New RSO advocates for student rights

In the next few months, pornography will be making its way back onto campus.

A new advocacy group is planning on playing a pornographic film on campus in April to protest the university’s adult-content web filter.

The Student Rights Alliance, founded by sociology senior Daniel Chapman, is focusing on advocating for changes at SVSU that will benefit students.

“We’re going to try and pressure the administration in every way we can,” Chapman said.

The group plans to advocate for students’ rights by creating petitions in key policy areas, writing open letters signed by the group, meeting with administration to build relationships and working on programming with other organizations.

“My goal is to make positive change for the university, to address student concerns and to raise students’ awareness of their rights,” Chapman said.

In a recruiting email sent to the student body, Chapman wrote that the group’s plans are to be independent, but effective: “We are hoping to bring a grassroots activism and advocacy strategy to the administration so that we as students can achieve the changes we are seeking.”

Other than the web filter, other possible issues the group will focus on include gender/sexual identity within the university’s anti-discrimination policy and how difficult it is for international students to get a spot on a varsity or club sports team.

Another possible concern is the inability of students to specify a preferred name with the university. This affects international and transgender students, along with those who may use a different name for religious purposes.

“We’re looking for issues that affect a lot of students, and affect them in a way that they know they’re affected,” Chapman said.

Chapman serves as parliamentarian for SVSU’s Student Association, which does focus on student concerns. He said he sees the two groups working in tandem, but in different ways.

“Student Association never advocates against student interests. They either are silent or they step up,” Chapman said. “Our goal is to be another voice for students.”

Chapman said he felt there needed to be another place that focuses on university issues beyond the Presidential Open Forum or Student Association.

He is hopeful that the group will be able to make a difference.

“We hope to make policy changes that won’t hurt the university, but will help,” he said.

The Student Rights Alliance meets every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. near the fireplace in Einstein Bros. Bagels. All are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Daniel Chapman at [email protected]..

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