Campus Organizer: Marissa Zampino, [email protected]
Office Location: Bartlett 317A
Olivia Price // Chapter Chair
Why I joined: I have always wanted to make a difference in this world and speak out about injustices that I saw were going on. I didn’t want to be just another passive activist who only spoke out on social media, but never actually did anything. MASSPIRG was a way for me to actively make a difference and fight for the things I believe in.
One thing I love about MASSPIRG: Working with other amazing students who are so incredibly passionate about the work we’re doing and really making a difference in this world.
Brendan Geraghty // Vice Chair/Statewide Board Chair
Why I joined: I wanted to get involved in the voting process.
One thing I love about MASSPIRG: The fellow students who are passionate about making a difference.
Jarrett Taylor // Treasurer
Why I joined: I joined because I decided that it was time for me to actually engage myself and try and make an actual difference. I wanted to join something that made a genuine impact in something I actually cared about and MASSPIRG has been that place.
One thing I love about MASSPIRG: Getting to work with all these fantastic students who are invested in activism.
Caitlyn Egan // Secretary
Why I joined: For the amazing people and the important issues we work on!
One thing I love about MASSPIRG: Making a difference on our campus and in the world
About Our Chapter:
The UMass Amherst MASSPIRG Chapter began in 1972. We are one of the oldest PIRG chapters in the country. For over 45 years, we’ve been organizing students on our campus to play an active role in making our society a better place by running local, statewide, and national campaigns on issues that affect us as students and citizens.
Recently, we’ve been working get our campus to be a leader in fighting climate change by committing to get 100 percent of our energy from clean, safe, renewable sources. You may also know us from our New Voters Project, our non-partisan youth voter mobilization effort to help first-time voters have the tools they need to get registered and turn out to vote. In the 2018 elections, we helped register over 1200 students to vote and saw a 75% increase at the student-heavy polling locations near campus since the 2014 midterm elections. We are also running a campaign to make textbooks more affordable by promoting open education resources, save the bees by making UMass a bee-friendly campus, and alleviate poverty locally and across the state.
We are able to do all this because students here at UMass have voted for the past 46 years to have a MASSPIRG chapter, funded through an $11 waive-able fee that appears on the tuition bill. This money, pooled together with students from all across the state, allows us to have a much bigger impact on these issues at the state and national level, by hiring advocates, lawyers, organizers, and experts to help us run effective campaigns and have a much stronger voice where decisions are made.
New Voters Project: Young people are the largest and most diverse generation of eligible voters alive right now, with our own range of values, ideas, and issues that are unique to us. We have the potential to make a huge impact on elections, but only if we vote! That’s why we’re working to make sure every eligible student at UMass Amherst has the resources needed to register to vote, make a plan to vote, and cast their ballot on or before Election Day. For more information, check out the #UMassVotes Campaign websites.
100 % Renewable Energy: We all know that burning oil, gas, and coal has polluted our air, water, and land for decades – and now it’s changing the climate even faster than scientists feared it would. We must transform the way we produce and consume energy. We’re working to get UMass Amherst to commit to 100% clean, renewable energy. A 100 percent clean energy future means shifting from dirty energy to completely clean energy sources wherever and however we can. Renewable energy is abundant, cost efficient and growing rapidly.
Save the Bees: We’re working with Bee farmers, administrators, and students to try and convince UMass Amherst to become a certified “Bee-Friendly” campus in the State of Massachusetts. We simply just can’t survive without Bees, and we need to do our best to help them thrive for generations to come!
Make Textbooks Affordable: Open & Affordable Textbooks: college is expensive, and the skyrocketing costs of textbooks aren’t helping. We’re working for more affordable educational materials by educating professors on OER books and mobilizing against the rise of expensive access codes and other new initiatives running up costs for students.