TAMU Students for a Democratic Society

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TAMU Students for a Democratic Society is a chapter of New Students for a Democratic Society at Texas A&M University, College Station.

SDS convention

On the weekend of Oct. 16-17, almost 170 students convened at the University of Minnesota for the 15th National Convention of National New Students for a Democratic Society. It was the first time SDS organizers had gathered together physically since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attendees also heard from SDS leaders about the effects of the economic crisis, the mass layoffs and unemployment. They talked of student demonstrations that stopped budget cuts, new campaigns for living wages for campus workers. They spoke of the big picture importance of solidarity between workers and students and applauded strikes such as the ongoing United Auto Workers’ strike at John Deere, and the successful Nabisco strike.

Ellis Howard from TAMU Students for a Democratic Society said, “The national SDS convention really gave us a lot of ideas for organizing in our community. For example, we are looking to talk more about Community Police Accountability Councils (CPAC) as we carry out our campaign for racial and ethnic justice on campus. We would have never had the opportunity to learn about it with such nuance without our attendance at the convention.”[1]

SDS

On September 16 2021 , TAMU Students for a Democratic Society at Texas A&M University held a protest against the continued presence of a Confederate statue on their campus, racial profiling in the surrounding community, and how TAMU continually fails to meet the needs of Black students on campus.

Roughly 60 students, faculty and community members demonstrated in front of the Lawrence Sullivan Ross statue, calling for it to be taken down. Protesters chanted, “Hey, ho, ho, Sully Ross has got to go!”

Amorae' Shamberger, from the organization Round Table Talks, spoke about her experiences as an African American Aggie, and how the university does not provide an inclusive atmosphere for oppressed nationality students

SDS organizer Mia Ogolo spoke on the atrocities committed by Lawrence Sullivan Ross, detailing the heinous actions performed by him from his time as a Texan Ranger to his time in the Confederacy as a general.

Dr. Michael Alvard, SDS advisor and professor of anthropology at A&M, echoed student sentiments and emphasized the power students have to achieve change.

Ogolo presented the SDS’s list of demands, principal of which was the relocation of the statue to the university library’s archives. They also called for a shift to community control of police, and a decrease in funding to police departments, with a reallocation of these funds to social programs, education and infrastructure.[2]

References