Editor’s note: UMass works because they do

By Robert Rigo

(Caroline O’Connor/Daily Collegian)

Activism comes in many forms; whether it is through art, writing, spoken word, fashion, protest or simply just fearlessly living life unapologetically and authentically, activism shapes who we are and defines what issues we hold central to our morality.

In many ways journalism serves as a form of activism. Exposing the wrong-doing of the powerful, giving a voice to the voiceless, serving endlessly as a medium to comprehensively convey the truth and divulging crucial information to the people in a timely or urgent manner are some ways journalists can be activists.

Explicitly, on the University of Massachusetts campus, student activism has had the power to bring together students of all races, genders, sexual orientations, religions and political affiliations to advocate and fight toward a common goal.

Whether students were rallying in support of former UMass men’s basketball player Derrick Gordon coming out as gay or the UMass Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign successfully pressuring administration to divest from fossil fuel companies, it is clear that the implications of student activism has the unquestionable power to enact real, meaningful change. By doing so it has created a student body with a keen social awareness and unequivocal love, support and empathy for each other, the community and the world.

It is for these reasons that The Massachusetts Daily Collegian has chosen to dedicate this entire week of content to highlighting the organizations and students who participate, organize, advocate and create lasting change at UMass.

This week’s editions will highlight just some of the dozens of dedicated students and student groups whose activism in one way or another has impacted the UMass community and includes Q and A’s with student leaders and profiles on groups ranging from the Beekeeping Club to Student Bridges to the founder of iRollie.

We hope that this special issue will provide readers with a glimpse of all the grit, passion, hard work and organizing that goes into the actions taking place around them and in the community. We hope that our readers in one way or another also take a moment to stop, analyze and revel in what issues they are passionate about and discover ways they can enact change within themselves and the community.

Robert Rigo is the Collegian Editor in Chief and can reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Rob_Rigo.