SMAC’ing against the Wall
author: kristian ferguson | news editor
Students organize in protest of post-secondary cuts
The Carillon had the opportunity to talk with a new student movement that has just recently been organized in opposition to the post-secondary cuts that were introduced in the most recent provincial budget. We sat down with Kelsey Morrison, one of the organizers of Students Mobilizing Against Cuts [SMAC], to talk about the future of the organization as well as a planned protest happening on March 30.
What is SMAC?
SMAC is Students Mobilizing Against Cuts, so we are a group of students and community allies who are going to be putting pressure on the government regarding the cuts that are going to be made. Predominantly, how the cuts affect us as students, but for the general public as well.
What inspired you to organize SMAC?
Fartun Mohammed and all of us were outraged and we got on Facebook and started talking a little bit. On Thursday, we met and we just created this campaign. So this is day five and it is going really well. We have lots of followers on Facebook, and people that say they are going to be at our event this Thursday.
What are you hoping to gain from your demonstration on March 30?
Right now, our main purpose is to raise awareness at how these cuts affect students and faculty and community members, but we do have a list of demands that we will be releasing that day. We have 13 demands as of right now. We are working on refining them and this is going to be sent out to the government. We want to make it very clear that we are not going to stay silent. Students cannot be silenced. We need to speak up. The march begins at noon on Thursday at Victoria Park, we will be taking Albert St. to march all the way to the [Legislative building], and we will be using the street. We will be arriving at the Legislative building at 12:50 p.m. where we will have four speakers. We will have some hot chocolate and some snacks for everybody provided by The Owl. We are really hoping that we get a really good turn out.
Besides students, do you have any other community members attending?
The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour has said they will be there, some members of the NDP, we have a few unions, URFA [University of Regina Faculty Association], and we are hoping that anyone else from any walk of life will show up, too.
Is there anything else we should know about SMAC?
We really want to outline that these cuts greatly impact all Saskatchewan residents, as they drastically reduce funding to services necessary to our province’s sustainable growth and high quality of life for all who call Saskatchewan home. In order to see the changes we wish to see in government, SMAC has a platform to pressure the government in order to make changes to the budget. We really want students to become more politically and socially engaged in order to make this happen. We need numbers.
For more information, SMAC asks that you check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/smacsask/?fref=nf