By Ashley Ngyuen, Courtesy Alachua County Labor Coalition
On Feb. 6, the UF Campus Coalition held its first in a series of teach-ins to educate members of the UF community about environmentalism, labor and race relations. Over 50 members of the community attended the Teach-In, including speaker Dr. Wendell Porter and speakers from Divest UF, Graduate Assistants United, and UF Students.
Presenters spoke about the necessity for UF to buy its energy from local source GRU, the inadequate funding for mental health resources provided by the university’s administration, and the demands for UF to divest its endowment from the fossil fuel industry, as well as the prison labor industry. The audience was able to ask presenters questions about how to go about organizing for each issue, sparking discussion that connected organizing groups.
The UF Campus Coalition, initiated by ACLC and formed during UF’s fall 2018 semester, composed of core members of an array of progressive organizing groups in Alachua County.
Leaders of the Coalition include members from the Alachua County Labor Coalition, Graduate Assistants United, and United Faculty of Florida at UF. Its goal is to form a formalized channel of mutual support for students, faculty, and other members of the UF community who feel unjustly alienated by administration.
The Campus Coalition hopes to serve as a springboard for collaboration between groups who organize to improve the quality of the UF experience.
The next Campus Coalition Teach-In will be on March 13, focusing on labor, featuring the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Graduate Assistants United and Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee with continuing discussion about OPS workers at UF.