Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson Students’ Union plans for better outreach to students and new mutual aid efforts


Emerson College Students’ Union (ECSU) Feb. 28 general meeting discussed final steps for the union before spring break. With sustained momentum from recent events and collaborations with other unaffiliated organizations, the union is looking for innovative ways to tackle its initiatives moving forward. 

ECSU leader and visual media arts junior Dylan Young commenced the meeting by calling for updates on other union members’ internal affairs. This propelled a conversation on the organization’s new ideas for social media use. 

Members suggested ideas like scheduling weekly posts on the union’s Instagram page to update and inform students. ECSU member and visual media arts junior David Sazdic suggested using media captured at their most recent tuition hikes rally for a potential post. 

“Making that information more consumable would be great,” Sazdic said.

This led to conversations around who the union tries to reach with their posts. With recent efforts by the school in student activist repression, the organization, in collaboration with other unaffiliated organizations, is trying to find ways to reach students and interested staff without going against the school’s policy. 

Something Young found interesting and a potential asset to their assessment of conflicts is Emerson’s recent ranking as one of the top 10 worst colleges in the country for free speech

On Feb. 24 ECSU hosted a picketing event at Emerson’s “Picture Yourself at Emerson” event. 

“We found at the picket, in fact from somebody’s sign, that we’re number 10 worst college in the country for free speech,” Young said. “I think it’s incredibly relevant to what’s happening now.” 

ECSU internal affairs members reminded meeting attendees of the policies discussed at the town hall meeting. These policies include not allowing unaffiliated organizations to use Emerson property, including anything from meeting rooms located on campus, and using Emerson’s name and logo on flyers and signs. However, in the meeting, it was mentioned that Emerson’s name can be used if approved by the Office of Marketing and Communications. 

These policies have not affected the union’s goals, members said, which include spreading the truth of the Emerson experience and fighting for students’ rights. These rights intend to grant fair access to financial aid, increase financial aid at the same rate as tuition increase, and protect students’ freedom of speech and freedom to protest and assemble. 

ECSU said these goals start with hearing from students on what their demands are. Members will soon send out surveys to students to better understand their needs. 

They’re also working with other organizations outside of the Emerson community in mutual aid efforts to better connect students to resources available outside of Emerson. These include resources for subletting, affordable housing, environmental groups, and clothing swaps. Members tossed ideas around the room and discussed potential questions they thought would be important for understanding students better. 

“The way I envision the form is we specifically pick things that we have an idea that people might like—for example, if we’re doing donations of clothes we pick certain articles of clothing that people are looking for like socks or hats, something like that come winter time,” an anonymous member said. “And kind of get a gauge for what is most popular, so we can get an idea for what we should look for.”

Their efforts within Emerson, however, are still growing. In the last weeks, Young has been able to connect with members of the Emerson Staff Union. Both parties expressed mutual support to help with strategies to help the Emerson community. 

“I think when we did have representatives, I don’t think we stressed having other organizations have representatives to us, and I think that’s kind of the biggest thing right now,” said Young. “I feel like all of us are wanting to see some kind of consolidation.”

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About the Contributor
Valentina Baez, Staff Writer
Valentina Baez (she/her/hers) is a Venezuelan-American student journalist from Miami, FL. Her Journalism Major coupled with her minor in Political Science has provided her with an understanding of the intersectional news coverage she’s interested in. She is currently the beat reporter for the Emerson College Student’s Union and occasionally likes to write other stories for the news section. She is a Junior and will be graduating early in August of 2024.

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