of the things that we hope to do is collaborate with local occupations and be able to organize our students to take part in the already ongoing protest in Poughkeepsie and Kingston.”
Some of the school organizations and departments that Drzymala and Lobianco will be collaborating with are the Student Association, Black Studies Department, Voice for Choice, Students for Sustainable Agriculture and the Anthropology Department.
The “Occupy Wall Street” protests began on Sept. 17 in New York City’s Zuccotti Park in the Wall Street/financial district. The protests have a number of areas of focus, some of which include social and economic inequality, high unemployment, greed and corruption.
The popular slogan created during the protests was “We are the 99 percent” and relates to the richest 1 percent of the population possessing all of the wealth.
Recently, the protests were disrupted by police and about 200 demonstrators were removed due to stated clean up efforts, according to a Nov. 15 CBS News article.
The event on campus will be held on Nov. 28 in the Student Union Multipurpose room at 7 p.m.