Kaitlyn Griffith

Kaitlyn Griffith

I'm a third year Journalism studies and English major at the University of Denver. Born in Omaha, NE, I moved to Colorado in 2010 to attend DU. I occasionally contribute to our school's student newspaper The Clarion and I used to be the managing editor of a now-defunct satirical publication called The Spit Valve. I have a passion for media activism and a fondness for Israeli literature. Ultimately, I'd like to work for NPR as a foreign correspondent operating out of the Middle East.

DU students protest Wells Fargo

The photos I used in my slideshow come from the protest of the Wells Fargo board meeting held this month in Salt Lake City. A group on campus called the Colorado Student Power Alliance teamed up with other activist groups across the country to meet in Utah to make sure that John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo, and the shareholders of the company heard their objections and their personal testimonies.

With these photos, I wanted to show the protesters in action, the response of the hotel’s security as well as the Salt Lake City police, and the narrative that was purposefully kept out of the meeting that day. I hoped to show the enthusiasm of the people who participated in the action as well as the sense of immediacy and desperation that they brought to the protest. It was clear through my interaction with the protesters that many were losing their homes or drowning in student debt. I wanted to share their voices because no one else there was listening.

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Students for Justice in Palestine and the Native Student Alliance hold vigil

This slideshow is a documentation of the vigil held last week on Driscoll bridge by Students for Justice in Palestine and the Native Student Alliance for the Palestinian villages and Native American tribes destroyed by occupying forces. Through this slideshow, I sought to tell the story of student activists on DU’s campus that are active and visible currently. Student activism is frequently something discussed in past tense as a hallmark of student activity decades ago, but though this presentation, I hope to show that student activism is an integral part of daily life for many DU students.

The vigil was held in conjunction with Holocaust and Genocide Awareness week, a larger event that included other examples of student activism. Hopefully, through this presentation, student activism will be seen as a vibrant and engaging component of the college experience and a way in which students can get involved to make changes to the college status quo.

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Activists on campus tackle student debt

By Kaitlyn Griffith

On Thursday, a group of students from the Denver area met at the Sturm College of Law to discuss student autonomy in Colorado and the state of student loans nationwide.

The University of Denver, Regis University and the Iliff School of Theology were represented.

The red square was first seen in the Quebec student movement.  It originates from the students' demand that their government drop its plans to hike up tuition by 75%, a change which would have put students “squarely in the red” (i.e., in debt). Students in COSPA wear the squares to show solidarity with the Quebec student movement.

The red square was first seen in the Quebec student movement. It originates from the students’ demand that their government drop its plans to hike up tuition by 75%, a change which would have put students “squarely in the red” (i.e., in debt). Students in COSPA wear the squares to show solidarity with the Quebec student movement.

 

The students were members of the Colorado Student Power Alliance (COSPA), a group that seeks to eliminate student debt, democratize schools, reform curriculum and ensure open access to higher education for everyone who needs it.

 

“Students are financially constrained for something they should be allowed to do,” one student said.

To members of COSPA , education isn’t a privilege for the few, but a right of all.

Many issues discussed at the meeting hit close to home for many of the students present. Many fear what might happen if federal and state policy on student loans isn’t drastically altered.

“I don’t want to be my dad,” Elizabeth Borneman, a recent DU graduate, said. “He’s 50 and working in a job he hates.”

Students active in COSPA are aware of the potential pitfalls of trying to reform student loans. They understand that it will be an uphill battle, but many are determined to see this struggle through until the end.

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