As the spring 2016 semester comes to a close, the emergence of Peace Action at Brandeis University is just beginning. In late March, I accepted a Foreign Policy/ Legislative internship position at Massachusetts Peace Action for the upcoming summer and I quickly became eager to share MAPA’s vision with the rest of the Brandeis community. Students at Brandeis pride themselves on their dedication to social justice, a founding mandate for the University, and I welcomed this opportunity to dovetail a campus mission with one of the largest grassroots peace organizations in the country.
Since its inception just over a month ago, Brandeis Peace Action has held two meetings attended by nearly two dozen students, half of which are current members. For efficiency purposes, we have recently narrowed the focus of our chapter to cover primarily nuclear disarmament, climate change, and the excessive U.S. military budget; albeit recognizing that there are a myriad of issues referenced that are of great concern and will be important to discuss as well.
On Thursday we will hold our third and final meeting for the semester and will prepare our executive committee. In addition, John Maher, MAPA board member and author of Learning from the Sixties: Memoir of an Organizer, will address the group. Since the arrival of a Peace Action chapter on campus was so recent, it has been difficult to plan any large-scale events. As a result, we have decided to reach out to other accredited clubs, including Students for Environmental Action, Brandeis Amnesty International, and Brandeis Climate Justice, to offer our support in any upcoming events that they may have.
By fall of this year, Brandeis Peace Action will be officially recognized by the University and we intend to approach the 2016-2017 school year in full stride. It has been gratifying to learn of the amazing work that other student chapters have engaged in thus far and, on behalf of all of our members, we truly look forward to creating lasting alliances.
Remy Pontes ’17