Price Discusses Student Advocacy at the Campus Y
U.S. Rep. David Price spoke at the Campus Y on Monday, discussing how students can shape public policy by working both within and outside the political system to create meaningful and transformative social change.
Historically, this goal is especially relevant to students at the Campus Y, which has served as UNC’s center for social justice for more than 150 years. Enhancing resources for student advocacy is one of the current goals of newly elected Y Co-Presidents Shauna Rust and Dinesh McCoy.
Rust introduced Price, who represents North Carolina’s 4th district, to the standing-room-only crowd in the Anne Queen Lounge. Price, who attended UNC during the 1960s, spoke of the Campus Y’s role during the Civil Rights movement, remembering that the Y was a place where many were involved in individual acts of protest and resistance -- but at the same time served as a place to learn the need for policy changes on the state and national level.
Price said there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to political involvement; rather there is room for all styles and states of advocacy. He commended the Y’s efforts to give students more training and encouraged the audience to take the next steps in order to translate advocacy into action and action into policy changes.
Responding to a question about how advocacy movements grow and spread, Price said it is important for groups to work not only with obvious allies, but with broad coalitions. That effort might entail expanding policy to include different appeals and finding unlikely allies with likeminded beliefs.
Despite the new phenomena in policy facing the nation and the state, Price said recent activism aims at major changes in ways that recall the progressive American social movements of the 1960s.
By Elissa Zellinger, Communications Coordinator, Campus Y