A sorority held a meeting to help educate students about the Occupy movement.
The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority occupied room 200B of the Student Center last night to inform students about Occupy Philadelphia and to promote active citizenry.
The crowd, on the plus side of 50, saw an informational PowerPoint with clips from a documentary and interviews with peaceful protestors at City Hall.
The event closed with two guest speakers, an organizer from the protest and Malcolm Kenyatta, a senior public communications major, poet and activist.
Kenyatta ended the night with an affirmative call for action from his peers.
Nikkita Thompson, a senior secondary education and history major, is the first vice president of the chapter and hosted the program.
“We are the ones in our 20s that will be graduating from a good institution and won’t have jobs,” Thompson said. “We held this program to tell people that this ‘99 percent’ concept is real and that even if you think it doesn’t affect you now, it does and it will.”
The information session was as very much an open debate, allowing students to express their opinions, solutions and disillusion with the current state of the country.
Markus Schlotterbeck, a Swarthmore University graduate and member of the facilitation committee at Occupy Philadelphia, came to the program as a guest speaker.
“The main issue here is that what we have now is economic inequality and that’s undemocratic. Only the people with money are the ones making the decisions,” Schlotterbeck said.
“I think in elections to come we’ll see the topics and concerns raised in this movement brought onto the congressional floor and on the campaigns and then they will have to really hear the voice of the people,” Thompson said.
Schlotterbeck said the variety of voices protesting and expressed how the diversity of the crowd and its message is, in essence, the whole point of the protest.
A criticism against the Occupy movement has been a lack of a focused, single message and Schlotterbeck shared his perspective on the issue last night.
“Two things that I keep coming back to because we are facing such a broad problem is that, one, there are a lot of things that make that wealth divide what it is. A lot of different factors play into that. Because we are dealing with such a broad problem, it takes this broad approach,” Scholtterbeck said. “And two, right now this isn’t a campaign. The Occupy Philly movement is not following that model of protest. What we are is a lot of people starting the discussion. This isn’t the movement that is going to change things right now, but this is the path to get there.”
Students have also organized a walkout and march to City Hall set to take place tomorrow at noon.
Mark Lauterbach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For continued reports about Temple student involvement with the Occupy Movement, check back with The Temple News.
Editor’s note: Delta Sigma Theta was not among the students or organizations involved in the Oct. 21 walkout.