Contact: Sabrina Schimscheimer: [email protected]
Who We Are:
MASSPIRG has had a chapter on MCLA’s campus for more than 3 decades and has been organizing on environmental and social issues since its inception. Because the campus is so small and the student body so interconnected, we enjoy running campaigns with other student groups on the issues most important to them. We are most known on campus for our environmental work and for voter registration.
MASSPIRG is a statewide, student-directed and student-funded nonprofit advocacy group with a 40-year track record of standing up to powerful special interests and winning concrete social change reforms on issues such as the environment, the cost of higher education, and public health. Recently, we helped convince Subway to serve meat raised without antibiotics and helped pass policy to invest $700 million in public transportation here in Massachusetts. And over the past 4 years, we helped to register over 20,000 students to vote! With volunteer and internship opportunities, MASSPIRG gives students the skills and opportunity to practice effective citizenship.
The thing that makes us so effective is that students here at MCLA have voted to fund MASSPIRG through a $9 per student, per semester waivable fee. We pool these resources statewide to hire professional staff like organizers, lawyers, and advocates who fight on behalf of the students full-time where key decisions are being made at the State House and in Washington DC.
|Learn more about the MASSPIRG fee at MCLA here!
Fighting Hunger On Campus: Last semester, more than 1,000 students took action on our campaign to pass Hunger-Free Campus legislation and help end student hunger. We held a statewide lobby day with our friends at the Hunger Free Campus Coalition to support the bill and turned out over 60 students and community activists. In just one day, we met with over 30 legislative offices and got FIVE legislators to co-sponsor the Hunger Free Campus bill. And we celebrated a victory when Governor Healey signed the annual budget which included $1 million for the initiative!
Making Textbooks Affordable: We recently released our 21st report on textbook affordability, titled “Open Textbooks: The Billion Dollar Solution” to call for more free open textbooks in classrooms. We worked with State Representative Mindy Domb to introduce a bill to fund OER resources in the state. And during Open Education Week, we held an online panel discussion on successful OER strategies with the MA Department of Education, Representative Domb, the UMass Amherst library, and our partners at SPARC.